87.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Feb. 22, 2004 – It's about 6:30 p.m., and I'm really tired. I have just gotten home from the Women's Jogger Jam yet again — this being my fifth — I think. And now I have to tell all about it.
A journalist's lot is not necessarily an easy one. It would be so much fun to lie. For two cents I'd drag out the story about how I had to return the trophy they gave me the first time. Maybe nobody would remember. I was five years younger back then and my prose was five years fresher. Besides, this time they didn't give me a trophy at all, not even one I had to give back.
They — the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners (STAR) – did, however, give out lots of "trophies" this year. I got a red-and-white-striped swizzle stick. So did the other 305 females who finished. You get one after you make your first lap around the race route. They do this to make sure you don't cheat and go back to the Fruit Bowl after just one lap, which seems a remarkably good idea at that juncture.
But I didn't, and neither did anyone else. We just kept chugging along like good little soldiers. That is to say, I chugged. Some ran like the wind, soaring, heads up, shoulders back, moving on air, past me. Some jogged, knees dancing along in a steady rhythm, past me. Some burrowed along, heads down, arms flailing behind, past me. Some ran along with their small children, laughing, past me. Some pushed small children in strollers past me.
And, I suppose, if anyone had been crawling they would have gone past me, (but not before I leapt on for a ride). However, it's how you play the game, as we all know, that counts.
But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
First, you meet everybody in the parking lot at Wheatley Plaza in front of the Fruit Bowl, which has sponsored the annual race for years.
You see old friends, new friends and people you don't ordinarily see in this context. Everybody's got their jogging outfits, headbands, whatever. And everybody says it's just for fun; who cares who wins.
Yeah, right. Until you're at the starting gate over by the hospital. Then, it's each woman for herself. I have friends who go each year simply to beat their best friends. Dianne Brinker said, "I have to beat Libby [Davis] this year. I have to. I am so tired of looking at her rear end right in front of me each year, just seconds in front."
Veteran joggers Helen Gjessing, Ellen MacLane and Judy Grybowski were looking over the crowd beforehand (summing up the competition, if you ask me). "It's just for fun," Gjessing said. "In that case," someone else said, rather uncharitably, "don't let me see you passing me."
Gjessing said she has been doing the race for years. "I don't know how many years I've been doing this; since it used to be on the waterfront in the '80s."
The female legal community, a competitive lot after all, were out in numbers. Jessica Gallivan and Ariel Smith were there with their 6-year old daughters, Kari Currence and Kamille Smith. Karin Bentz was running Sunday's race just to train for an upcoming Paris marathon. She had already run six miles for the day. Like I said, competitive. Anna Paiewonsky, a race veteran, had a new entry: 6-month-old Jessica in a babypack, or whatever you call those things.
Before the race, first-timer Rachel Morrissey claimed she wasn't "in shape, [and] hadn't been training." Later I learned that she finished the race in 23 minutes. Oh, well it's all in fun.
Gjessing wanted to know later if she was the oldest runner. Nobody knew that, but the youngest participant, albeit in a buggy, was 7-week-old Cameron S. Thomas-Febres, whose mother, Camelia Febres-Carrillo, is the niece of WVWI Radio talk show host Raul Carrillo.
Sunday's event was the 22nd annual running of the race, which is sponsored by the Fruit Bowl (which provides the trophies for different winners in each age group) in conjunction with STAR.
This year's jam was held about a month sooner than has been usual. "We're trying to do it the cooler time of the year," Fruit Bowl manager David Goldberg said.
Proceeds from the race will be donated to Family Resource Center. The Fruit Bowl traditionally donates $5 for every registered participant who finishes the two-mile run.
Ivanna Eudora Kean High School student Anecia Williams was the overall race winner at 12:17.
Oh, by the way, Dianne Brinker beat Libby Davis by 20 seconds.
Race results by age group

12 and under
– Nickifha Sorhaindo 18:35
– Jamilla Norris 19:14
– Serina Kidd 19:26
13 to 18
– Charley Charles 12:53
– Kayalyn Edmead 14:53
– Julie Casazza 16:29
19 to 29
– Tiarra Kappel 19:11
– Hazel Springer 20:23
– Latisha Prince 20:55
30 to 39
– Damelle Wolfe 14:46
– Simone Francis 14:58
– Kristi Severance 15:10
40 to 49
– Grace Tuma 14:45
– Boel Merritt 14:49
– Carol Lenahan 16:06
50 to 59
– Margot Murray 18:36
– Georgina Febres 18:49
– Cassandra Mallory 18:53
60 and over
– Ruthella Simon 23:15
– Ianthe Baynes 23:39
– Judith Adler 25:04

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