Big turnout expected for 30th End-to-End – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Big turnout expected for 30th End-to-End

Thousands are set to take to the streets and shores tomorrow for a good cause as the XL Catlin End-to-End celebrates its 30th year.

Mandy Shailer of the event's organising board said they hoped this year would be bigger and better than ever as the public come out to raise money for four local charities.

“I feel like it's the kick-off for summer, particularly when you get to Somerset and you see people lined up on both sides of the road,” she said. “It's so heart-warming, and I love the variety of people you see come out from all walks of life.

“It really brings the people together for a common cause and everyone is looking out for one another. It's really wonderful.”

Ms Shailer said that the organisers had again put together courses for runners, walkers, swimmers, cyclists and paddleboarders, noting that, on average, between 3,000 and 3,500 people take part.

However, this year in addition to supporting the Adult Education School, Age Concern, Greenrock and Raleigh Bermuda, participants will also be able to vote from a pool of four other charities to receive a $30,000 “people's choice” donation.

“The best and the worst part of the job is selecting which charities to support, and there are always the last few we are arguing over,” she said.

“This is a way for us to help one of those that didn't quite make the final four, to give the participants the opportunity to pick between the Bermuda Society for the Blind, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Duke of Edinburgh and YouthNet, with the winning charity receiving funding from this year's event.”

Another change this year will be a move in the location of the swimming portion of the event, with Ms Shailer noting that organisers wanted to bring the finish line to Dockyard to better line up with the cycle and walking route.

“We decided this year to put the focus back on ending in the West End, so we wanted to bring the swim event back to the same day as the run and back to Dockyard,” she explained.

“It starts at Mangrove Bay at 11am and finishes at Calico Jack's Floating Bar, which I'm hoping is going to be a little extra motivation for our swimmers as they think about the beverages they will be offered when they make it on to the boat.”

Ms Shailer added that organisers were hoping for another change from last year's event — better weather.

She said that, as safety officer, she had been keeping a close eye on forecasts this week, describing the wall of rain that greeted runners last year as a “small monsoon”.

“It was the craziest weather we have ever seen for an End-to-End,” she said. “There were 40-knot winds, thrashing rain and we were panicking as a board, fearing it would be a disaster.

“We cancelled the swim and the cycle, but the race continued and our volunteers were out there in force, in the rain, with their umbrellas and big smiles on their faces. It was wonderful to see that support. We were afraid everyone would just stay home.

“This year, it looks like we are going to have a nice breezy and dry day, but rain is forecast for the evening. I know we need it, but we are hoping it just holds off.

“At 5pm, it can rain all it wants, but if it holds off for the day, we're happy.”

She also said she was looking forward to the various teams who take part in the annual event in ridiculous costumes, which in recent years, have included elves and angry birds.

“It's a tight-kept secret about what their costumes are going to be,” she said. “We don't even know until the day.

“Last year, even with the rain, they came out . . . I felt bad for those guys out there getting totally drenched in their costumes. It was hilarious.”

While the event is rapidly approaching, she added that there was still time to sign up for the event online and on the morning of the race itself, in support of a good cause.

“The most important part is the raising of the funds,” she said. “We are always hoping to top what we raised in previous years. That's where the focus is.

For more information about the XL Catlin End-to-End, visit www.bermudaendtoend.bm.

End-to-End Bermuda (Photograph by Charles Anderson)

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Published May 05, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 05, 2017 at 7:34 am)

Big turnout expected for 30th End-to-End

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