NEW YORK, USA — Race enthusiasts and fans descended on Baisley Park in Queens on Saturday for the second annual Team Jamaica Bickle 5K Run. Staged under the theme, Promoting Healthy Lifestyles, the USATF-sanctioned event was a grand display of community action.
Gorgeous weather, a great turnout, a picturesque park (a serene pond, against a backdrop of beautiful fall foliage) converged to make the event a resounding success. It was exactly what the organisation wanted and got.
There was something for everyone. Walkers for the 5K came out in strong numbers — a strong marker of community support. Most of the one-mile runners were youths, ages eight to 19. A few with very big hearts took on the 5K run and did well. The field boasted some of the best runners on the circuit.
The overall male winner of the 5K run was David Alm of the Central Park Racers Club, while the female winner was Inelsi Diaz. Both will fly to Jamaica to participate in the Reggae Marathon on December 1, (having earned automatic entry) and will receive accommodation courtesy of RIU Resorts, Negril.
"We are pleased with the turnout and level of participation," said Irwine Clare Snr, CEO of Team Jamaica Bickle.
"We had great community support from the St John's United Methodist Church, a constituency we are focused on. This is a step in the right direction."
Meet director Sean Phillips expressed satisfaction with this year's event, noting that he expects it to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.
This year, the number of registrants grew by 100 per cent, with 120 runners and walkers, outdone only by the enthusiasm factor.
The Jamaica Nurses Group of New York (organised by president, Claudette Powell), which seized the opportunity for Diaspora collaboration; Carlene Bowen, registered dietician and Sharon Richards, health and wellness coach, all made sure the message of health was heard.
The Jamaica Tourist Board was on hand to promote Brand Jamaica.
It was indeed a community effort. The 5K was presented in association with local track club, Awesome Power; with sponsors Grace Foods, LIME, The Kimberly Hotel, Tremont Fitness, Palaite Pleasures, The Daley Escape, Fountain Pimento Oil and Epiphany Day Spa; Local restaurants: Footprints, The Door, Henrica's Rocatone, SuperWings and Port Royal, providing solid support.