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Women lead increase in Jill Stewart MoBay City Run entries

Race Director Janet Silvera.

Jill Stewart MoBay City Run has seen a meteoric rise in entries, with women doubling their participation for the start of the race on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

Race Director Janet Silvera credits the increase to a new level of awareness of Jamaicans, instigated by the involvement of several of the islands’ top athletic talents and artistes.

According to Silvera, on Wednesday (May 1, 2034), two days before Friday’s cut-off date, approximately 4,000 entrants have already been received, with the number of women scheduled to participate increasing more than 100 per cent.

“We improved our marketing this year because we were competing with another run. We had athletes Shericka Jackson, Megan Tapper, Asafa Powell and his wife Alyshia, and artistes Agent Sasco, Tarrus Riley and Benzly Hype, helping us to get the word out.

“We did a lot of work this year for Jill Stewart MoBay City Run because we knew we had competition. It inspired us. For us not to lose people who we felt would have attended this… race, we engaged popular social media people,” she said.

Silvera contends that the event adopting the Jill Stewart name this year also figured in the increase in participants, with many individuals becoming affectionately close to her during her year-long battle with cancer before her passing in July.

Stewart was the wife of Sandals Resorts International and Appliance Traders Group Executive Chairman Adam Stewart.

Meanwhile, according to Student Affairs Coordinator Inderia Adjudah and Logistics Coordinator Emerson Whittley, the organisation of this year’s staging is well advanced with the logistical framework being put in place for Sunday.

More than 170 individuals have volunteered their services, which include medical practitioners, one disabled individual, as well as past beneficiaries, and those who will benefit from this year’s staging.

Volunteers are also from Montego Bay Motoring Club, Kiwanis, The University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, Montego Bay Community College, and Tucker CDC.

“We can’t do the race without the volunteers as we need their support in many areas, especially the water stations. We can’t race without proper hydration, with two major water stops with at least 10 people,” Adjudah said.

Whittley added: “We are satisfied with where we are at this stage as we are just doing the final mop-up in tying down the loose ends.

“Drs Sherridene Lee and Barbara Grandison are dealing with our medical and we have the crash kit which will be on-site, a hospital bed, 10 cots for the medical tent, and an arrangement with Cornwall Regional Hospital, which means we have a fully equipped medical team taking care of that aspect of the race, which is also insured,” she said.

The Jill Stewart MoBay City Run will begin and end at the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay and is a charity event for needy tertiary students.

Silvera founded the event 11 years ago, with this year being the eighth staging, because COVID-19 prevented the 2021 and 2022 editions.