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Hundreds of Females Brave Heat for Women Race

June 7, 2009 — The scene at Sunday's 25th anniversary of the Women Race in Christiansted was bright with sunshine and the healthy smiles of the nearly 450 females who took part.
However, domestic violence — which the race raises money to fight against — spreads as dark a shadow over the Virgin Islands as it did a quarter century ago.
"Abuse has gotten worse than ever," said Mary Mingus, co-director of race sponsor the Women's Coalition, after she ran the two miles. "The domestic homicide two weeks ago was especially horrifying. And overall, referrals and requests for help at the coalition have been steadily increasing with the state of the economy."
Mingus said this was the first year she actually ran in the race that she and Wallace Williams founded.
The race itself was about females and families coming together. Such was the situation with Henrietta Nelson, 59, running with Keturah Nelson, 6.
"I am very hot, sweaty and proud of myself and Keturah," Henrietta said after the race. "I am so glad to be able to support the Women's Coalition."
Margery Tonks, 91, walked the two miles with her daughter, Marilyn Tonks. Margery Tonks said she has taken part in 20 of the races.
The heat was intense Sunday, and the first runners who poured it on said they really felt it.
"I was on top of it other than the heat," said St. Thomas resident Ruth Ann David, defending champion and first-place winner at 11 minutes and 39 seconds. "I would have done better, but I didn't have anyone here to push me."
David said she felt good running the race for the Women's Coalition because a friend of hers had very recently filed a two-year restraining order against an ex-boyfriend.
Mireille Smith, coach of the St. Croix Track Club Mustangs, came in second with a time of 12:01.
"I feel like I ran a good race, finishing strong after just getting back into racing," Smith said. "I spend most of my time coaching the Mustangs and not running myself."
Third place went to former 1,500-meter Olympic gold medal winner Fanny Eugene with a time of 12:04. The fourth-place winner was Erica Sweitzer, a teacher at Ricardo Richards Elementary School, who finished at 12:33. Sherma Aurelien of the V.I. National Cross Country Team came in fifth. Team winners were the St. Croix Educational Complex students.
Men and boys were not eligible to race, but lined King Street cheering as the female entrants crossed the finish line in front of the old Scale House.
Trophies and bowls were awarded to the top winners, and the first 100 runners in got a special Women Race 25th Anniversary commemorative pin.
Some of the sponsors of the race were Sonya Ltd., AARP, H&H Tire and Battery, Bank of St. Croix, Hovensa and Scotia Bank.
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June 7, 2009 -- The scene at Sunday's 25th anniversary of the Women Race in Christiansted was bright with sunshine and the healthy smiles of the nearly 450 females who took part.
However, domestic violence -- which the race raises money to fight against -- spreads as dark a shadow over the Virgin Islands as it did a quarter century ago.
"Abuse has gotten worse than ever," said Mary Mingus, co-director of race sponsor the Women's Coalition, after she ran the two miles. "The domestic homicide two weeks ago was especially horrifying. And overall, referrals and requests for help at the coalition have been steadily increasing with the state of the economy."
Mingus said this was the first year she actually ran in the race that she and Wallace Williams founded.
The race itself was about females and families coming together. Such was the situation with Henrietta Nelson, 59, running with Keturah Nelson, 6.
"I am very hot, sweaty and proud of myself and Keturah," Henrietta said after the race. "I am so glad to be able to support the Women's Coalition."
Margery Tonks, 91, walked the two miles with her daughter, Marilyn Tonks. Margery Tonks said she has taken part in 20 of the races.
The heat was intense Sunday, and the first runners who poured it on said they really felt it.
"I was on top of it other than the heat," said St. Thomas resident Ruth Ann David, defending champion and first-place winner at 11 minutes and 39 seconds. "I would have done better, but I didn't have anyone here to push me."
David said she felt good running the race for the Women's Coalition because a friend of hers had very recently filed a two-year restraining order against an ex-boyfriend.
Mireille Smith, coach of the St. Croix Track Club Mustangs, came in second with a time of 12:01.
"I feel like I ran a good race, finishing strong after just getting back into racing," Smith said. "I spend most of my time coaching the Mustangs and not running myself."
Third place went to former 1,500-meter Olympic gold medal winner Fanny Eugene with a time of 12:04. The fourth-place winner was Erica Sweitzer, a teacher at Ricardo Richards Elementary School, who finished at 12:33. Sherma Aurelien of the V.I. National Cross Country Team came in fifth. Team winners were the St. Croix Educational Complex students.
Men and boys were not eligible to race, but lined King Street cheering as the female entrants crossed the finish line in front of the old Scale House.
Trophies and bowls were awarded to the top winners, and the first 100 runners in got a special Women Race 25th Anniversary commemorative pin.
Some of the sponsors of the race were Sonya Ltd., AARP, H&H Tire and Battery, Bank of St. Croix, Hovensa and Scotia Bank.
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.