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Runners Burn Up the Road During Labor Day 5K

Men's 5K winner Ian Cuffy in the lead Monday.On a perfect North Shore late afternoon, race organizer Wallace Williams blew his starting whistle for V.I. Pace Runners’ 28th annual Labor Day 5K Road Race.
And with that, 32 runners took off from the starting line in front of the Arawak Bay Inn just west of the Salt River marina.
The runners headed past the marina to just about the Scenic Road intersection before turning around and heading back toward the Inn.
This 3.1 mile distance has been the route of the annual race for three years. When it was initiated in the 1980s it was run on the South Shore beginning at Southgate. It has also taken place in Frederiksted.
Williams, of V.I. Pace Runners, says the race helps students get ready for the cross-country season at school. Young male runners getting ready for the season were the top finishers.
Taking first in the men’s division was 19-year-old Ian Cuffy at 20 minutes 45 seconds. Second place went to Malique Smith, age 12, at 21:04; while third place went to 16-year-old Jared Lake at 21:14.
Cuffy said he was getting back in shape for the cross-country team at the University of the Virgin Islands where he is a junior.
“It was pretty hilly and I burned my quads,” Smith said as he walked around to cool down his quadriceps.
“There were a lot of hills, so I try to run faster going up and take it easy going down,” Lake said.
And as expected in the women’s division, Teresa Harper came in first at 21:46. Second place went to Kara Pomiter with 23:01, and third went to Zuhrisaha Jacobs at 27:28.
T. J. Vandehey, a missionary in Youth With a Mission, ran in his bare feet because he has been fasting from wearing shoes since March. He said he started running in July and plans to do the Pace Runners marathon in December.
“The Lord challenged me to run in my bare feet, making me more aware of his presence and to walk in his ways instead of my own,” Vandehey said. “I write a Bible verse on my foot and look at it as I run.” He says the Lord protects him and that he has only stepped on glass a few times.
There was a post-race awards presentation poolside at the Arawak Bay Inn, which sponsored the race.
“We want to encourage more walkers to come out for our races,” Williams said, adding that
V.I. Pace Runners has joined with WTJX-Channel 12 in a weight-loss campaign.
The next race on the V.I. Pace Runners schedule is the 26th annual Fort-To-Fort Relay—Run For Respect on Sunday Sept. 25.
For more information about Pace Runners, go to www.virginislandspace.org.

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