Next year's edition of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) will be done virtually. The adjustment was made by the T&T Marathon Committee (TTMC) due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
"We hope that all runners and their loved ones are well and in good health. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed each and every one of us under unexpected emotional and financial stress and has caused us to adapt and to be flexible in this new situation," the committee said in a release on Sunday.
"The TTMC is no different and we understand how everyone feels, we will maintain communication with all our stakeholders with the view of keeping them abreast of changes as they are presented. As such and in compliance with new health guidelines laid out by the Government of T&T through the Ministry of Health (MOH) and by extension the National Association of Athletics Administrations of T&T (NAAATT), the TTMC have adjusted their races for 2021 only, into a virtual event."
According to the release, the TTIM Virtual (VR) Marathon & Ultra Challenge will consist of four races over the distances of 35, 26.2, 13.1 and 3.1 miles. The TTIM VR Marathon 26.2 which represents the 39th Edition of our TTIM; the TTIM VR ULTRA 35, a 56K race which extends on completion of the 26.2 marathon distance; the TTIM VR Half 13.1, a rejuvenation of the TTIM Half Marathon, and the TTIM VR 3.1, the race for the fun runners.
"The Challenge is out for you the runner to raise the bar and complete the Ultra Challenge!" said
Runners can choose any distance or any combination to receive their race medals. Participants can also team up with friends or go it alone. Runners will have a window of three weeks, January 1-24 to complete all races. Limited numbers for each race distance.
"Runners in the VR-M 26.2 will have the opportunity to beat their age group best time and brag with friends on any course they choose. The VR-H 13.1 distance has been offered for the half marathon lovers, while the VR 3.1 or 5K for fun runners make it a little something for everyone.
"Branded products will be available to mark this memorable occasion being the first TTIM virtual races, get yours early. More race/registration details will be posted on the TTIM website www.ttmarathon.com and social media, such as facebook https://www.facebook.com/TTIMARATHON/ and Instagram to ensure understanding of this new format.
"Our sponsors have been the backbone of our TTIM successes and we thank them for continuing to partner with us as we finalise details we invite everyone to try out the new format and challenge themselves for the 2021 and 39th Edition of the TTIM. We encourage you to Stay Safe, Wear a Mask, and Maintain Social Distancing, it will save lives."
The TTIM also revealed that it is close to meeting its charitable obligations in presenting a cheque for $9,045 to Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) for the #10Golds24 Athlete Welfare & Preparation Fund. The figure represents proceeds from this year's event and according to the release, the organisation is looking forward to supporting additional charities next year.
The 38th edition saw an increase in runners in the marathon with 242 participants, of which 120 were early starters. Women showed a vast increase of 57 runners, mostly in the 30-40 age group while men maintained a stronghold in the younger and older groups.