Proud of the Run Barbados team...Congrats on winning the 2016 National Sports Council 'Sports Tourism' award
Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, a popular destination race among Canadians, was this weekend in Bridgetown and featured two Olympians. (Photo: Inge Johnson / Canada Running Series.)December 4th, 2016 by Tim Huebsch | Posted in homepage, Runs & Races
Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, which includes a fun mile, 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon, was held near the shores of Carlisle Bay, a small harbour off Bridgetown on the southwestern corner of the Caribbean island. Considering the setting, warm weather and post-race festivities, there’s no wonder people “come for the run, stay for the fun.”
Taking a dip in the Ocean is an added bonus after the weekend’s races. There are non-stop flights to Bridgetown from select Canadian cities making the easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles an accessible destination.
This year’s event had two special guests as Natasha Wodak and Lanni Marchant made the trip south. Both doubled in Barbados running the 10K on Saturday afternoon followed by the half-marathon on Sunday morning. Marchant doubled at the Olympics running the 10,000m and marathon in Rio while Wodak too contested the 10,000m at the 2016 Games in August.
RELATED: VIDEO: Lanni Marchant addresses women’s issues in sport to Canada’s MPs.
Wodak won the half-marathon Sunday with Marchant in third. According to Canada Running Series director Alan Brookes, Wodak “dropped the hammer” with 1K to go. On Saturday, there was quite the sequence of events in the late stages of the Colombian Emeralds International 10K as Marchant and Wodak crossed the finish line hand-in-hand. To their surprise, Trinidad and Tobago’s Tonya Nero nipped both of them at the line as the three ran times between 36:36 and 36:37. Inge Johnson of Canada Running Series caught the sequence of events, which can be seen below.
RELATED: See the clip featured on ESPN’s Around the Horn here.
Brookes says that there was a cash prize for top-three in each race as well as a free trip back to the race in 2017 for the event winners. Canadian Matt Loiselle also doubled up on the 10K and half-marathon finishing third in both events. Results have not been posted online as of Sunday afternoon. (Update: Results can be found here.)
RELATED: Also this weekend, Reid Coolsaet threatens Canadian record, runs 2:10:55 in Fukuoka.
This year’s destination race was held as Barbados celebrates its 50th year of independence. The event offers scenic routes, a flat course and a variety of distances whether you’re looking to run fast or want to test your fitness while on vacation.
Wodak winning the half-marathon on Sunday
More KENYAN RUNNERS HAVE dominated the Run Barbados 10K over the years but Frenchmen are starting to come into their own.
Jean Habararema of Martinique was a comfortable winner of the 2016 event yesterday, crossing the line in 31 minutes, 28.65 seconds, almost a half-minute ahead of Stephen Tanui of Kenya. Habararema’s victory in the Colombian Emeralds International-sponsored race follows last year’s triumph by Nicolas Fernandez of France. (Barbados Nation)
CHALK UP ANOTHER ONE: Amy Chalk winning another women’s marathon with son Isaac and daughter Amelia. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
WHAT A WEEKEND it proved to be for Jean Habararema.
The birthday boy from Martinique celebrated in grand style yesterday after running away with the Cave Shepherd Marathon to complete an impressive double at his first-ever Run Barbados series.
Running from Bay Street to Paynes Bay and back twice, Habararema broke in his 35th birthday in the morning by comfortably winning the 26-mile, two-lap circuit in two hours, 36 minutes and 14.40 seconds.
It was almost as easy as his previous 10K victory a day earlier, when the diminutive runner set a blistering opening pace, leaving Stephen Tanui in his wake along Broad Street. (JM)
Tourism officials are beaming over the just concluded successful weekend Run Barbados Series.
Participation of both local and visiting athletes as well as keen interest shown on the road by spectators were noticeably quite high this year and head honcho at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Billy Griffith, said yesterday he was pleased with what he had observed.
The BTMI chief executive officer explained after the conclusion of the series that there had been increased registration for all the running events over the two days. He noted that with respect to the half-marathon, it was really encouraging that the majority of the participants were overseas competitors. About 80 per cent of those who competed in yesterday’s half marathon were foreign entrants.
Griffith said though this year’s numbers were pleasing, the BTMI would continue to work assiduously on increasing the numbers of those visiting for the Run Barbados Series. Organisers revealed that that this year the two days of racing saw about 2 200 people competing which was an improvement on last year’s figure of about 1 900.
On the actual road there were names that featured prominently across events and none more so than Martinique’s Jean Habararema.
On Saturday Habararema won the Colombian Emeralds International 10K in a time of 31 minutes and 28.66 seconds, finishing ahead of Kenyan Stephen Tanui who took second place.
Then yesterday Habararema won the Bay Street Esplanade to Payne’s Bay 26-mile (two-laps) marathon in two hours, 36 minutes, 14.40 seconds. In second place was Kenya’s Kennedy Kemei in two hours, 37.34, while third was Britain’s consistent Neil Renault in 2.41.44. Renault finished fourth in Saturday’s 10k as well. Barbados’ Andrew Brathwaite took fourth place in the marathon.
In the half-marathon that attracted about 400 entrants the Kenyans were unstoppable with first place going to Julius Koskei and another second place being taken by the persevering Tanui.
There were several outstanding performances from the female entrants with Amy Chalk of England being the first lady to complete the marathon and finishing fifth overall in three hours, 27.25. Kristina Hassell was the first Bajan woman to complete the marathon (4: 01.31) and third female overall. She was the 17th contestant overall to finish the event. Britain’s Sally Barker was second among the women in 3:56.26.
On Saturday Barbadian runner Shamel Maynard gave the home spectators much to shout about when he won the 5K. Akeem Rowe was second and Agape Foster third. Nikki Guiver of England was the first women home in the 5k.
One noteworthy performance among the women also came from Trinidad and Tobago’s Tonya Nero who was the best female runner in the 10K beating Lanni Marchant and Nathasha Wodak on the line in a thrilling contest. While Marchant and Wodak dawdled on the approach to the line Nero sped past them to cover herself in glory with a tight finish. Their times told the true story – Nero (36: 36.49); Marchant (36:37.39); Wodak (36:37.49).
JUST WRIGHT!: Bajan athlete Matthew Wright finishing the race in fifth position. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
MAYBE NEXT time Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak will run through the tape. Trinidadian Tonya Nero won the Colombian Emeralds International 10K in the most shocking fashion, coming from five metres behind on the home stretch to steal the Run Barbados race from the Canadians on the line at Bay Street yesterday.
It was anything unlike the men’s race, where Martinique’s Jean Habararema won quite easily after pulling away from Kenyan Stephen Tanui through Lower Broad Street to win in 31 minutes, 28.65 seconds.
Marchant (36:37.39) and Wodak (36:37.49) looked comfortable winners too, with the two friends opting to hold hands and cross the line together after distancing themselves from Nero.
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS. March 2016 – The Run Barbados Marathon Weekend has been endorsed by one of Barbados’ most recognizable companies.
Speaking at the 2016 media launch of the RBMW at the Tamarind Cove Hotel recently, CEO of the Cave Shepherd Group of Companies, John Williams, described the Run Barbados event, like Cave Shepherd, as a "Barbadian institution" and pledged his company's commitment in a three-year partnership agreement.
"As a group, we were seeking out an event where all of our associated businesses could come together and participate and we found it in the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend." said Williams. Cave Shepherd first opened its doors in Barbados 110 years ago.
The race calendar now features the Cave Shepherd & Co. Marathon; the Fortress Half Marathon; the Colombian Emeralds International 10K; the Cave Shepherd Card 5K; the Signia Fun Mile and the Ganzee 5K “Walk for Charity”. This partnership arrangement includes access by the RBMW team to the group's large international database.
CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William Griffith, described their association with the Cave Shepherd group as one that would augur well for the recently re-branded running series. "In seeking a title sponsor we wanted to find a reputable and recognizable brand that would be willing to join us on this journey to take the Run Barbados series to the highest level in the minds of destination runners across the region and beyond. We are pleased to have found that partner in the Cave Shepherd Group of Companies."
Meanwhile Race Director, Zary Evelyn of Island Races, confirmed that they will be increasing the total prize purse by US$14,000 over last year's offering, making it the richest road race in the Caribbean. In addition, airfare and accommodation will be provided for last year's winners of the 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon to return to the island to defend their titles. He emphasized that while they had increased the prize money their main target audience was still the everyday runner seeking to indulge in their passion for running.
Additionally, through a new partnership recently sealed with the Canada Running Series, the Run Barbados team will have access to more than 40,000 running enthusiasts on social media. The new partnership will feature several exciting initiatives during the year including the participation of elite runners, such as Canadian Olympian Lanni Marchant, Canadian Marathon Record Holder and Natasha Wodak, Canadian Women's 10,000m Record Holder.
The 2016 event will be hosted December 2-4, 2016. Registration for the series opened in early February via thisl website.
Hundreds of runners took to the streets of the Caribbean island of Barbados for the 33rd edition of the Run Barbados Series in December 2015. In fact, the revitalized and rebranded Run Barbados Marathon Weekend 2015 (RBMW) enjoyed almost 2000 entries as it re-launched its marathon and hosted four other races. The series, which recently regained its AIMS-IAAF certification, reaped the benefits of an international marketing effort and a new organizing team. Alan Brookes of Canada Running Series noted, “It is exciting to see Run Barbados back up and running, Barbados is such an awesome destination, I go way back with Run Barbados, I even created the slogan: “Come for the Run; Stay for the Fun!”
This destination running series while geared towards recreational runners has hosted its share of elite runners over its three decade history: World Champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, Irishman and Olympic silver medalist John Treacy, British Marathoner Hugh Jones (a six time Barbados Marathon winner), World and Commonwealth Gold Medalist in the Marathon: Rob de Castella of Australia and Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes to name a few.
2015 was no exception with two Rio-bound athletes: Nicolas Fernandez of France and Jessica Draskau of Denmark both claiming victories in the 10K and the Half-Marathon. Fernandez was a standout competitor in the series with wins in the Mile, 10K and the Half-Marathon. Through a translator the 29 year old Frenchman told “Barbados Today” he was very satisfied with his first Run Barbados outing, “This was a nice experience for me and I will be back next year”. The Frenchman overcame slippery conditions in the Half Marathon caused by an early morning rain shower to finish in 1:15.28 comfortably clear of St Lucian Michael Biscette, who was second.
Jessica Draskau of Denmark won the Women’s 10k in convincing style and then came back to win the half-marathon in a time of 1:29.35 ahead of Christine Regis of Trinidad and Tobago. Draskau was a repeat winner, having won the 10K and Half Marathon in 2013. The 2012 Olympian is qualified for the Women’s Marathon in Rio. Draskau noted she just “loved running in Barbados and was so happy to be back!”
There was a strong French presence at RBMW 2015 and in addition to wins by Frenchman Fernandez, the French contingent were top of the podium in the Men and Ladies 5K with Francois Roussas of Guadeloupe and Yasmina Lamotte of Martinique.
The Run Barbados Marathon was first run in 1983 and returned for the 2015 event after a three-year hiatus. With a late decision to re-introduce the marathon there was a small field of competitors as expected and the new organizers focused on the technical and logistical elements of the 2015 race in preparation for a larger turnout in 2016.
Amy Chalk of the UK was ecstatic on her fourth victory in the Run Barbados Marathon. Amy previously won the marathon in 2005, 2007 and 2008. She was thrilled that the marathon was brought back in 2015 and offered praise for the event, the course and the decision to bring back the marathon. She commended the “organization of the event in 2015 as the best she had ever experienced and predicted that on this current path the event could return to the popularity it enjoyed in its glory days”. Chalk, a Run Activator with All England Athletics, hopes to return in 2016 with a group from the UK. Curtis Cox of Trinidad, a seasoned Caribbean competitor, clinched his first victory in the 2015 Barbados Marathon.
A highlight of the marathon was the presence of American Kim Goff who completed her 20th marathon of the Run Barbados series. Kim, an eleven-time winner of the Marathon in earlier years has travelled to Run Barbados every year for the last 25 years to compete in the Run Barbados Weekend. Kim recently shared her memories, “I traveled to Barbados for 4 days on my first trip. I was captivated by the beautiful island. I left behind a dreary and cold winter and was suddenly on a lush tropical island with the most beautiful aqua water that I had ever seen. It is a truly wonderful event with incredible participation of locals and visitors. I have had many travel opportunities during my running career but Barbados is a special place for me. I have been blessed with making lifetime friendships. I am truly grateful for the warm hospitality shown me by this great event.”
While RBMW doesn’t offer the large pre-event expo or the generous loot bags associated with mega-marathons it’s the small-time charm, relaxed island life and beauty of the island that attracts repeat visitors such as Goff and so many others. Runner Sarah McLoughlin is another example, she has been visiting Barbados from the UK for an incredible eighteen years to holiday and take part in the annual Run Barbados event. Sarah’s fondness for the island and her love of running on the island continues to flourish: " It is the only country I have been to where I just relax as soon as I step off the plane. It is the people that make Barbados so special."
The scenic race-courses over the weekend had a Start/Finish overlooking the magnificent Carlisle Bay and routes that wound their way through the capital city of Bridgetown, a historic seaport with the distinctive honour of being part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The running tour of the city included iconic Bridgetown landmarks such as the Chamberlain Bridge (c. 1865) and the historic Parliament Buildings (c. 1873), as well as the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson (c. 1813) that pre-dates Nelson’s Column in London by nearly 30 years. The marathon and half-marathon routes traversed the west coast of the island offering runners spectacular vistas of the Caribbean Sea from various vantage points. All of this combined with the sounds of steel pan, local “tuk” bands, highly appreciative local spectators and a run into the sea after crossing the finish line.
CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Billy Griffith stated that, “Going forward we will be working to position Run Barbados Marathon Weekend as the leading road race series in the Caribbean. The international journalists and travel agents that we have hosted and who participated in the events this year will be instrumental in providing a head start for the promotion of the series for 2016 and beyond”.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) was named the official charity of the RBMW2015 and its CEO Gina Pitts stated that the support would go a long way in sustaining their preventative and rehabilitative programs. The charity will also be a beneficiary at the 2016 event.
RBMW 2016 is scheduled for December 2-4 and plans are underway for unique festivities during this 34th Race weekend in the year that marks the 50th Anniversary of Independence for the island.