Thousands walk in the sun for the End-to-End
This year’s XL Catlin End-to-End was a “big success”, according to one event organiser.
Sunny skies prevailed as 2,600 people took part on Saturday.
Participants — whether walking, cycling, swimming, rowing or paddleboarding — as well as numerous volunteers, joined in the fun from St George’s to Dockyard to raise cash for worthy causes.
Kevin Richards, a board member with the End-to-End organisation, said the event attracted a wide range of participants.
“I think the entire community was represented,” he said.
“And that’s really what the event is about — it’s about bringing everyone together, and giving something back to Bermuda.”
Mr Richards thanked all the volunteers and staff members for keeping participants safe on Saturday.
Carol Birch, with the Bermuda Musical and Drama Society, has been a volunteer since the event began.
“We had an old hatchback car with a water cooler in it — and we did all the water stops,” she said of the first running of the event.
“So we were leapfrogging.”
From its modest beginnings, the event has always been something that people “really got behind”, she said.
The expansion of the event over the years, Ms Birch said, to offer different transportation options and course lengths, has allowed even more people to participate.
“Everybody can be involved,” she said.
The Mills family, from Devonshire, proved today that even the youngest islanders could take part.
Winnie and Kori Mills walked the middle-to-end length, while infant Kree Mills tackled the stretch from a stroller.
The best part of the event, Kori Mills said, was “just seeing everybody come out and support charity.”
Despite last year’s less-than-fair weather, Winnie Mills said the experience was a positive one.
“I really enjoyed the first time last year, even though it did rain,” she said. “It was lovely.”
She said that the family plans to try and tackle the full distance next year.
Families from off-island also participated today.
Dario Schwoerer and wife Sabine took part in the event with their five children.
The Swiss couple, along with their children — ranging in ages from 15 months to 12 years — opted for the middle-to-end stretch.
Taking part for the first time, Mr Schwoerer said he enjoyed the social aspect to the event — being able to speak with island residents and hear their stories, and to share his own.
“Normally when you are working in an office or you are busy during the day, you can maybe talk for ten minutes,” he said.
“Here, you talk for miles. And that’s so nice.”
The couple runs Top to Top, a climate-change awareness foundation. They are currently in Bermuda speaking with schoolchildren before sailing to Greenland.
Started as a get fit competition among three friends, the health component of the event continues to play an important role today.
Dr Kyjuan Brown, who took part in the event for the third time, said his bicycle team from North Shore Medical Imagining started the day with seven members.
“We had two casualties on the road,” he said.
A flat tyre and fatigue forced two team members to end their day early.
Taking part in the event as an office, Dr Brown said, was about practicing what they preach.
“Health is what we do, and that’s what we sell,” the Pembroke resident said.
“So as a team we wanted to be able to emulate what we tell patients to do.”
Dr Brown said he hoped to invite patients to take part in the event along with staff for next year’s instalment.
Beverly Pitt participated in this year’s event on a bicycle for the first time.
“It’s good for your health,” the Hamilton Parish resident said.
“That’s one of the reasons why I do it, to keep my weight down and to keep in shape,” Ms Pitt, who works as a bus operator, said.
“I just can’t wait to get into Dockyard and party like a rock star.”
The party aspect of the event was not confined to the finish line, however.
DJ Chubb, also known as Marcus George, was one of many providing music to event participants at fuel stops along the route.
“It’s all about high energy,” the Vibe 103 personality and Southampton resident said of his musical selections.
“I like to motivate people, and know that I am keeping their spirits high.”
Performing as part of the event for the fourth time, he said the day showcased the best of Bermuda.
“To see everyone getting together, and everyone participating together, it’s a beautiful thing.
“It’s the way we show our unity and our love.”
Ginny Ferson, Deputy Governor, said it was the third year she and husband Mel were taking part.
“The first year we did the baby walk,” the Devonshire resident said.
This year, for the second time, they were completing the middle-to-end stretch.
“I think it’s just a great event,” Mrs Ferson said. “There’s a great atmosphere, and it’s good to raise funds for these charities, and get great exercise.”
“It just ticks so many boxes,” Mr Ferson echoed.
Money raised from this year’s event, the 30th End-to-End, will go towards four charities: the Adult Education School, Age Concern, Greenrock, and Raleigh Bermuda. The charities will be presented with funds raised at an awards ceremony in July.
Participants were also able to vote from a pool of four other charity organisations to receive a $30,000 “people’s choice” grant.
This year’s special charities are the Bermuda Society for the Blind, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Duke of Edinburgh, and YouthNet.
The winner of the grant will be announced shortly, Mr Richards said, as will the winner of the event’s best water stop, which participants could vote for on Saturday.
Since its inception, the event has provided more than $5 million to charities through 190 grants.
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