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Watson hoping for bigger turnout for cross country series

Bermuda National Athletic Association president Donna Watson would like to see better participation from the Island's road runners when the cross country series begins on Saturday at Chaplin Bay (8.30am start).

Watson is hoping new Mid Atlantic Athletic Club president, Rose-Anna Hoey, who participated in the series last year, will inspire her club's members to compete in the cross country series which involves five races leading up to the December 7 National Championships.

“With the success that Rose-Anna saw last year and the year before by running in our cross country series we are hoping to get a bigger turn out at those events,” said Watson. “With Rose-Anna the new president of MAAC I know that she will definitely try to encourage participation.”

Two more cross country meets and two road races — Partner Re 5K and Crime Stoppers 5K — will occupy dates in October as the 2013-14 season moves into high gear. Dates for the major events include the Fairmont to Fairmont on January 5, International Race Weekend from January 17-19, the Ed Sherlock Five Miler and Telford Electric Magic (Junior) Mile races on successive weekends on February 16 and 22, Lindo's to Lindo's 10K on March 9 and the National Championships on June 13 and 14.

“We are excited but it truly feels like we have had no break at all this year,” said Watson, referring to various overseas track meets various athletes attended earlier in the summer.

“The season seems to get longer and longer. We have an even longer season next year with the CAC Games taking place in November 2014. The schedule continues to get busier each year and we do try to support all of the events to give our athletes the exposure they need.

“We do anticipate sending a few of our elite athletes to Poland for the World Indoor Championships as some of them have expressed interest in these championships. As far as Uganda and the World University Cross Country, and the World Cross Country Championships, at this time I don't foresee us sending anyone to those events. I wouldn't rule anything out but I don't think so.”

Watson admits the longer season is making it difficult for the athletes to schedule their priorities. “This is becoming difficult for our athletes as they have to stay in shape over a longer period and they really have to study their training and schedule as some of these meets are mandatory for them going toward the 2016 Olympics,” said the president.

“As usual we will support them and do all that we can for them to be as successful as they possibly can and that pertains to our youth right through to our elite. When you look at the calendar not only do we have an increase in track events but our road running schedule has also increased.

“I don't think we have a weekend on the schedule were there are no events planned. This is good for Bermuda as it shows the interest of people in their health. We just need to stay on top of it all to make sure that we continue to grow and move the entire sport of athletics forward and all is supported across the board.”

Cross country series

(8.30am starts)

Sept 21: Chaplin Bay (hosted by West End Athletic Club)

Oct 12: Fort Scaur (Trojans)

Oct 26: Astwood Park (Flyers)

Nov 2: Arboretum (Swan's)

Nov16: Botanical Gardens (Pacers)

Dec 7: National Championships (BNAA).

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Published September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm)

Watson hoping for bigger turnout for cross country series

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