Okay, ladies: Gear up! It’s time for the 30th running of the perpetually popular Women’s Jogger Jam. Sunday brings the return of the most eagerly awaited race on the island. And this year the Jam needs just 27 more racers to make Marty Goldberg’s day.
Goldberg is the owner of The Fruit Bowl, which has sponsored the race for the last 28 years. Goldberg says he lives for the day when 500 entrants cross that finish line. His eyes light up. "That’s always my dream," he says.
Last year’s race boasted a record 473 participants, the biggest field to date, so just maybe this is the year Goldberg gets his dream.
Goldberg’s own family is coming from Florida for the weekend, just for the race, so that’s at least three – his wife, daughter and granddaughter – whom he says usually come anyhow.
"It’s just such a wonderful community thing to do," says Goldberg, whose enthusiasm hasn’t dimmed over all these years.
And Goldberg puts his money where his mouth is. In the past The Fruit Bowl has donated $5 for every registered finisher. This year it’s doubled the ante to $10 for every registered finisher, in honor of the 30th running of the race.
The event raises money for the Family Resource Center, which maintains programs for crime victims and individuals involved in family violence or crisis. The St. Thomas Association of Road Runners (STAR), which also supports the event, receives a portion of the funds.
Goldberg says he and race organizer Therese Hodge of STAR conferred on the date. "We won’t conflict with the Super Bowl this year or anything else," he says. "It should be clear sailing."
Hodge’s energy is legendary and embodies the spirit of racing on the island. The indefatigable Addelita Cancryn Junior High School teacher is the backbone of the race.
The two-mile run begins at 4:30 p.m. and takes participants around the Schneider Regional Medical Center for two laps and finishing in the Wheatley Shopping Center in front of the Fruit Bowl, where well-wishers clap wildly for each jogger, encouraging that last weary step.
There are loads of awards – one to the three top finishers in each of the nine age categories. And there’s a team challenge award for the team with the most participants.
Pre-registration is $3 for youth 18 and under, $6 for adults, and $5 for STAR members. Half the entry fee goes to STAR and the other half to the Family Resource Center. Registration on race day is $10 for all categories.
Participants can register at The Fruit Bowl, The Caribbean Surf Company at Havensight Mall or Royal Dane Mall, and the Red Hook Shopping Center.
All expenses—including trophies, T-shirts, prizes, advertising, banners and the day’s refreshments, which always include ample fresh fruit and drinks—are covered by The Fruit Bowl.
Early registration ends Jan. 28. Call 775-6373 for more information.