It was a sea of blue in Bridgetown yesterday. (Picture by Nigel Browne.)
THE NATION FUNATHLON FUELLED BY SOL continued its fine form yesterday with 4 000 people moving off from Jubilee Gardens in The City.
Participants included those from different nationalities, races, ages and the differently abled.
However, they ran, walked or used their wheelchairs along the five-kilometre route.
Even some fleeting showers could not deter the mass of supporters, clad in their blue shirts, as they warmed up with the Bajantics Dancercise session.
Nation Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony Shaw fired the gun to send runners and then walkers into a competitive frenzy.
Thirty years ago, the first Nation Fun Walk Barbados was a 15-kilometre road race from Graeme Hall, Christ Church, to Spring Garden, St Michael.
That yesterday’s event was a more traditional length did not stop former Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships long distance champion Dario Grandison from channelling the spirit of the inaugural winner Noel Husbands and crossing the line first among the runners. His time was 16 minutes and 12 seconds. Shamel Maynard was second and Jerome Blackett third.
National athlete Carlie Pipe was the first woman across the line in 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Shonita Brome was second and Jane Evelyn was third.
Rodney Blackman was the first walker across the finish line, followed by Anderson Maughan and NATION staffer Dudley Harewood.
Sophia Waithe was the first female walker who finished. Behind her were Charmaine Belgrave and Donna Blackman.
From Jubilee Gardens, participants made their way down Cowell Street, turned on to St George Street, Prince Alfred Street and then made their way along Broad Street.
They then travelled Bridge Street, onto Probyn Street, Lower Bay Street, over the Chamberlain Bridge and on to Wharf Road.
The route continued on the Princess Alice Highway before turning right at Prescod Boulevard, and then right onto Fontabelle, past Nation House and Cheapside before making its way to the finishing line at Lower Broad Street via Chapel Street.
Not all who participated were driven by the desire to win. In fact, most took the “fun” in the event’s title to heart as they banded together in groups and enjoyed the evening trek around The City.
Whether posing for pictures with a snow-cone vendor in front of Nation House on Fontabelle, greeting friends on their way to the finish line or dancing to infectious tunes from the music truck, many had a blast for a good cause.
Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Accident & Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the Nature Fun Ranch in St Andrew for at-risk children. (AD)