TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis led his eighth consecutive fund-raising walk group for the TTOC’s Athletes Welfare and Preparation Fund on Sunday.
While the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon staged the event for runners as a four-lap circuit along the Chaguaramas bicycle path in which 27 athletes participated Sunday, Lewis led a group of similar numbers along the traditional 26.2 mile marathon route, from St Mary’s Junction, Freeport, at 2.35 a.m. — a delay from the planned 2 a.m. start due to circumstances beyond their control — to the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, finish line.
The year 2015 marked the inception of the TeamTTO fund-raiser. After he received a constitutional one-year extension to his second term owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, this marathon will be the last one in which Lewis walks as TTOC president since his second term concludes on April 30.
Lewis said he is still amazed at the commitment of citizens to come out to support athletes and young people who they will never meet.
“It is always great to see people give an effort, rally to the cause, make the physical and mental sacrifice of starting and finishing a marathon for a cause.
This year, Lewis described a torturous stretch on the Eastern Main Road between Barataria and Laventille when he felt he had hit the proverbial wall.
But he was motivated by his core group to see out the distance and the race.
Among the group was 72-year-old Richie Rahim, the perennial first finisher of the TTO marathon walk group, who continues to defy his age and repeated again this year.
Also among the walkers were Nigel Baptiste, managing director of Republic Bank, 84-year-old Deryck McIntrye, Rahman Sambrano, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat, sports journalist Andre Baptiste and boxing promoter Bharat Ramoutar of Fine Line Fight Factory.