Nicholson, Harris shine at CARICOM 10K Road race
The 2022 CARICOM 10K Road Race that was successfully staged in Paramaribo, Suriname, earlier this month is testament to the hard work of both athletes and organisers and recognition of the high regard placed on the annual event.
Guyanese athlete, Marlon Nicholson, took just about half an hour to win the race (33:25:17), while Jozeanne Harris of Jamaica won the women’s leg in a just under 45 minutes (44:49.56).
The race was held on 2 July, a day before the Forty-Third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government also opened in Suriname. About 100 participants competing in the open category, and athletes from six Member States, were at the Independence Square where a sizeable crowd that included CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett, and other CARICOM officials had gathered to witness President of Suriname, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi signal the start of the race.
“We supported the coordination of the arrangements, but it’s another thing to actually see it unfold, all the flags on stage, and then the audience goes quiet as the opening bars of the national anthem of the particular winner started… that’s the experience of the Olympics! So, the regard that was given to the awarding of the winner, I felt as though I had been transported to an Olympic event.
“For me that was the pinnacle of it all! It’s the recognition of track and field excellence in the Region and the fact that the track and field excellence that we have in the region is a reminder that we are not just good in the Region; it’s a recognition that is acknowledged internationally and it’s something that we mustn’t forget: it’s an asset of the Caribbean. It was beautiful,” said Dr. Laurette Bristol, Programme Manager, Human Resource Development at the CARICOM Secretariat.
She paid tribute to the organisers on the ground in Suriname, pointing out that they went “above and beyond to ensure the athletes were well cared for, before, during and after the event.”
Nicholson and Harris spoke with CARICOM Today following the prize-giving ceremony. They were both elated and gave some insight into the consistency and determination that are important to success as long-distance athletes.
Nicholson said winning a race as prestigious as the CARICOM 10K was something he had dreamed of and had worked hard to achieve. He encouraged other athletes to “put in the work.”
Harris said she was “exhausted” after her first CARICOM 10K run but “just grateful to God that I’m here, I’m healthy and I’ve won!”