By Neto Baptiste
Upwards of 50 individuals are expected to compete in Sunday’s 9.5 miles Release the Beast Speed Walk competition being put on by 5 am Walkers and Just 5.
This is according to one of the event’s chief organisers and Olympian, Patrick Spencer, who predicts there will be an increase in participation from the first edition of the competition held in August.
“We had 34 persons starting the first time and it looks like you could have between 45 and 50 this time because with all of the protocols we don’t want to appear to be in any big groups because once the race starts it’s going to be spread out and when we get to the finish, we plan to practice the protocols and space out. Personally, I would like to see 60 persons or more but if we get even between 40 and 50,” he said.
Sunday’s competition, which is expecting to be much more gruelling than the inaugural eight miles event, will see participants battle the infamous Horsford Hill as they speed walk from Crab Hole Liquors in Falmouth to Mega Distributors on the American Road.
Spencer explained the rationale for both the start and end points.
“The first one we had, Miss Leslie Roberts of Crab Hole Liquors and Mr Dave Soogrim of Mega Distributors and Kenneth A Gomez, they were like our big sponsors or title sponsors so to give recognition to their efforts we decided to have a race starting by them and end by the other. The other one we are going to have, hopefully, in December and I am not going to give out the secret about that one as yet but Gomez, the insurance, will be featured. So we are going to be using that route starting and ending at Gomez Insurance on Friars Hill Road,” the businessman said.
Spencer, who represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada, ensured that walkers who excel during Sunday’s event will be rewarded.
“The first time we had a first prize of $250 and then it was scaled down to $50 and then dinner for two but we should be giving smaller monetary contributions this time. Also, trophies are going to be involved this time to the first three finishers and a special prize for the first female finisher while second and third should get something also,” he said.
The competition is slated to step off at 5:45 am and carries a registration fee of $10. Interested walkers could call 725-4879, 722 3699 or 7321770 for more information on how to register for the competition.