Running for Grenada’s children

The Last Mile: Runners at 2015’s race, gather at the start of the line for the Last Mile Fun Run — the shortest run of the three racing distances in Run For Grenada. Grenada’s Minister for Culture Brenda Hood, sixth from left, and actor Brandan Jay McLaren, far right, can be seen in the photo.
Christine George

A Grenada-based charity is calling on Grenadians and the Caribbean Diaspora to run in Grenada’s only marathon for a positive cause.

The third annual Run for Grenada race is set to embark on the island nation in November. Organizers for the race are seeking runners on the island and abroad, to run in the race to support and fund raise money for the country’s most needy children, according to its founder.

“Our purpose is to shed light on the plight and abuse of abandoned kids and to raise money for training programs,” said doctor Karen Lawson, founder and director of Reach Within. “We’re appealing to the local Grenadian community, seasoned runners, and people who want to run. It’s a fun way to help these children.”

The race comprises three parts that includes a Marathon, a running distance of 22.6 miles, the 10K race, which is a distance of 6.1 miles, and the Last Mile Fun Run, which is just one mile and the final distance of the race. Most of the races will take place at different locations on the Western portion of the island — including the capital St. George, to conclude at the Petite Anse Hotel.

Growing to 40 participating runners in 2015, from just 13 runners their first year — Lawson is expecting an even bigger turnout, aiming to see 75 runners this year. Potential runners can register to run in the race on the organizations web site and pay a fee. Runners will be treated to entertainment and some free pampering at the hotel.

Organizers emphasize the race’s inclusivity, also seeking participants who have disabilities.

“It’s for everyone and anyone,” said Lawson. “Long distance running is a test of personal stamina and endurance — and a metaphor for lives. It’s for all ages and all abilities, that’s why we have the Last Mile Fun Run.”

Reach Within was founded in 2008, aiming to prioritize the livelihood and education of children dealing with abuse and abandonment. Many of the organization’s programs are created through fund raising, according to Lawson, and they are hoping to raise $10,000 before the race, counting on generous donations.

“We’re a very small charity but we have a big mission in Grenada to help the most vulnerable kids,” said Lawson. “This race is a really great way to stay connected to the beautiful island which many New Yorkers call home.

The race is on Nov. 20, starting at 4 am in St. George. Funds raised will be used for creating programs for disadvantaged Grenadian children.To donate visit https://www.crowdrise.com/runforgrenada2016

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.
Balancing the odds: Jerry Bascombe, left, youth coordinator for Reach Within, and Boy Boy, right, a colorful Grenadian character who ran last year’s race while balancing a ball on his head.
Christine George

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