It’s now late January and, for St. Thomas’ competitive population, that means one thing: the running of the annual Women’s Jogger Jam, the 32nd of which starts at 4:30 Sunday afternoon.
Arguably the most popular race on the island, certainly among women, the Jogger Jam is part of local tradition.
It simply wouldn’t be the start of the new year without the race that brings together old friends, some women who first experienced the race in a stroller guided by their moms.
Old, new, whatever – so long as you can run, walk, jump or ride in a stroller – all bets are on for the two-mile race that takes participants around the Schneider Regional Medical Center on the back road which circles by Lockhart Elementary School for two laps and finishes in the Wheatley Shopping Center in front of the Fruit Bowl, the race’s sponsor for more than three decades.
Fruit Bowl owner Marty Goldberg’s perennial energy could fuel the race singlehandedly. He never loses his spirit or enthusiasm. The Fruit Bowl donates $5 for every registered finisher.
Goldberg’s wife, Carol, will participate for the 31st time this year, along with her daughter and granddaughter representing three generations.
The only fly in the ointment, Goldberg said Thursday, is his 16-year-old grandson Jason, who runs track. "He feels slighted we don’t allow men," Goldberg said. "He said we allow dogs but no men. I explained they were female dogs."
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 lauded the efforts of race organizer Therese Hodge, who is as much of a fixture at the event at Goldberg himself. "And she never takes any credit," he said.
Preregistration is $3 for youths 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 the Red Hook Shopping Center. Early registration ends on Jan. 25.
Call Hodge at 775-6373 for more information.