Mon | Jan 16, 2017

Winning run/walk

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Participants on the go at the start of The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk.-Photos by Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer
Maurine Saunders, the only wheelchair participant in The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk.
Kirk Brown claiming victory in The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk.
Chris-Ann Lewis (left) is being assisted following her run win.
Nine-year-old Garrett Donald could have been the youngest participant.
Debbie-Ann Wright from The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre was the first female Gleaner employee to cross the finish line.
Eighty-seven-year-old Roy Thomas was the oldest runner to have participated in The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk.
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Perfect conditions as Gleaner delivers with 5K Run

Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter

If Goldilocks were a distance runner, she would have loved the conditions: not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk saw persons from all age groups, fitness levels and walks of life coming out to raise funds and awareness for PALS (Peace and Love in Society) and the Physiotherapy Department of the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Though some persons missed the official warm-up, they got the hearts racing and legs pumping with the not-so-short trek from Heroes Circle to the start line near the company's main entrance. With military precision, it was a prompt 6:30 a.m. start. Seasoned runners took off light years before the majority, and though the morning sun made an appearance at times, it wasn't enough to beat anyone down.

As the walkers, runners and those doing a little something in-between made their way up South Camp Road, there was a smattering of curious onlookers, some looking like they were up all night. In the vicinity of the Traffic Court, they stood by watching, some imitating the arm movements of the participants, and not showing bad form either.

"So there's no music truck?" asked one walker, looking for a little energy. As if the fitness deities had heard her plea, a car with loudspeakers could soon be heard churning out some tunes.

Despite the numerous advertisements and notices, there were more than a few bemused motorists who had to halt their trip and find alternative routes.

"So how mi a go reach home, boss?" one driver asked a security guard. "Bwoy, mi nuh know enuh," came the honest, but totally unhelpful reply.

DECEPTIVE ASCENT

With their legs definitely feeling the deceptive ascent that is South Camp Road, the runners/walkers then made their way along Camp Road, before the short turn to carry them to Marescaux Road.

Another vehicle with dance music might have added a little pep to the step, but by this time any inclination to dance was long gone; the lungs and limbs were just not cooperating.

By now, the slumbering residents of the various streets that run off Heroes Circle had risen, and they were more than amused to see the lengthy lopes and puffing cheeks of the participants.

The ambulance services seemed to have an easy day, though, perhaps an indication that persons prepared and paced themselves well over the course. Down the stretch the runners came just like the thoroughbreds that thundered around the area eons ago when it was Kingston Race Course. East Street came into sight soon after and the realisation of "we're almost there" kicked in. With a cheering band waiting at the intersection of North and East streets, participants asked their bodies for one last push; mission accomplished.

The warm-down, rehydrating, after-run party, games and awards ceremony then followed.

Interestingly, some who seemed burned out on the course found the energy for gyrating to the music of Flava Unit. After viewing their times on the race sheet, participants made their way home, definitely a little more sore than when they arrived.

"It was a absolute success, being that this is the first time we are venturing out to do a 5K run," said Terri-Karelle Reid, the online brand manager at The Gleaner.

"I want to thank all our loyal media, all the health enthusiasts, just everybody who responded so well, and we have people who were registering up to yesterday (Friday) evening, and I am really at a loss for words to express how grateful we are to our supporters," said Reid.

- Andrew Harris also contributed to this story.