Bigger prizes on offer for top finishers
More prizes will be on offer for the top finishers in the upcoming Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby after main sponsor Appleby increased its funding.
Gina Tucker, president of the Marathon Derby committee, said that greater prizes will be up for grabs in response to the displeasure voiced by top runners, including Lamont Marshall, the reigning champion, at last year’s rewards.
It is understood Marshall has ruled himself out of this year’s May 24 race after turning his focus to qualifying in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the World Championships in London in August.
Ashley Estwanik, last year’s women’s winner, is also opting out, to concentrate on the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in Tennessee this month.
Last year’s win was the first for Marshall and sixth for Estwanik.
“We’re able to acquire further funding so I’m excited about the fact that the prizes will be reflective of this kind of event for the overall purse,” Tucker said.
“We’ve been working on that for some time and the budget is always evolving, trying to accommodate and please everybody.
“It’s not a professional race so people shouldn’t expect professional awards, but we’ve been able to acquire additional funds for the prizes. We have obtained additional funding from the title sponsors, and possibly another sponsor.”
The race, which will lead up to the America’s Cup, starting on May 26, will begin in St George’s again this year after a decision to alternate the course every 12 months.
Tucker has embraced the “Auld Cup”, recognising that visitors to the island will get the opportunity to experience the Bermuda Day activities.
Tucker said approximately 30 volunteers are still needed to help marshal the course. “We’re in need of marshals and persons at the field so we’re doing an call-out for people to sign up at the website [www.bermudamarathon.bm],” Tucker said.
“Everyone is stretched so we just need to pull together to make this happen. It’s a unique year in light of the America’s Cup.”
The course from the East End is considered a more challenging, hilly course.
Even the top runners found the conditions tough last year and Tucker is urging participants to take the necessary precautions.
“Many are getting ready for the race and I remind them to hydrate,” Tucker said. “I’m pleading with people to make sure they are well hydrated.”
A total of 366 runners have signed up for the individual and relay races. Tomorrow is the deadline for form entries, with online entries open until next Friday.
Forms can be downloaded from the race website or picked up at Sportseller on Reid Street.
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