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Excitement growing as Bermuda Day race nears

The main contenders for the men’s and women’s races in the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby next week will leave St George’s in the first wave of 25.

Gina Tucker, president of the Bermuda Day race committee, confirmed that the top 20 male and five female runners will be in the first group to start at 8.30am. Roads will close at 7.45am.

The cyclists, who will be competing in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race, will start at 8.15am as they head to the finish on Cedar Avenue. The BBA will not have its usual podium ceremony at the completion of the race because of safety precautions.

Also starting at 8.15am on Middle Road, Devonshire, will be junior races for 12 to 14-year-olds and 11 and under, their course also taking the riders to the finish on Cedar Avenue.

Only 19 places remain in the field for the road race, which has been reduced to 450 individual runners and 25 relay teams of four because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The individual runners will start in waves at regular intervals before the start of the relay race at 8.50. That race will involve teams competing in four legs, the first from St George’s to Bailey’s Ice Cream Shop in Bailey’s Bay (approximately 3.75 miles).

The second leg will proceed to the Aquarium (3.25 miles); the third to Fort Hill Road, Devonshire (3 miles); and the last to the Bernard Park finish (3.25 miles).

Runners are being discouraged from congregating at the finish area at Bernard Park.

The number of spectators along the route will make this the biggest sporting event since crowd restrictions were put in place in early 2020. The derby was cancelled last year because of the pandemic; only the second time it has not been held since the island’s biggest race began in 1909.

“It should be a memorable race this year, everybody’s excited,” Tucker said.

“It’s doing what it was designed to do over 100 years ago — to bring hope and unity to the community. And with a lot of Bermuda community spirit.

“It’s exciting. The committee has been extremely busy putting in all the last details. It will all come together.”

Tucker reminded that all participants must be Covid-tested and can go to the government website to book an appointment. Also, anyone who has travelled off the island within 14 days before the Bermuda Day race will not be eligible to participate.

The numbers pick-up will be next Wednesday at the Botanical Gardens between 4pm and 7pm.

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Published May 21, 2021 at 8:28 am (Updated May 21, 2021 at 8:28 am)

Excitement growing as Bermuda Day race nears

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