Over 1,500 Barbadians participated in one of the most challenging five marathons to occur in the parish of St George on Sunday.
Droves of fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and ordinary citizens came out to support the These Fields and Hills 5K Walk/Run now in its third year, hosted by the Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness Church and the Ellerton Sports and Social Academy.
The young and old in their neon pink and green shirts could be seen from miles ahead, trekking across the steep country terrain to finish the course which commenced at the Wesley Holiness Church. Some parents came with their strollers and toddlers at the hip eager to complete the race.
The proceeds from the charity walk will go towards Family Heart Beat Ministries and the expansion project for the church building.
Diana Dawson, officer manager of the Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness Church told Barbados TODAY that the event fulfilled its objective of being a mental and physical challenger for participants, as the number of professional athletes participating had increased.
“We find a lot of professional athletes want to master this route because of the hills and the valleys in doing it throughout the country. We have the Eastland Hill which is a challenge for a number of persons and they come out to specifically beat that hill,” she explained.
Dawson revealed that the church sought to communicate to the youth through sports and evangelism, thus partnering with groups such as Ellerton Primary School, the St George Secondary Athletic Team, and the Ellerton Sports Club.
“We are looking to build [the] community [and] show persons there is more than one way to evangelize [by] getting persons in an atmosphere that all can enjoy wholesome music and wholesome fellowship,” Dawson said.
“We are always about sports evangelism and getting in there with the young guys and girls who are involved in sports as mentors, counsellors, and friends… We can’t keep the church within the four walls at all times, we have to go out there and be a part of the community,” she added.