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Oct. 11, 2001 – The St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners (STAR) will hold the 20th Founder’s Day 5 Kilometer Run, starting at 7 a.m. Sunday, October 14 from the Fort Christian Parking Lot. The finish line for the 3.1 mile footrace will be at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center.
Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. Walkers are as welcome as runners, according to STAR member Roy Watlington. Although the entry fee for the race is only $2, participants are encouraged to use the occasion to contribute to the "September 11th Fund" through the United Way, which would send these contributions to assist in the recovery effort made necessary by the September 11th tragedy, Watlington said in a release.
On October 11, 1982, STAR was just an idea in the heads of three distance runners, Watlington said. The three planned a 5 kilometer race with the minimum of fanfare, using flour to mark a starting line and a finish line, and establishing one water stop. The runners were Sidney Rogers, Wayne Frederick and Watlington.
Clive Mills and Clement White, who had just gone away to work on his doctorate, had preceded them in planning a running club.
Showing up for that first race were Theresa Hodge, Frank and Toni Jackson, Craig Marek, LaVerne Ragster, Ed Wascoe, and other runners and walkers, who would become stalwarts and future officers of the new running club.
STAR initiated its calendar of official races about one month later and then helped conduct the Virgin Islands Half Marathon, which had been started in earlier years by Mills with sponsorship by McDonald's. STAR's first year on a full, regular schedule began at the end of 1982 with its Kwanzaa Run. In 1983, its Martin Luther Day 5 Kilometer Run was followed by a major Martin Luther King track meet. Two events that would also last to the present were the one-mile Ultrasprint, and the Women's Jogger Jam.
For more information, call Watlington at 777-8183.

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