Bermuda Day Half-Marathon to proceed – organisers
After weeks of uncertainty, the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby is going ahead as planned on May 28, Gina Tucker, president of the race committee, confirmed yesterday.
The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the options and in the end the decision was made to go ahead with the 112-year-old race, which was cancelled last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Government is in support of this event and is looking forward to it bringing a level of unity and hope to the community, especially at this time,” Tucker said.
“We will be ensuring the highest level of safety protocol with our runners and I have no doubt they will follow suit. Of course we’re going to be asking the community to do their part in following the safety protocols.
“We have no doubt the community will do their part to keep this event safe.”
Because of safety restrictions the field will be one of the smallest in recent years. Online registration, which was delayed from April 1 to May 1, will open at 12.01am on Saturday to fill the 450 individual and 25 relay team places.
About 70 runners who signed up in 2020 will be rolled over, so Tucker expects the maximum numbers to be reached very quickly.
“Once we reach the 450, it will shut down,” she confirmed. “First come, first served. If I was one of the runners I would be up at 12.01am!
“Unlike any other year, we are really wondering how quickly these places will sell out. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in a few hours.”
Tucker admitted the committee was determined to go ahead with the race following last year’s cancellation because of the pandemic.
“We are excited that we will be able to have the event this year,” she said. “The runners have been looking forward to it, and of course we’re always looking forward to it.
“It’s great that the Government supports this event. We, too, see every year how it brings the community together. Unlike the parade we have 13.1 miles of road that people can stretch out on to watch the race.
“I look forward to it doing what it always does, bringing the hope, the unity, the excitement, the spirit, so we’re excited.”
The race will leave from St George’s at 8.30am and take the runners to the finish line at Bernard Park.
The race started in 1909 and other than last year, just one other year was missed — 1915 — because of the First World War.
The date of the race was changed in 2018 from the traditional May 24 to the Friday before the last Monday in the month so that a four-day holiday weekend can be enjoyed.
Lamont Marshall won the last race in 2019, his third triumph in four years, while Rose-Anna Hoey claimed a second women’s title in finishing 25th overall.
“People were checking because they thought it was cancelled, but for us it was just ensuring that Government was in support,” Tucker said.
“We would not have wanted to have an event of this magnitude that the Government did not support.
“I’ve seen Chris Estwanik out there, I know Lamont has been out there, all running around, and it’s going to be one of those awesome events. One exciting race.”