Reliving the 40th Edition of Barbados’ Ultimate Race Weekend
It was three days of fun, fitness, and a splash of entertainment at the 40th edition of the Run Barbados Marathon weekend.
Sponsored by Sportsmaxx and Gildan, athletes and sports enthusiasts from UK, US, Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America and even China flocked to the capital and the East Coast of Barbados From December 8th– December 10th.
Return of the Fun Mile
The festivities started on Friday, December 8th with the return of the highly anticipated Fun Mile, which was sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). True to its title, the event added fun and excitement to the weekend as the race route was “glow themed” featuring music, tuk bands, Barbadian characters and a 360 booth.
Participants came race-ready in their Christmas costumes, Minnie Mouse suit and one runner even came as a horse/jockey.
This particular costume was very fitting for the occasion since the Fun Mile was held at the historic Garrison Savannah and was part of the night horse racing event.
Adidas runner Kwasi Kessie from the US described the event as “incredibly fun”, raving about the energy, people and the music.
The Ultimate Race Weekend
After the festive Fun Mile, runners then ‘coasted the east’ for the ultimate race weekend on the Saturday and Sunday. The events included the Casuarina 10k, Sleeping Giant 5K Race, the Joe’s River 5k Walk, the Sand Dunes Half Marathon and the Farley Hill Marathon.
The weather conditions for the day made it a very cool and breezy course for the elite runners.
“This year was one of the best courses and it has been a nice road to run on. It was safe, it was more level, and it made us run faster times than the previous year,” stated Kenyan Alex Ekesa, who retained his title as the male marathon champion for the third consecutive year.
Many new runners also expressed how beautiful and unique the route was, experiencing the breath-taking sunrise and passing beautiful landmarks like the Sleeping Giant.
After the races, local entertainers Leadpipe and Saddis and Grateful Co also graced the stage to end Saturday night with a bang.
As this year was the 40th edition, favourites like the Challenger Series saw a return, which was a mixture of events across the weekend. The challengers included:
- Gold Challenge – The Fun Mile, 10k, Marathon
- Silver Challenge 1- Fun Mile, 10 k, Half Marathon
- Silver Challenge 2- Fun Mile, 5k, Marathon
- Bronze Challenge – Fun Mile, 5K, Half Marathon
Trinidadian Nicholas Romany was one of the brave runners who was up for the challenge. He didn’t just merely participate in Silver Challenge 1 but walked away with a clean sweep.
“I came here hoping for a top 3 in each race and I ended up winning all three, so I am overjoyed with this accomplishment,” Nicholas stated.
He further advised “Whether it is for fun or as an elite runner, I would advise anyone to come to the marathon. The people in Barbados are very nice, the hotels are very nice, and everything is just beautiful about Barbados. The course is a bit challenging with the little hills but everything is just worth it.”
Celebration of Love
The weekend was also a celebration of the running love for honeymooners Adam and Kamila Wasiolka from London.
“We have been together for 5 years and have done 50 marathons together. We were looking for a place where we could get married and run a marathon. We love travelling to marathons in different countries and Barbados seems to be the best destination in December,” Adam Wasiolka stated.
The overall weekend was once again broadcasted by title sponsors Sportsmaxx. You can watch a recap here: https://www.youtube.com/live/IEwGIN7xAzI?feature=shared
For the full race results, please visit https://sportstats.one/event/run-barbados-festival
By: Rhe-Ann Prescod