Fruit Bowl will host the 38th edition of the Women’s Jogger Jam Sunday, Jan. 26, at 4:30 p.m.
The Women’s Jogger Jam is a two-mile run, walk or jog for women and girls of all ages that benefits the Family Resource Center.
The course will start at Fruit Bowl, loop around the hospital twice and end back at Wheatley Center.
The event was the brainchild of former UVI President Laverne Ragster, who ran the event for two years with little to no sponsorship before Fruit Bowl owner Marty Goldberg stepped in to help with the event.
It was started as a women’s run because “Women feel more comfortable running with other women,” and when Fruit Bowl offered to support the event, they didn’t want to change that even though some males wanted to participate.
“We understood what she was trying to do and wanted to get behind something positive for the community,” Goldberg said.
One of the biggest challenges to keeping the event running for so long was finding a consistent time and date for the event. Organizers settled on the Sunday before the Superbowl because the date doesn’t conflict with any other events on the island. More casual runners didn’t make it to the previous start time of 7 a.m.
The race is organized by Therese Hodge, “who deserves all the credit in the world, because she has to do more and more each year because STAR [St. Thomas Association of Runners] is shrinking,” said Goldberg.
Fruit Bowl provides fruit and water to the participants and Fruit Bowl vendors chip in other supplies. Fifty percent of the registration fees go to STAR and the other half is donated to the Family Resource Center.
Fruit Bowl will additionally donate $5 for every participant that crosses the finish line to the Family Resource Center.
Dave Goldberg, Marty’s son, remembers the Jogger Jam as a recurring part of his childhood and doesn’t mind the “behind the scenes work” because the Jam is a “nice event for a lot of people.”
Marty said participants have come up to him and said that they have been part of the event since they were in strollers, and that is “touching and moving because it is great to see people staying involved.”
The father and son team both spoke about how great it is to see the camaraderie that develops between participants.
The record turnout was close to 350 people and the goal is to get the event to 500 participants. Organizers say right now they want to focus on just getting as many people they can out and to keep the event going each year.
Women and girls can register at Fruit Bowl or Caribbean Surf Co. in Red Hook until Saturday, Jan. 26. Registration fees are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 18. On race day the fee is $15. Tank tops will be given to the first 250 finishers.
There will be awards for first, second and third place in nine different age groups and an award for the team or organization with the most participants.
The age groups are six and under, 7-12, 13-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over.
There will be refreshments, guided warm-ups, health talks, music and fun for everyone, organizers say.
For more information call 340-771-3311.