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Bahamas Half to be held next week

Distance running event set to be held virtually for the first time

Sheldon Longley

 The 2020 Bahamas Roadmasters Virtual Bahamas Half, featuring a half marathon, a half marathon relay and 10K racing event, is set for November 16-22, running from different locations over the span of six days. The event will be held virtually. FILE

Just like the ‘Run for Pompey’ and Marathon Bahamas, The Bahamas Half marathon event is going fully virtual with participants running from their respective home bases around the region.

The 2020 Bahamas Roadmasters Virtual Bahamas Half, featuring a half marathon, a half marathon relay and 10K (kilometer) racing event, now in its seventh year, is set for November 16-22, running from different locations over the span of six days. In order to have performances validated, competitors must show before-and-after race photos, and race miles and times, and only then would they receive completion medals. They can choose to run on any of the six days, but the race he or she chooses to run must be continuous with no breaks.

The half marathon and half marathon relay covers 13.1 miles and the 10K race equates to 6.2 miles.

The event is sponsored and supported by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and branches off into comprehensive cancer care treatment facilities in major cities in the United States such as Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

All finishers of the event will receive a 2020 Bahamas Half medal, which can be collected as of Monday November 23, from 12 noon to 5 p.m., at Palmdale Vision Center located in Centreville. Medal collectors are asked to bring along an identification card and proof of completion of the required race miles. Athletes competing overseas can send in notifications via e-mail and will have their medals mailed to them.

“We believe it’s still going to be an exciting event,” said event organizer and Bahamas Roadmasters President Marcel “Bop” Major. “You can run in your respective neighborhoods any day from Monday to Sunday of next week, but the race that you choose to run has to be run in one session – not part of the race one day and the other part another day or at another time. There has to be a timer and photos before and after the race to validate your performance.”

The nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement or cancellation of a number of sporting events in The Bahamas, and throughout the region and the world, since earlier this year. Here, in The Bahamas, sporting events and activities have come to a standstill, and a number of gyms and sports venues around the country remain closed. Additionally, national restrictions, as listed in the Emergency Powers COVID-19 Orders, have prevented sports gatherings and social events among teams and organizations.

A number of sports teams and organizations have engaged in private Zoom meetings, virtually, and private workouts and sessions are underway, albeit with social distancing and safety measures in place.

Interested persons are encouraged to register online at www.bahamashalf.com or via phone by calling the numbers (242) 677-2182 or (242) 325-3585.

“We want to encourage as much persons as possible to sign up on the website,” said Major. “The cost is only $25 and part proceeds will go to the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Welfare Fund for cancer treatment. We are community-minded and our main mantra is to raise funds for charitable organizations in the community.”

Major said despite what’s going on in the country and around the world with COVID-19, they wanted to provide an avenue for athletes to remain active and still compete.

“We were actually the first running club to come up with this virtual running idea,” he said. “We are dealing with this pandemic every day but we still wanted to provide an opportunity for athletes to run. We believe it’s still going to be a grand event.”

This will be the first time in the seven-year history of the event that it will be held virtually.

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