78.6 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
HomeNewsLocal newsWomen’s Coalition Draws 314 to 35th Annual Women Race

Women’s Coalition Draws 314 to 35th Annual Women Race

Women of all ages take off on the opening steps of the Women Race. (Elisa McKay photo)
Women of all ages take off on the opening steps of the Women Race. (Elisa McKay photo)

Germaine Powels, who walks with a cane due to her arthritis, triumphantly crosses the finish line. She was the last to finish, earning her the "Caboose Prise," but said she'll be back to take part again. (Elisa McKay photo)
Germaine Powell, who walks with a cane due to her arthritis, triumphantly crosses the finish line. She was the last to finish, earning her the “Caboose Prize,” but said she’ll be back to take part again. (Elisa McKay photo)

The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix on Sunday celebrated its 35th Annual Women Race, raising funds that will help provide services for women who are victims of violence.

Open to women and girls only, the race took off at 5 p.m. in Frederiksted with 314 registered for the two-mile trek.

The entry fee was $20 to pre-register and $25 on Sunday with a specially designed T-shirt included. Runners 13 years and younger registered for $1, with no T-shirt included. Many sponsors donated T-shirts to those participants.

The St. Croix Zumba Queens, Diana Asad and Roxanne Serrano led the participants in a vigorous dance routine for fifteen minutes to stretch and warm-up in preparation for the race.

WCSC Communications Coordinator Debra Benjamin said their volunteers were a huge part of the WCSC program. They are helping in so many ways before, during and after the race, she said.

Family members, friends, and community members filled Buddhoe Park; the steps of the clock tower overflowed with folks cheering on the runners.

Sponsors donated cases of water and electronic chips that monitor the racers’ time. Local retailers donated jewelry and gift certificates for a raffle.

Second-place finisher Brigit Klien finishes the two-mile course. (Elisa McKay photo)
Second-place finisher Brigit Klein finishes the two-mile course. (Elisa McKay photo)

“We are very fortunate that many individuals and businesses have partnered with us over the years and new ones have come on board,” Benjamin said.

The Lew Muckle Steel Pan Orchestra entertained and the Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies danced for the crowd.

Benjamin said WCSC prepared special ways of honoring the 35th anniversary and showing support for victims of violence:

– Registrants were asked to include on their application the number of times they have run the race, and those who have participated five or more times would be honored.

– The “My Women Race” asked registrants to tell their stories as a one-minute or less video or audio sharing their own special memory or story of why they have done the Women Race and post it to Facebook.

– The ‘Virtual Women Race’ allowed women anywhere in the country to participate on June 2. They can register online and run the two-miles wherever they are and post their time online by July 5.

Mikeala Smith, 17, place third. (Elisa McKay photo)
Mikaela Smith, 17, placed third. (Elisa McKay photo)

Michelle Smith, Brigit Klein, and Mikaela Smith finished in first, second, and third places respectively. The Smith girls are sisters and they run with the St. Croix Track team; Brigit Klein runs for Good Hope Country Day School. Both track teams won trophies.

Michelle, 12, broke the 35-year race record by 20 seconds. Her sister Mikaela, 17, completed her first year of college with a track and field scholarship. Their father Keith Smith is the St. Croix Track team coach, who says he is speechless by the hard work and dedication of his children. (A Source video of the 2012 race shows a 10-year-old Mikaela finishing second. See link below.)

Germaine Powell won the ‘Caboose’ prize, which is won by the last runner to cross the finish line. Powell has arthritis, walks with a cane and is 53 years old. She said it was hard but she was determined to do the race and she would do it again.

Race categories included children younger than eight years to adults 80 years and older.

Other categories were “babies in arms” and “children in strollers pushed by a female.”

WCSC Executive Director Clema Lewis thanked the community for supporting the Women Race. This event means a lot to victims and survivors in our community. We have created a safe place year after year for women and girls to participate in a healthy activity, with encouragement from the community. It is also important that survivors have this opportunity to see and know that the community supports them in healing, Lewis said.

First lady Yolanda Bryan crosses the finish line, followed closely by her bodyguard. (Elisa McKay photo)
First lady Yolanda Bryan crosses the finish line, followed closely by her bodyguard. (Elisa McKay photo)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.



JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,441FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Print Friendly, PDF & Email