Cash prize returns for sub four-mile
A $10,000 prize is being offered again for the first person to run the Front Street Mile in less than four minutes.
The news comes as the three-day Bermuda Triangle Challenge running festival, which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2020, announced Butterfield Bank and BF&M as lead sponsors of two events.
The Challenge, which was previously known as the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, had no headline sponsors tied to its mile, 10K or marathon and half-marathon races this year, but that will change next year.
The first day of the three-day festival features the Front Street Mile, and Butterfield Bank is the exclusive lead sponsor of that event.
Michael Neff, Butterfield’s local managing director, said: “The mile brings together a diverse set of junior, amateur and elite athletes and supporters from across our community in the spirit of friendly competition and celebration.
“As the island’s leading community bank, we can’t think of a better way to once again become involved with Bermuda’s beloved ‘race weekend,’ and we thank the organising committee for their great work in expanding and promoting the Bermuda Triangle Challenge for 2020.”
Butterfield has had a long association with the race weekend and has sponsored various events, but it has not been a title sponsor during the past ten years.
In the early 1990s the bank put up a $10,000 prize for the first person to break four-minutes in the Front Street Mile, however despite the likes of then world record-holder Steve Cram taking part, the target time has never been achieved. Leonard Mucheru, of Kenya, went closest when he ran 4min 2.6sec in 2002.
The bank has confirmed that the $10,000 bonus prize is being reinstated for the first sub-four performance, a move that is expected to increase suspense and fun on the evening, and likely to attract elite runners who fancy their chances at breaking the magic barrier.
Meanwhile, insurance company BF&M is the exclusive lead sponsor for the 10K race and walk in 2020, on the second day of the Challenge.
John Wight, BF&M’s chairman and CEO, said: “As a leading health insurer and wellness partner, this particular race resonates with us because it draws so many members of our community to take part.
“We applaud the efforts of the organising committee to raise the bar and the exposure for this three-day event, putting it firmly on the map for international runners.”
Freddie Evans, chairman of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, said: “The long-term view of Butterfield and BF&M, combined with their community spirit, will help increase community involvement, thereby enhancing the runner experience.
“It is a pleasure to have such community-minded organisations such as Butterfield and BF&M become part of this iconic event!
“In 2019, approximately 900 participants took part in the Front Street Mile and 10K Walk & Run and for 2020 we encourage the community to come out and exceed this number.”
Hazel Clarke, director of sports business development at the Bermuda Tourism Authority said: “It’s especially encouraging to partner with companies of the calibre of Butterfield and BF&M on the 2020 enhanced Bermuda Triangle Challenge.
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority has designated the Bermuda Triangle Challenge as a “Signature Event” and this endorsement by Butterfield and BF&M will clearly make the Front Street Mile and the 10K Walk and Run a success. We look forward to working with the BTC committee, Butterfield, and BF&M to ensure the 2020 BTC weekend, the Butterfield Front Street Mile, and BF&M 10K Walk & Run are tremendously successful events for Bermuda.”
The Bermuda Triangle Challenge weekend begins on January 17 and ends on January 19. There is a half-marathon and marathon race on the third day.
Earlier this month, it was revealed the marathon course is being changed, and will start in Dockyard. It will follow a route along the Railway Trail and South Road before meeting up with half-marathon runners near Hamilton to run together for the second part of the race through Devonshire, Smith’s, Pembroke and back into Hamilton.
Registration for the Bermuda Triangle Challenge is open at www.bermudaraceweekend.com
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