The Kingston City Run welcomed just over 4,500 runners, including overseas guests, to the island for its annual event to fight against homelessness. Runners lined up by Trafalgar Road for the 5K, 10K and half marathon.
For six years, the Kingston City Run has dubbed their marathon Heroes Run Di City, as they encourage local and overseas runners to contribute to the homeless. Over $12 million has been raised over the years to help the run’s five beneficiaries — Open Arms Development Centre, Missionaries of the Poor, Marie Atkin Night Shelter, Food For The Poor and Alpha Boy’s Institute.
Utilising these and other donations the charities have been able to complete many projects, including building a skills training centre as well as supported people within the various facilities.
Not only did the homeless benefit but, once again, so did young children from inner-city schools, including Allman Town Primary, St Alyosius Primary, Mona Primary, Holy Family School, August Town Primary and Franklyn Town Primary. These children groups were sponsored by Spanish Court Hotel, Norman Manley International Airport, Couples Resorts, Yummy Bakery, Lasco, JUTC, Kirk Distributors, UPS and Digicel, giving a total of 368 children the opportunity to run the city and experience the Kingston City Run’s Kiddies Zone. The Kiddies Zone provided breakfast and entertainment for all students who participated.
Co-chair of Kingston City Run, Nicola Madden-Greig describes the past weekend as “another great year and we are extremely thankful to all our sponsors, partners and participants, without whom none of this would be possible”.
From individual participants to teams, running clubs and corporate group participants, everyone was excited to make it to the finishing line and celebrate in Emancipation Park at the awards ceremony. This year, gospel artiste Rondel Positive thrilled the audience.
Over 77 prize categories were presented to include age group awards, the largest corporate group won by Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), and Best Hero themed group won by Jamaica Body Building and Fitness Association.
Top winners on the day included Dwayne Graham in the 5K Run in a brisk time of 18.32 minutes, and Kelly-Ann Beckford in an equally impressive time of 21.23 minutes in the women’s category.
Duwell Allen in a time of 28.27 minutes and Natasha McKenzie in a time of 36.34 minutes won the men’s and women’s 5K walk, respectively.
Oshane Archibald completed the 10K in 34.48 minutes in the men’s section, with Olivia Mckoy in 34.48 minutes accounting for the women’s equivalent.
The challenging half marathon that takes participants all the way to Hope Gardens and back, saw Garfield Gordon wining in a time of 1:12:57 hours, with Elisabeth Mondon taking the women’s first-place prize in 1:34:30 hours.
Kingston City Run ambassador and fitness guru Kamilia McDonald hosted both the warm-up sessions at the start and then a cool-down session in Emancipation Park. McDonald, who was taking part for the first time, said: “What stood out for me was the cultural experience, especially with live drumming at the start and stilt men. It felt like Jamaica and Kingston came together for a worthy cause. I’m happy that my time and efforts were placed into something that Jamaica needs.”
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the main organiser behind the event along with key strategic partners Norman Manley International Airport, Jamaica Tourist Board, Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation and Carib Cement look forward to hosting next year’s staging as it continues to raise funds for a great cause and promote Kingston as an ideal tourist destination.
Donations can still be made to Kingston City Run at donation boxes located at The Altamont Court Hotel, The Jamaica Pegasus and The Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, sponsors of the event. Donations can also be made online at www.kingstoncityrun.com/charities.
Published in the Jamaica Observer