SIMPSON BAY—St. Maarten Road Runners, organiser of the 32nd Around the Island Relay Race on Monday, November 11, says some teams are still looking for runners and is appealing to recreational runners to come to Tri Sport in Simpson Bay to sign up as soon as possible. Level of teams vary from fun teams to competitive teams.
Currently there are 30 teams of 11 runners each registered, compared to last year’s 37 teams. “Our objective is always to aim for 50 teams,” notes Road Runners board member Susy Piscione, “so we are still hoping to get more teams at the last minute.”
As for teams, the French side is expected to enter very fast teams from Avenir Sportif Club, Inter- Generation Runners, and SXM Tri-Academy which won last year’s race in 2 hours 22:32 with SX-Treme Runners 1, another French club, in second place, just two minutes behind. Curacao was hoping to send a team this year but apparently could not get the funding together.
The annual relay race would not be what it is without the participation every year of the NAPA- sponsored Over 60s (now verging on the 70s) Team. The team’s oldest participant is retired Notary Paul Steeman who is 83.
Team Captain Grace Spencer noted there are two newcomers in the team this year, one who participated in the Boston Marathon in the year the bombing took place and another runner from the Netherlands who ran in 2012 when it was the Over 40s team, and who just happened to be on the island.
Spencer is not running due a meniscus injury leaving Liz Maidwell and Mary Wrigley, who has designed new shirts and logos for the team, to run those legs. Teams are required to have two female runners.
The complete team is Mary Wrigley, Liz Maidwell, Paul Steeman, Jose Clarke, Joe Naughton, Henk Habermehl, Rick Reinhart, Mike Ferrier, John Hodge, Peter Rodenbaugh, and Bienvenido Montas.
Mary’s design for the team’s running shirt is a nod to the classic old model cars of the 30s and 40, and 50s reflecting the longevity and indefatigable nature of the team. This year by way of something different NAPA will be offering a prize for anyone (participants or the public) who guesses correctly the collective age of the team. If two persons get the right answer two prizes will be awarded.
To qualify for this Over 60s team runners had to be born before 1960. There’s a 20-year difference between the youngest runner at 63 and the oldest at 83.
The last opportunity to register a team is this week at Tri Sport in Simpson Bay or Marigot. Entry fee is $220 per team and includes commemorative T-shirt, sandwiches and drinks for each competitor. The Team Captain’s briefing is on Saturday, November 9, at Tri Sport, Simpson Bay, all day long from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Batons and numbers will be issued, and the course explained.
The start on Monday, November 11, is 7:00am at the Raoul Illidge Stadium.