Big marathon weekend
This year’s Run Barbados Marathon series promises to be bigger and more lucrative than ever before.
That was the word Tuesday from organizers during a media briefing at the office of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), 1st Floor of the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, to discuss plans for the December 2 – 4 event.
Present were race director of the Run Barbados Marathon, Zary Evelyn, senior director of BTMI Neville Boxill, and business development officer of Signia Financial Group Inc. and Cave Shepherd representative Samantha Inniss, as well as BTMI’s manager of sports Devonté Chase.
Evelyn stated that the prize money for the event had been increased to $48 000 and it was anticipated that about 375 runners would be participating in the sporting weekend.
“We have decided to increase the prize money to $48,000, so it will be the biggest prize money ever being competed for in the Run Barbados history, and it will make Barbados if not the richest road series, at least one of the top three road race series in the Caribbean,” he pointed out.
Evelyn also revealed that they were moving the Fun Mile from St. Lawrence Gap, its location last year, and instead, it would commence at the Barbados Museum this year and finish at the Bay Street Esplanade. After the Fun Mile, they are also including a Pasta Buffet on the Friday night, which as Evelyn noted was quite common in international races.
Evelyn said they expected major improvement in participation of several events in this year’s marathon. According to him: “In the 10K, we are expecting approximately 375 runners this year, compared to only 252 last year. For the Half Marathon, we have a conservative estimate of 325 participants, compared to last year which only had 213 in total, and for the Marathon we are projecting 85 competitors, compared to the 38 we had last year.”
Boxill expressed his pleasure at the number of overseas participants and added that this year’s marathon would serve as an example of Barbados’ resilience in its 50th year of Independence.
“With this year being a momentous one with Barbados’ 50th anniversary of Independence, it is fitting that this event, which has been a staple on our calendar for 33 years will serve to be an example of our resilience, determination and competitive spirit as a nation. These are all traits of a marathon runner, and we continue to witness this from both amateur and professional competitors who set out to test and exceed their limits in the Run Barbados Marathon series,” Boxill said.
Boxill added: “This installment of the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend has been met by an encouraging number of overseas entries, particularly out of Canada, following their successful partnership with the ‘Canadian Running Series’ which covers events in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Through this partnership we are pleased to welcome Canadian Olympic runners Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak who will be at the starting line in Barbados this year.”
An effort has also been made to make registration for the event easier and also to facilitate shopping for participants.
“One thing we have added to the Run Barbados Marathon this year is that we have opened our Cave Shepherd Visa Credit Card, a new credit card that we have launched recently, and persons can actually use the card to pay for registration for Run Barbados this year and for extra years,” Inniss said.
She revealed that on December 1 they would open their Vista location for a night of shopping for all those registered for Run Barbados. There will be giveaways, refreshments, and persons will get a chance to do early Christmas shopping.
This year the Run Barbados Marathon weekend is being sponsored by Cave Shepherd and Co, along with the Tourism Development Corporation, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, FLOW, ICBL, and the Nation Group.