KIRK BROWN is turning the Digicel Imagine 5K Night Run into his own little spectacle.
For the third time, Brown proved to be master of the streets and alleyways of downtown Kingston and in cool conditions on a wet road, he decimated the field to take the men’s title in the fifth staging of the annual event, which raises funds for ‘special needs’.
The 29-year-old, who also won last year, was 11 seconds faster than 23-year-old Oshane Archibald, the second-place finisher. Dwayne Graham clocked a respectable 17 minutes and three seconds to take third place in the men’s category.
“My aim was to come out here and win it another year. The wet roads made it a bit more challenging, but I’m glad I made it though.”
The women’s segment was dominated by teenagers, two of whom placed among the top three.
Llori Sharpe, only 16 years old, but distinguished as a junior Team Jamaica triathlete, crossed the finish line at 21 minutes and 47 seconds, ahead of her closest rival, 14-year-old Chantay Chamberlain. Road race veteran Arieta Martin, who is 36 years old, was third in 22 minutes and 48 seconds.
“My objective was to make sure that I got out ahead of the pack that usually forms early in the race and then get into my rhythm, increase my pace and cross the finish line,” said Sharpe.
The win, she says, gives her confidence to go farther as a triathlete.
There were over 13,500 participants, the largest number ever for the fast-growing event.
In the coming weeks, Digicel will announce the total sum raised from the 5K and will hand over the monies to the nine beneficiaries, namely, the Jamaica Autism Support Association, Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation, Early Stimulation Plus, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Mustard Seed Communities, Special Olympics Jamaica, Jamaica Paralympic Association, Abilities Foundation and the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf/Deaf Can Coffee.
The Digicel Imagine Night Run was sponsored by Mello FM, Marksman, PayPak, Jamaica Producers Group, Urban Development Corporation, Express Fitness, Logo Stitch, Main Event, National Outdoor Advertising, Dairy Industries Jamaica Ltd., Honeybun, Innovative Signs, Jamaica Producers, ARRC Media, ProComm, The Lab, Courts Ready Cash, Courts Optical, Running Events, Urban Development Corporation, Pure National Ice, Logostitch, Gatorade and KSAC. The media sponsors are Bess FM, Irie FM, Zip FM, Loop, Nationwide News Network, Love, Suncity, Sportsmax, and members of the RJR Group, including Power 106, Hitz 92 and TVJ.