Start your summer exercise off with the End-to-End
It may sound like torture to some but thousands get a big kick out of the Catlin End-to-End event which will be staged this year on Saturday, May 5. And this year will be even more special as the annual End-to-End will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Since its inception End-to-End participants have raised an enormous $4 million for charity. Last year they raised more than $275,000 for 11 charities.
Many people seem to believe that if you cannot walk from St Georges to Dockyard you cannot take part in the event.
But that is not correct. Organisers try to put in distances for everyone.
While many do in fact walk the entire length of the Island, many decide to do shorter distances and on different modes of transport obviously your legs, but also on a cycle, in a rowing boat and even on a horse.
For the walkers who want to do the complete 24.1 mile course, their start time is 8 am at Kings Square in St Georges.
However if you do not feel that you can walk the entire course, the Middle-to-End may be more to your liking. That course measures 14.7 miles and starts at 10 am at Albuoys Point, Hamilton.
Then there is the Fun Walk which measures only three miles and starts at 2 pm at Beach Hill (next to Somerset Police Station and the Railway Trail). There will also be free rides from Dockyard back to parking starting at 4 pm provided by Project Action.
For those whose passion is cycling, there is the End-to-End-to-End for Elite cyclists. That starts at 8.00 am in Dockyard. Those cyclists, certainly of the serious sort, go to St Georges and then back to Dockyard.
Other cyclists can start at 10 am at Kings Square, St Georges and for those who want a shorter course there is the Middle-to-End course which starts at 11 am at Elbow Beach Resort in Paget.
The event also takes in Bermudas elite swimmers who check in at 9.30 am at Watford Bridge for 10.00 am start. The swimming is organised by the Bermuda Masters Swimming Association and is dependant on good weather conditions. The distance is 2.25 miles.
Those who row will start out from Whites Island at 8.30 am. For more information check the Bermuda Rowing Association for details.
The Island has many equestrians and their course starts at the Railway Trail at Trimingham Hill in Paget at 8.30 am.
When all the participants get to Dockyard the real party starts!
There will be a free concert in the Victualling Yard, in celebration of the 25th anniversary, beginning at 1.15 pm and concluding at 5 pm. Food and beverage is provided by vendors, Frog and Onion Pub and BoneFish Grill, for purchase.
Participants for the End-to-End must sign up in advance as there will be no onsite registration on the event day. Advance registration will be held in the lower level of the new Washington Mall (18 Church Street) from April 29 to May 4.
The event has gone from strength to strength since it was started by three friends who decided to walk from one end of the Island to the other.
Paul Rowlerson, Jon Borrill and Clive Cotton were all working for Johnson & Higgins, the insurance company manager. Mr Rowlerson had arrived on the Island first in 1985 and the other two arrived not long afterwards. Mr Rowlerson and Mr Cotton already knew each other having worked together in London and they now found themselves working with Mr Borrill on a computer project for the company.
Word of this informal stroll spread and soon there were a number of people interested in tackling the distance. There was no organising committee, no marshals, no planned water stops and even the route was a little uncertain. A test walk was organised from Barnes Corner to Dockyard and much to everyones surprise a large number of people turned out.
At first it was thought that it would be just a one-off event!
Now the Catlin End-to-End relies on more than 500 volunteers to help with the event which is one of the biggest in Bermuda.
Volunteers are used to plan every aspect of the event, from finding sponsors and marketing the day to participants, to keeping track of the finances of this major project.
The biggest group of volunteers comes into play in the weeks leading up to the event and on the day of the event itself. Volunteers help to sign up participants and hand out the T-shirts and packs participants use while taking part in the big cross-Island move.
On event day, they direct and protect participants from traffic while they are on the course; run water stops along the route; help participants when they are injured or ill; and help them warm up for the event at the starting line and recuperate at the finish with entertainment, food, physiotherapy and other support.
The charities who will gain from this years event are:
Age Concern, Adult Education Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Open Airways, the Family Centre, St John Ambulance and YouthNet.
Each year, more than 2,000 people take part in the Catlin End-to-End combining fun, fitness and support for the charities.
While many of those people are individuals, many are organised into groups. Schools and community groups enter teams and for more information about how to organise a team at your school or community group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne Mello of the End-to-End said: For our young people, the End-to-End promotes healthy physical exercise and team spirit. It also reinforces the importance of charity and giving something back to our community. We love to see our young people doing good while having a good time in the End-to-End events.
Employees from Bermuda organisations of all sizes create teams to exercise and participate in the Catlin End-to-End. Contact email@example.com if you would like additional information on how to organise a team at your company.
Also many companies provide matching funds to encourage both employees and their families to participate. For larger teams, the End-to-End can facilitate special registration events, team celebration areas at the finish line and the ability to customise event T-shirts with the corporate team logo.
The Corporate Team Spirit trophy is awarded to the most active corporate team.
And finally the event is not just limited to locals. Over the years, a growing number of visitors have scheduled their Bermuda trip to include the Catlin End-to-End as an opportunity to see the Island. In fact an entire wedding party once participated before the actual ceremony!
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