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Fresh breath


SHERRYLYN A. TOPPIN

Fresh breath

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Changes are coming to the 2010 Powerade Run Barbados Series.
They include from a new overseas race manager to new events on the programme, and organisers at the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) are hoping these changes will bring back some of the former prestige when it is staged from December 3 to 5.
“The race has undergone several changes in the 27 years it has been with us, and this year we intend to again make some changes, as we seek to add some of the prestige the race had lost over the past few years; to return it to the fore of distance running and road running events in the Caribbean, and again try to re-establish it as part of our sports tourism mix as one of the better road races in the entire world,” said Hayden Coppin, BTA sports consultant yesterday at the launch of the series.
Canadian Jerry Friesen, a veteran race director, has been brought on board to manage the series with the aim of making it more world-class.
Among the other changes, a 3K has been introduced for schoolchildren to replace the relays on Saturday afternoon, while the 5K has been brought back and will run the following day with the Powerade Marathon and Scotia Bank Half-Marathon.
Elite runners or the very competitive can also gain bragging rights and win special commemorative medals by competing in three events – one on each day.
Gold medals will be awarded for taking part in the Midnight Mile, 10K and marathon; silver medals for the mile, 10K and half-marathon; and bronze medals for taking parting part in the mile, 10K and 5K.
Schools and clubs can win team prizes of $1 000, $750 and $500 for the top three places in the 3K and 5K. There will also be age group awards for the schoolchildren, as well as prizes for children and adults up to age 70 in the 5K.
BTA marketing executive Winston Carter said these shorter events would be perfect for those not fit enough to run the 10K, half marathon and marathon, but would also be a feeder system.
“We have found that there are some who are very interested in the one-mile and we are hoping that those who run the one-mile would move and graduate to the 3K, and then as we continue, they would move from the 3K to the 5K and eventually the 10K,” Carter said.
The closure of the Wharf Road is causing the organisers some concern, but that issue should be resolved following a meeting tomorrow.
In the event that it can’t be used, local race director Rawle Clarke said runners would travel along Broad Street.
“That is a very technical matter,” Coppin added. “As you know, the road runs next to water and the storm (Tomas) has impacted on the subterrain considerably. Nobody knows the extent of the damage, so all sorts of technical evaluations must be made.
“There is a contingency in place. The route will haveto be recalibrat ed, but that should not be too difficult.” Clarke said he and Benny Rowe check the routes every Sunday to make sure there is no excavation or problems, and he was pleased with the progress to date.
Sponsors Clifford Gooding-Edghill, Powerade brand manager, and Derrick Frederick, the marketing manager at LIAT, both pledged their support for the event.
Here, Hayden Coppin (centre), sports consultant at the Barbados Tourism Authority, marketing executive Winston Carter (left)  and race co-ordinator Rawle Clarke announcing changes to the 2010 Powerade Run Barbados Series. 

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