January 29, 2010
Ballantyne expresses satisfaction in T and T Marathon outing

This country’s most decorated long distance athlete, Pamenos Ballantyne, is US $2000 better off, and has expressed his delight in placing third at the 2010 Clico Trinidad and Tobago Marathon, run last Sunday.{{more}}

A smiling Ballantyne told SEARCHLIGHT last Monday that his third place in the event was achieved against the odds.

Recounting that at the half way mark of the 26.2 mile race, he was a non contender, being about four minutes behind the main bunch.

Ballantyne cited a prolonged ankle injury as one of the mitigating factors.

“No one had me anywhere in the top three,” Ballantyne told SEARCHLIGHT.

“I must give credit to Pablo, my Trinidadian coach (Paul Voisin), who pushed me along the way”, Ballantyne said.

“At one time, I had settled for eighth place, but he told me that I can do it,” the 36-year-old Ballantyne recalled.

Ballantyne said that Voisin used some psychology on him, as he reminded him of the 200m runs that they made at the Couva ground. This Ballantyne said worked as he gathered confidence.

“I started to pass them one by one,” Ballantyne added.

Ballantyne eventually clocked 2 hours 25 minutes 53 seconds, behind winner Kenyan born, America based, Simon Sawe and second place Peter Ayiene. Ballantyne was also the first Caribbean finisher.

Sawe, in his third consecutive lien on the title, returned a time of 2 hours 24 minutes, 09 seconds, and another Kenya born – Mexico based, Ayiene in 2 hours 26 minutes 42 seconds.

Ballantyne said that on entering the Haseley Crawford Stadium, he saw Ayiene about 50 meters ahead and made a sprint but could not get further than third.

The record holder in the event, Ballantyne has the most wins, seven, which includes five straight wins from 1997 to 2001. His other triumphs were in 2003 and 2004.

In 2005, he placed third. At the 2006 event, Ballantyne was second . In 2007, he finished third, missed the 2008 event and docked in fourth last year.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was also represented by Lisa Daniel. She placed seventh in the women’s competition. Daniel’s time was 3 hours 50 minutes 29 seconds.

Copping her beaver trick was American Mary Akor. Born in Nigeria, Akor was first in 2 hours 54 minutes 19 seconds. Trinidad and Tobago was second and third in the persons of Paulette Lucess and Shermaine Lasaldo. Lucess’ time was 3 hours 14 minutes 13 seconds and Lasaldo, 3 hours 15 minutes 34 seconds. (RT)