A good cause, good weather and a gorgeous finish line at the pier in Frederiksted sums it up for the women participating Sunday in the 32nd annual Women’s Coalition Women Race.
The race started at Fort Frederik with 260 females of all ages running, jogging, walking and pushing strollers. The two-mile route went to Mahogany Road with a turn around and back down King Street and right on Queen Cross Street to the last leg of the race on Strand Street to a run along the waterfront.
Before the race, Alene Springer of Funtastic Soca Aerobics warmed up the women with some lively, aerobic, heart-pumping moves to the sounds of DJ Myron.
Mikaela Smith, a 14-year-old from the Mustangs Track Club, was first over the finish line. Smith’s little sister, Michelle Smith, 9, also in the Mustangs, came in second. Third place was Annie Myrvang, 25.
“I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished,” Mikaela Smith said as she walked around cooling down. “My hard work has paid off to run the distance.”
Mireille Smith, proud mother and assistant coach of the Mustangs, said her girls ran really great and did an awesome job.
Keith Smith, the top two winners’ father and Mustang coach, said he was very proud of his girls.
Emy Thomas, local author and artist, was one of the oldest women in the race at 82. Thomas jogged across the line coming in second in the 80 to 89 age group.
“I feel fine,” Thomas said without skipping a beat or breath.
Ulla Neuburger was the winner in the 80 and over category. She crossed the finish line just before Thomas her category mate.
Fiona Stokes, jogging with friends and her daughter in the Funnerz team, said they had so much fun texting and tweeting along the way it didn’t feel like she did a two-mile race and it was finished before she knew it.
“This race is one of the most important events for the Women’s Coalition,” said Clema Lewis, coalition director. “It’s a fun event that’s all about women, girls and the whole community.”
Lewis said she was happy to see so many women supporting the coalition. She added a group of eight nursing students and one professor from the University of Florida jumped right in and volunteered to work at the race.
“The numbers are down a bit this year,” according to Carolyn Forno, assistant director of the Women’s Coalition. “But we can still feel the love.”
She explained there was a lot going on over the weekend and it’s a busy time of year in the community so that may be why there were fewer women registered.
Trophies and certificates were given out. A Mary Mingus trophy was given to the school with more than 25 girls competing. Girls from AZ Academy, Good Hope Country Day, Ricardo Richards Elementary School, Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School and St. Mary’s Catholic school took part in the race.
The Women Race is organized by V.I.Pace Runners and Wallace Williams. The results of the race can be found on the Pace Runners website.
Forno said they had tremendous support from sponsors this year and they really appreciate all their help.
Major sponsors are Sonya Ltd., Caribbean Reservations Inc., Bank of St. Croix, ADT Security, AARP, Denali Asset Management LLLP and Banco Popular; supporting sponsors are American Infrastructure Development, Isle 95, T.E.A.M. Consultants, Scotiabank and Sunny Isle Developers; contributing sponsors are Pediatric Care Center, Broadband VI, Continuum Care Patrons, Quality Auto Parts, Nancy Proctor & Lavonne Wise, Polly’s at the Pier, Dr. Marc Jerome, Sterisil International and Plaza Extra East.
The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix has served the community since its inception in 1981. The agency dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence, sexual, assault and other crimes of violence has been able to assist hundreds of thousands of clients through financial support, grants and fundraising efforts. WCSC provides advocacy, programs and services to end all forms of violence and oppression by promoting equality for all.
For more information, call 773-9272. Visit WCSC’s Web site at wcstx.org for more information on no-cost advocacy, programs and services for victims and survivors of crime.
Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of the story it was reported that Emy Thomas was the winner in the over 80 category. Ulla Neuburger was the winner in the 80 and over category. The Source apologizes for the error.