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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesNot for Profit: St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners

Not for Profit: St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners

Oct. 8, 2007 — The five-mile trek that Roy Watlington made Sunday actually started 25 years ago. On Oct. 11, 1982, to be precise.
That was the day that a footrace he organized with friends Sydney Rogers and Wayne Frederick triggered the founding of the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners, or STAR, which enjoyed its 25th Founders Day Run Sunday.
STAR is a running club, and a very friendly one. "It’s really more of a social running club than a competitive running club," Watlington says. "Originally we tried to support competition, and we still do. When we distinguish a mature runner, we always try to encourage or help them." But more so, he explained, it’s about wellness — "to pursue fitness by walking or running."
Its structure is informal. Watlington once headed the organization. But as he has grown less active, the baton has by default been passed to Therese Hodge, who was there from the early days and now sits at STAR’s helm by virtue of her passion for running and willingness to work. The chairman of the physical education department at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and a fitness instructor on the weekends at the Antilles School Jackson Complex, Hodge somehow finds the time.
"There is always time to do the things you think are important," she says, adding, "… There are 24 hours in a day!"
Twice a month, Hodge and her cronies set up road races at locations like Magens Bay, the Waterfront and the National Park Road on the East End. Some 80 people are on STAR’s mailing list, and anywhere from two dozen or more typically show up for the regular events. Anyone interested in running or walking is encouraged to participate.
These days, Watlington has joined the ranks of the walkers. His knees gave out ages ago, he says, the result of too many marathons in too short a time.
"I once did 10 in one year, so I earned the bad news I have, but I walk about two miles a couple times a week," says the 66-year-old Watlington. "I really miss running. All of us are like that — the ones who survived and still have some legs left were either bio-mechanically superior to begin with, or started late in life."
STAR supports a variety of charitable runs every year in the Virgin Islands by helping with logistics, like marking the course, setting up water stations and checking in runners. The group is also instrumental in the annual Women’s Jogger Jam, a benefit for the Family Resource Center, which aids families and individuals in crisis. In partnership with the Jam’s sponsor, the Fruit Bowl, STAR was able to contribute nearly $3,000 to the center from the February race.
Tourists to the island also benefit from STAR, which has set up road races for antsy cruise-ship visitors eager to hit the pavement. The organization has also served as a sort of Welcome Wagon for newcomers to St. Thomas, Watlington says.
Colette Monroe, STAR’s secretary, says she loves her day job in the V.I. Legislature, but finds camaraderie with her fellow runners. "It’s just a nice, nice group of people and a healthy, non-political …" she stopped herself and laughed, "activity."
To learn more about STAR, call Therese Hodge at 775-6373.
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Oct. 8, 2007 -- The five-mile trek that Roy Watlington made Sunday actually started 25 years ago. On Oct. 11, 1982, to be precise.
That was the day that a footrace he organized with friends Sydney Rogers and Wayne Frederick triggered the founding of the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners, or STAR, which enjoyed its 25th Founders Day Run Sunday.
STAR is a running club, and a very friendly one. "It’s really more of a social running club than a competitive running club," Watlington says. "Originally we tried to support competition, and we still do. When we distinguish a mature runner, we always try to encourage or help them." But more so, he explained, it’s about wellness -- "to pursue fitness by walking or running."
Its structure is informal. Watlington once headed the organization. But as he has grown less active, the baton has by default been passed to Therese Hodge, who was there from the early days and now sits at STAR’s helm by virtue of her passion for running and willingness to work. The chairman of the physical education department at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and a fitness instructor on the weekends at the Antilles School Jackson Complex, Hodge somehow finds the time.
"There is always time to do the things you think are important," she says, adding, "... There are 24 hours in a day!"
Twice a month, Hodge and her cronies set up road races at locations like Magens Bay, the Waterfront and the National Park Road on the East End. Some 80 people are on STAR’s mailing list, and anywhere from two dozen or more typically show up for the regular events. Anyone interested in running or walking is encouraged to participate.
These days, Watlington has joined the ranks of the walkers. His knees gave out ages ago, he says, the result of too many marathons in too short a time.
"I once did 10 in one year, so I earned the bad news I have, but I walk about two miles a couple times a week," says the 66-year-old Watlington. "I really miss running. All of us are like that -- the ones who survived and still have some legs left were either bio-mechanically superior to begin with, or started late in life."
STAR supports a variety of charitable runs every year in the Virgin Islands by helping with logistics, like marking the course, setting up water stations and checking in runners. The group is also instrumental in the annual Women’s Jogger Jam, a benefit for the Family Resource Center, which aids families and individuals in crisis. In partnership with the Jam’s sponsor, the Fruit Bowl, STAR was able to contribute nearly $3,000 to the center from the February race.
Tourists to the island also benefit from STAR, which has set up road races for antsy cruise-ship visitors eager to hit the pavement. The organization has also served as a sort of Welcome Wagon for newcomers to St. Thomas, Watlington says.
Colette Monroe, STAR’s secretary, says she loves her day job in the V.I. Legislature, but finds camaraderie with her fellow runners. "It’s just a nice, nice group of people and a healthy, non-political ..." she stopped herself and laughed, "activity."
To learn more about STAR, call Therese Hodge at 775-6373.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.