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Ballantyne: ‘All I want is to win’

Ballantyne: ‘All I want is to win’

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Will Pamenos Ballantyne end his two-year drought in the Clico Trinidad and Tobago Marathon?

Ballantyne, the Caribbean’s premier road racing athlete for the past decade, will be looking for his eighth lien on the race this Sunday in the twin-island republic, his third marathon in 49 days, and his second in 21 days.{{more}}

But his last two outings over the distance recorded times past his best. Ballantyne clocked 2 hours 33 minutes 34 seconds, to place second in the Run Barbados series December 3, last year.

He started his 2007 season January 1, with 2 hours 40 minutes 28 seconds clocking, which was still good enough to win the St Croix marathon.

Although run over different terrain, the times are considerably slower than any recorded in his previous triumphs in his Trinidad and Tobago outings.

These times do not deter Ballantyne, who said that he was in better shape than at last year’s event, when he placed second.

Defending his decision to run the marathons in quick succession, Ballantyne told SEARCHLIGHT, “There is no strain on my body; it’s only me who could determine what I can do”.

He said that his win last Sunday in the TUTA 10K in Trinidad and Tobago was a boost to his confidence, as he defeated persons who are likely to challenge him in Sunday’s marathon.

Ballantyne is hopeful that St. Lucian Victor Ledger, the winner of the 2004 marathon will compete in this year’s event. Ballantyne had to follow Ledger to the finish line in the Barbados race.

A cocky Ballantyne thought that “Ledger is no threat as he is not in my class”.

“All I want is to win on Sunday, I am not looking at times”, Ballantyne said.

Ballantyne is the record holder with the fastest time in the 26.2 miles event of 2 hours 15 minutes 30 seconds set in 2003, when he shaved 0.07 seconds from the previous mark he set in 1998. Ballantyne has also the most wins in the history of that country’s major road race event.

In the record books, he has five straight wins under his belt from 1997 to 2001.

His first win in 1997 saw him clocking 2 hours 20 minutes and 10 seconds, while in a 1999 his time was 2 hours 26 minutes 49 seconds.

In 2000, Ballantyne finished ahead of the field in 2 hours 19 minutes 20 seconds and 2001 in 2 hours 16 minutes 57 seconds. He last won in 2004 in a time of 2 hours 20 minutes 57 seconds.

The 33-year-old Ballantyne though has competed in several races in a short space of time in the last three years.

Ballantyne will be looking to pocket the TT$25,200, set aside for the first place winner, for the race which starts at Chaguanas and finishes just outside Queen’s Royal College next to the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.

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