A record number of persons have met early bird registration for the 9th Deloite-Ogier BVI Sunrise Half Marathon scheduled for November 22 officials revealed during a media briefing at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports on Thursday.
“We’re very excited about this year’s race,” race director Kay Reddy, said. “The first race was nine years ago and Simon (Cook) with a lot of help from Deloite and Mark Chapman kicked it off and it was a bit of fun run along the coast but it has grown and grown. This year, Deolite and Ogier have increased the sponsorship and helped it to grow,” Reddy added.
“Another big addition to the race is we now have online registration which has become very exciting because at this stage, we have 72 persons registered—22 from Puerto Rico; 25 from the U.S. Virgin Islands and five from the USA,” she revealed nothing that the bulk of those preregistered are not from the BVI. “We expect the BVI runners will pop along their registration when they know they are fit and they are healthy to do it.”
Reddy said 150 persons are expected to toe the line at 6 a.m. on Nov 22 when the race starts at the Tortola Sports Club in Pasea, where it will also finish. Final registration will be held between 5-7 p.m. on Nov 21 at the Tortola Sports Club and costs $60.
Race founder Cook, who has been away from the territory for the last seven years, said he’s impressed with the 72 registered noting that the first race had about 40 participants.
“We didn’t have this sort of money that you guys have now,” he said of the $3000 provided by Deloite and Ogier. “It’s great to see and Kay has done a god job of promoting it and building the numbers. It’s a thankless task really and a lot of work, a lot of commitment so I praise her very highly. It’s great to see it’s still going strongly and I hope it carries on that way.”
Ray Wearmouth, a partner at Ogier said they are delighted to be involved in the event and partner with Deloite. Reflecting on the short history of the event, he said it has really grown from those 40 brave souls in 2005. He noted that in 2010 the OECS Half Marathon was staged in conjunction with the event as one of many highlights.
“We saw a packed international field and an ex Olympian came here and set the record of 1 hour, 07 minutes and 38 seconds, so from a sponsor’s perspective, it’s fantastic to be involved in the race,” he said.
“It really does reach the community. People come out and support the event but perhaps more importantly we have people that are taking on a Half Marathon for the first time. So we see people achieving some great personal things with their family supporting so it has become a wider event. A lot of commitment goes into this event and we are thankful to be involved and partner with Deloite and look forward to continuing our involvement in the future as the race develops and grows,” he said.
Carlene Romney, a director at Deloite, said they are delighted to be involved again and partner with Ogier.
“We look forward to having our visitors from Puerto Rico, the USVI and the USA and being in the forefront of sports tourism as has been noted, we think it’s a very important event for this activity,” she said. “We look forward to sponsoring it in the years to come.”