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Wisconsin runner buys into challenge

Allison Levy

International competitors will lace up their running shoes this weekend to race against home-grown talent in a three-day series of athletic events.The Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge features races over one mile, which was last night, 10K, as well as a half-marathon and marathon.Allison Levy, originally from Kentucky but who lives in Wisconsin, landed in Bermuda for the first time on Thursday to take part in the competition.She admitted that, up until a few years ago, she had never considered running a marathon.Ms Levy said: “I started later in life because it wasn’t really on my mind. I thought it would be nice to do some long-distance running, but it wasn’t something I did growing up.“I joined the US military and obviously we had to run there, but it was mostly shorter distances.“I would hear people talking about how they just ran a marathon and it was great.“I couldn’t do that, but I thought it would be something cool to say.”Ms Levy, who celebrated her 50th birthday last September, said she re-evaluated after a friend, who had overcome cancer, mentioned that he dreamt of running the Disney World Marathon.She added: “I thought that sounded really cool, like something I would want to do someday.“I wound up moving to Florida and at that point I thought if he could do it, then I could do it. “I had no more excuses. It was in my own backyard. I found a group and I started running.Ms Levy took on the Disney World Marathon — her first — in 2013.She said: “I thought I would never want to walk again for the rest of my life. “I worked so hard for so long to do it that when I crossed the finish line I broke down. I thought I couldn’t do it, but I did.”Ms Levy has since competed in 17 other marathons across the United States, as well as in more than 30 half-marathons.She said The Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge came on to her radar after friends had to cancel plans to run in a US marathon with her this weekend, which is a long one because of the Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday on Monday.Ms Levy added: “I still wanted to do something — I had set it aside to do something — so I started looking.“I forget where I found it — it might have been Facebook — but I have never done a three-day race challenge before and I had never been to Bermuda before. “It seemed like the perfect challenge, a perfect place to visit.”The weekend of races started last night with the Front Street Mile race series, sponsored by Butterfield Bank.Athletes will return to the streets this morning for the BF&M 10K walk and run.The race weekend will climax tomorrow morning with the PwC marathon, which will start in Dockyard at 7am, and the half-marathon, which begins two hours later at Barr’s Bay Park in Hamilton.