FRIDAY, JAN. 13: The Bermuda Marathon Weekend begins tonight with the KPMG Bermuda Invitational Mile on Front Street.
And Chairman Anthony Raynor is encouraging Bermudians to come out and support the local and overseas talent.
This year, 56 per cent of the participants are women or girls.
The race begins at 6:30 pm.
“It’s a great weekend”, Mr Raynor said.
“We have over 1,000 people competing over three days.
“We have the very popular event called the Bermuda Triangle Challenge which is three races and three days.
“You will see your friends and family so come out and support us and support the visitors.”
He continued: “This event generates revenue for Bermuda and it’s important for Bermuda.
“Over 600 people from overseas will be competing,”
Asked about the event that would be the most exciting to watch, Mr Raynor said: “Well, I think the people that are going to have the most fun are the Bermuda Triangle Challenge participants.
“Some of them are not as serious as some of the others and out just for the sake of having fun.
“It’s a fun thing to do with family.”
As for who to watch in the elite running group, the chairman said: “I think people usually follow distance running, paying attention to the Kenyans and the Ethiopians.
“If they follow track events, they know the names of the Jamaicans so I would say the athletes from those countries.”
As far as Chayce Smith’s chances tonight, Mr Raynor said: “He was fourth in the mile last year and I think that served as a big motivator for him.
“I have no doubt that he’s going to do at least as well this time.”
Last year, Juma Mouchette announced he would try to break Tyler Butterfield’s record for the secondary boys’ race.
Asked how he will fair, Mr Raynor said: “It’s a little breezy on Front Street, and that’s a challenge. I wish him the best of luck.
“Records are always exciting. People want to see records and I hope he does it.”
Asked why so many people often come out for the events, Mr Raynor said: “This is the 37th marathon in Bermuda.
“So from that, I think some people are drawn to it because it’s held at the beginning of the New Year.
“People make New Year commitments and resolutions.”
He continued: “In today’s world, people are paying more attention to their health.
‘They’re using walking and running as a way to stay in shape.”
Mr Raynor said one of the races to watch for is the middle school girls’ mile.
Aside from the race on Friday, Saturday will see the 10k, and on Sunday there will be the half-marathon and marathon.
The Bermuda Triangle Challenge participants will run the mile on Friday, the 10k on Saturday and then choose between the half-marathon or marathon on Sunday.
And in addition to the races, there will be several events over the course of the weekend including health expos at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on Friday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm and on Saturday from noon to 5pm.
There will also be a pasta party featuring pasta with a slew of toppings on Saturday night at 6:30 at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
Bart Yasso of Runners World Magazine will be the featured speaker.
For more information, visit www.bermudaraceweekend.com.