Cancer awareness in Barbados scored another victory on Sunday when over 2000 runners and walkers took part in the 2016 Barbados Cancer Society/Sagicor/Globeathon 5-kilometre event around Bridgetown.
The fourth annual event of its kind, sponsored by Sagicor Life and Sagicor General Insurance companies, the run/walk sought to bring focus to efforts in the fight against gynaecological cancers.
Children, senior citizens, industry leaders, some of the island’s better known sportsmen and women and several corporate groups were among the participants, all with the objective of participation and support for a worthy cause.
The event started and finished at the Bay Street Esplanade where visiting British runner Chris Oddy was the first male home (16.54 mins) and Rachel Atkinson (22 mins), the first female to finish.
As part of his winning reward, Oddy took a $1000 cash prize and also qualified for an all-expenses paid trip to Jamaica to compete in the 2017 Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run.
Last year’s winner Oein Josiah (17.23) was second among the men and Samuel Maynard, third (17.27). Carlie Pipe clocked 22:41 for second place among the women and was followed by Ingrid Burrowes (23.43).
Executives of the Sagicor group of companies said they were proud to support such a worthy cause and also revealed that they were encouraged by the growing response to the event over the years.
“The Sagicor family takes pride in giving back to the community and we are proud to support the Barbados Cancer Society and other partners in this endeavour. We are committed to assisting in bringing greater awareness and action in the fight against cancer and also in helping our communities to lead healthy lifestyles,” said Anderson King, vice-president of marketing and communications for Sagicor.
Just before the official start of the event, special guest 99-year-old cancer survivor Rosalie Bailey was publicly recognised for her brave fight against the disease and also cut the ribbon to formally get the event on the road.
A key organiser of the run/walk charity event, and country captain of Globeathon-Barbados, Dr. Vikash Chatrani reported that the objective of the initiative was to bring focus to the topic of women’s cancers, particularly gynaecological cancers.
“We have been going from strength to strength – every year the walk gets bigger; every year more people are aware of what they need to do to prevent these gynaecological cancers…and more people are coming forward to be tested,” he said.
Dr. Chatrani disclosed that to date over $100 000 had been raised from previous Sagicor run/walk events and these funds played a major role in the launching of a new gynaecological cancer and diagnostic unit last December at the QEH.
In sunny conditions last Sunday, runners and walkers for the 5-kilometre event left the Bay Street esplanade and moved onto Lower Bay Street, across the Chamberlain Bridge, down Wharf Road, Hincks Street, onto Princess Alice Highway and then turned around outside of the Pelican Craft Village.
They then returned along Princess Alice Highway, Prince Alfred Street, up Board Street, along Trafalgar Street, across Bridge Street and onto Bay Street for the finish where awards were presented.