Image courtesy The UWI.

The 2020 edition of the annual UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon, which has attracted some of the world’s top athletes, won’t run off this year, and has been cancelled.

Confirmation came today in a news release from The UWI, in which the Head of the St. Augustine Academy of Sport, Professor Funso Aiyegina, observes that the COVID-19 pandemic made the cancellation necessary.

“It would have been a marvellous sight to behold 1,700 persons on the Priority Bus Route this October,” he noted.  “We understand the disappointment that the participants may feel having put many hours of training towards this event, but cancelling this year’s Half-Marathon and 4 x 5K relay is necessary to protect all involved.”

Professor Aiyegina explained: “The health and safety of all our stakeholders remain our number one priority.  We are hopeful that 2021 would present a much safer scenario than the one being faced now for us to return for the 17th edition of the race.”

He added that the organizing committee will use this downtime to brainstorm and plan for a bigger and better return next year.

Professor Aiyegina also expressed sincere gratitude to presenting sponsor, First Citizens, for their partnership and contributions to the success of the race over the years.

The annual UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon is a longstanding national sporting event that has attracted accomplished athletes from different parts of the globe. Part of the route for the event includes the Priority Bus Route.

In 2019, race experienced some positive achievements, which included the event recording its highest number of participants ever—with over 1,550 persons registered hours before the deadline.

For the past two years, the race has seen the successful addition of a 4 x 5K relay race component, as well as a tyre relay.