Half Marathon Derby set to return to past numbers
Bermuda’s most popular road race will add a live streaming feature to its coverage when the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby returns to a full-size field next month.
The announcement was made by the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby committee yesterday that the Bermuda Day race will welcome back former festivities, including the reopening of the Derby to a bigger field after the Covid pandemic.
The 2020 event was cancelled and last year the numbers were reduced because of Covid as Chris Estwanik returned for the first time since 2015 to claim a seventh victory. Rose-Anna Hoey retained her women’s title, her third triumph on Bermuda Day.
The race will take place on May 27 with the Argus Group returning as the lead sponsor for the fourth consecutive year, providing financial and volunteer support.
Embracing this year’s Heritage Day theme of Togetherness, the Derby committee is introducing exciting collaborative upgrades to the race production, with emphasis on enhancing the viewing experience of spectators at home and around the world through live streaming and social media engagement.
“This year, the Derby celebrates the life and legacy of the great Mike Sharpe who demonstrated his unwavering support of the Derby over the last several decades,” the Derby committee said in a statement.
A minute’s silence will be held in Sharpe’s honour at the start of the race. Sharpe, a former track athlete, was also a sports announcer who provided live coverage of the Bermuda Day race up to last year. He passed away last December at the age of 65.
Gina Tucker, the Derby committee president, welcomed the Derby returning to its former numbers after a challenging two years.
“We are excited and thankful for the return of this race to its full glory as it symbolises togetherness for our community, particularly after the strain of the pandemic,” Tucker said.
“We are also thankful for the continued commitment of the Argus Group, our lead sponsor. They have been steadfast in their support of our growth, community engagement and brand development.
“Enhancing the delivery of this event to the community via a digital format would not be possible without them. We also thank our supporting sponsors who provide the vital infrastructure required for race day.”
Tucker added: “Whether you are participating in the race, cheering from the sidelines, or watching from home, we look forward to the community’s renewed engagement in this year’s Derby.”
Phil Davis, head of Marketing and Digital Engagement at Argus, said: “As lead sponsor, Argus is fully committed to the success of the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby as a way of bringing our community together.
“If we learnt one thing from this pandemic, it’s that we found ways to stay connected even when we are apart. There are many who look forward to this iconic event every year and this new streaming format will allow anyone, anywhere, to be a part of the race activities. We are pleased to support this important Bermuda tradition.”
The Derby committee also highlights the support of additional valued sponsors including Burrows Lightbourn Ltd., Kerin Oral Care, Natural Mystic Hub Health Store, PhysioActive, On Track, Bermuda Dental Studio, Beyond Fitness, Smiler’s Tuning and Repair, Sargasso and the Bermuda Tourism Authority who collectively make it possible to host the popular community event.
This year’s race will start in Somerset at 8.30am and finish on Dutton Avenue next to Bernard Park in Pembroke. There will be increased numbers in both the individual and team races, including competition for two-person relay teams.
Runners are encouraged to register early and persons interested in assisting as volunteers are urged to sign up by visiting the Derby website (https://www.bermudamarathon.bm/volunteers)
Online registration opens tomorrow and full details can be found on the Derby website bermudamarathon.bm, with updates also being shared via the Derby Twitter (@BdaHalfMarathon), Instagram (@BdaHalfMarathon) and Facebook (facebook.com/BdaHalfMarathon).