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‘Bermuda’ returned to May 24 race title

The Bermuda Day Half Marathon Organising Committee moved to clear the air over the controversial renaming of the annual running spectacle.

In celebration of Appleby’s renewed support, the Committee announced that the event name would be changed from “Bermuda Half Marathon Derby” to “Appleby Half Marathon Derby” to reflect Appleby’s long-standing support as title sponsor.

Wednesday’s announcement was met with a wave of criticism from the community, who have take to the radio and social media to voice their discontent.

The Committee have since sent out a statement clarifying the issue pertaining to the changing of the name of one of Bermuda’s most historical sporting events.

“The Organising Committee of the Bermuda Day Half Marathon has heard the community and appreciates the passion surrounding the event and its heritage. We acknowledge that there have been many changes to both the holiday and the event name over the years, i.e. Queen's Birthday, 24th May, Heritage Day and Bermuda Day.

“The event name changed from "Marathon" to "Half Marathon" and the word "Derby" has been included or excluded over the years.

“It should be noted that the original race began some 100-plus years ago and preceded the Bermuda Day holiday. The words "Bermuda Day" have never appeared in the official race name. We, in conjunction with our sponsor, Appleby, have agreed to alter the title to read "Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby".

“It should be noted that the word "Bermuda" was already included in the updated logo.

“Let me end by saying that Appleby in no way threatened to pull their sponsorship, nor were they heavy-handed in any way. This is a long standing partnership, since 2005, and one that we both value and intend to continue.”

On Thursday Shadow Minister for Sport Michael Weeks stated that it is in the best interest of the country that Bermuda be included in the name of the road race after the name was confirmed.

“The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party is appreciative of the sponsorship by Appleby for the Annual Bermuda Day Half Marathon during the past nine years. We strongly believe that it is because of this generous sponsorship that the race has gone from strength to strength,” he said.

“However, after listening to the many callers to talk radio and reading the many comments on social media, we believe that in the interest of unity in the community, the preservation of this iconic Bermudian event, that "Bermuda" should be included in the name of the race."

“Appleby and the organisers of the Bermuda Day Half Marathon announced Wednesday that a further five-year commitment to sponsor one of Bermuda’s most popular cultural and sporting events — the half marathon held each 24 May.”

Runners wait at the start of the May 24th Half Marathon Derby 2012

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Published April 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm)

‘Bermuda’ returned to May 24 race title

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