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Ballantyne to miss T and T Marathon

Ballantyne to miss T and T Marathon

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The man who has won the Trinidad and Tobago marathon on seven occasions, more than any other person in the history of the event, Pamenos Ballantyne, will miss out this year’s edition, which takes place this Sunday morning in the twin island republic.{{more}}

It will be the first time that Ballantyne will be absent from the regional road racing showpiece since making his debut in 1997.

And, he is not injured, but the champion distance athlete has cited a lack of sponsorship as the reason for his non-participation this time around.

“This issue is that I have no sponsors. I wrote to four companies. I presented a budget and none have responded”, Ballantyne said.

“I missed out on a race in January in Antigua, one in St. Kitts and last week one in St. Maarten”, Ballantyne revealed.

A dejected Ballantyne said that he wanted to use these races as build up to the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon, but did not get the anticipated support.

“I just wanted the airfare and accommodation”, Ballantyne stated.

“I am not asking for much”, Ballantyne opined.

“I have been training everyday, up Queen’s Drive, at Arnos Vale. Last Saturday at Arnos Vale, I ran the 5000m and lap(ped) some of them. I am in shape”, Ballantyne told SEARCHLIGHT.

Continuing his moaning, Ballantyne said, “I am not working, I am unemployed”.

“When I run and win, all I get is congratulations”, the 36-year-old Ballantyne said.

An expectant Ballantyne was looking forward to the Trinidad outing, since it will be used as a qualifier to the marathon event for the Beijing Olympics in China later this year.

Not thinking that all the doors are closed on him, Ballantyne is hoping to participate in the London and Boston marathons, set for the upcoming months.

The Trinidad and Tobago Marathon has been Ballantyne’s stomping ground, having notched up five straight wins, from 1997 to 2001. He returned to score back to back victories in 2003 and 2004, but has failed to recapture the title in his three next attempts.

Ballantyne’s absence means that he is out of the reckoning for the first prize of TT$25,200, with an additional $12,000, if he were to lower the 2:13.04 record.

At last year’s Marathon, which was won by St. Lucian Victor Ledger, Ballantyne finished third. (RT)

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