Centerline Road will be closed Saturday morning from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay as the nearly 1,300 runners participating in the 20th annual 8 Tuff Miles race head toward the finish line at the Coral Bay ballfield. The event begins at 7:15 a.m. at the V.I. National Park ballfield in Cruz Bay.
“At 7:05 a.m. in Cruz Bay all traffic is going to be stopped,” said Jeff Miller, a member of the organizing committee.
He said at the Coral Bay end, the road will close at 7:30 a.m. Miller said all traffic headed toward Cruz Bay from Coral Bay on Centerline Road will be diverted down King Hill Road to the North Shore Road. However, if you’re still in Coral Bay at 7:30 a.m., he said you will be there for three hours until the race ends.
On the Cruz Bay end, Miller said sections of Centerline Road will reopen as the runners pass.
The fastest racers will reach the finish line in well less than an hour. The course record was set in 2014 by Dave Riddle of Cincinnati with a time of 45 minutes and 46 seconds.
Miller said the race will last three hours. Anyone left on the course after 10:15 a.m. will be asked to leave.
As for the participants coming from St. Thomas, Miller said Varlack Ventures will run special ferries at 6 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. Saturday from Red Hook, St. Thomas, to Cruz Bay, St. John.
“They typically fill up so get there early,” he said.
Miller said racers can buy ferry tickets in advance at the Red Hook ferry terminal but they should make sure they’re for the Varlack trips. Transportation Services also runs this route, but they are not making the 8 Tuff Miles runs.
An awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at Mongoose Junction shopping center in Cruz Bay.
“It’s a pig roast,” Miller said, adding there are slews of door prizes but the winners have to be present at the party to win.
Miller said last year’s male winner, Paul Jones of Apex, N.C., is expected to participate again this year.
“A lot of the top men are returning,” he said.
Online registration for the event is closed but in person registration continues until 8 p.m. Thursday at the Tap Room in Mongoose Junction.
The race weekend kicks off Friday with an All You Can Eat Pasta dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. at Cruz Bay Landing restaurant. The money raised benefits the St. John Cancer Fund.
The Cancer Fund will also hold a Recovery Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Oppenheimer Beach.
Miller said the event depends on community involvement, including the Police and Fire Departments, St. John Rescue, V.I. National Park and the volunteers who work at the event and staff the water stations along the route.
For more on 8 Tuff Miles, visit www.8TuffMiles.com.