Bermuda Day runners handed cash incentive
A monetary award will be offered for any competitor running faster than 1hr 10min in the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby next week.
Gina Tucker, the president of the Marathon Derby committee, confirmed that cash is up for grabs after discussions with Lamont Marshall, who expressed concerns after his 2016 victory about the lack of prize money offered in Bermuda’s most popular road race.
“The idea is to encourage runners to up their game as much as possible,” said Tucker, who revealed that the Derby committee will put up funds and then invite companies and individuals to contribute as well.
“The incentive starts with us, we’re putting aside funds in our budget for the incentive prize. Organisations, small businesses, individuals, families can contact anybody on the committee to submit their name and the amount.
“The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Kudos to Lamont because he did help us to establish the 1:10 mark.
“We discussed with him how the Derby operates, the funding structure and he is pleased with what has been established with the prizes and even more pleased with the incentives.
“We did have a couple of meetings with him. I did contact him because it’s important that we all recognise that this day is all about Bermuda and ensuring Bermuda shows itself in the best light.
“It was important for me to reach out to Lamont and clear it all up so that we can see the best of Bermuda on this day. He was obliging, he came and we talked and are all excited about next week.”
In recent years only six-times winner Chris Estwanik has gone under the 1:10, in 2012 when he ran 1:08.49 and then again in 2015 when, on the reintroduced course out of St George’s, he clocked 1:07.46.
Marshall won the race two years ago in 1:13.59, while Jay Donawa posted a time of 1:20.08 for his maiden victory last year out of St George’s, before announcing his retirement from competitive running.
This year the race has another change, with this being the first time that Bermuda Day will be observed on the last Friday of the month.
The switch was made so the holiday, which involves the Half-Marathon Derby, the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race and the Bermuda Day Parade, leads into the weekend.
“It’s awesome news for us, I’m very pleased that the Government has established it as the official day for the holiday,” Tucker said. “Our race participants, as well as all the other participants, will be able to celebrate fully on the day and have a recovery day after.
“Our logo is, ‘Giving you a reason to run’ and I’m hoping this gives even more people a reason to run. Being a member of the education department, we always saw the impact it had on schools. We could see the logic in it [the switch].
“We did lobby for it some time ago and I’m sure others did as well.”
Tucker added: “The Government has to determine which Friday it is, my understanding is that it is the Friday before the last Monday of the month. That would pretty much land us on the Memorial Day weekend, which would be even more awesome in light of tourism,” Tucker added.
The deadline for entries is Friday for online and next Monday for paper entries, with Monday being the day for number pick-up, between 3 and 7pm at the National Sports Centre.
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