By Neto Baptiste
Should the first instalment of the speed walking competition being planned by Team 5AM prove successful, the organisers could look to branch out into possibly hosting a regional competition.
This is according to one member of Team 5AM and one of the chief organisers of the August 8 competition, Patrick Spencer, who said interest in the inaugural speed walk challenge is growing.
“We’re hoping to start at 5:30 in the morning and we hope to kick off no later than 5:45 because it’s cooler. We are asking all competitors to be very honest. We are going to have one or two persons on the road. The Potters Connection, I saw some of their members last week and they are honest people. The persons who came are all honest folks and they are going to try their best to keep it tight and do it the correct way,” he said.
Spencer, who represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 1976 Olympics in cycling, said the initiative was born out of a need for challenge and competition amongst exercise and walking enthusiasts in the group. He is however hoping that the local athletics association could piggyback on the competition and start an official programme.
“That was the ultimate goal, to reach the Olympics and do their version of speed walking. However, we weren’t really thinking of forming an association because we’re hoping that the athletics association can recognise this event and run with it and take it to another level. If persons are not inclined to do the speed walking in Olympic style and they just prefer that speed walking, the other option is to have a regional event and once per year we have it here or we can rotate it. We could probably start with the Leeward Islands speed walking competition,” he said.
The 7.8 miles speed walk challenge will start on Factory Road, just at the entrance to Parham and will end in the Caribbean Cinema parking lot.