$1500 On Offer For 10th BVI Half Marathon Winners

aBy Dean Greenaway, BVI Mile Split

Male and female winners could walk away with up to $1500 each in the 10th BVI Sunrise Half Marathon, presented by Deloitte and Ogier later this year.

To mark the 10th year, The BVI Tourist Board has increased the prize monies to $1000 for the male and female winners. Either can collect another $500 for breaking the respective course records of 1 hour 07 minutes and 38 seconds and 1:34.09 respectively.

The top five men and women’s finishers will collect cash prizes.

Early bird registration through Oct 31 for the Dec 5 event is $55. From November 1, the fee goes up to $60. Some 30 persons have already pre registered and organizers are capping the race at 125 participants for the event that forms part to the BVI Athletics Association 45th anniversary activities.

Race founder Simon Cook said its great that the event is still going and getting stronger each year.

“There are so many people out running during the week now with all different abilities which is great and people are enjoying it,” noted Cook, who relocated to Australia shortly after it began and returned to the territory and participate in the ninth edition last year. “Kay (Reddy) and the team have done a super job building it up and it’s great to be back here running. I didn’t envision it would carry on like this. It’s great that these other running races are going on as well. The 10K’, 5K’s, 2 Miles and the Tortola Torture, long may it continue and I think it will. A lot of people are doing running races and Marathons.”

Reflecting on the race development, the former Deloitte employee said he was preparing for the San Francisco Half Marathon at the time and Mark Chapman asked why not have a Half Marathon here and that’s how it started.

“We had about 40 people that first year in the event won by St. Thomas’ Adam Wood and that was a good start as we ran from West End,” he recalled. “Obviously, it has evolved after that.”

During its fifth year, it was run in conjunction with the OECS Half Marathon and several of the top regional runners participated, with New Zealand’s Michael Aish establishing the 1:07.38 course record as three went under 1:10. St. Thomas’ Shane DeGannes has won the race for the last three years.
“That 1:07 was insane, that’s like 5 minute miles,” Cook said. “Nobody’s going to touch that are they? That would be amazing if they did.”

With an average of 25 road races annually in the territory on Tortola and Virgin Gorda, Cook said it’s helping people gradually get into the longer distances. “It’s all word of mouth, people start doing 5Ks, then 10Ks and then say ‘if I can do a 10k, maybe I can do a Half Marathon and then maybe a Marathon,” he reasoned. “There’s just a lot more people out there running and being conscious and being fit, rather than being ill, so it great. Really great.”