Numerous individuals at home and abroad now have the opportunity to participate in the Sagicor SIGMA Corporate Run with the introduction of the ‘My Sigma Virtual Run’ for this year’s 22nd staging of the event.
Organisers of the SIGMA Corporate Run, regarded as the Caribbean’s largest road race, brought about the concept to not only raise more funds for their beneficiaries, but also to include those who might not be able to turn up for the event on February 16.
According to Gina Harrison, co-race director, with the ‘My Sigma Virtual Run’, individuals can complete the 5.5K anywhere and time of their choosing, but it must be done between February 14 and 16.
Those individuals will then be required to submit their time to the Sigma Run team for inclusion as a participant. Each participant will be sent a finisher’s certificate and a Sigma Run memorabilia.
Registration for the My Sigma Virtual Run opens on January 20 at www.runningeventsja.com with a cost of J$2,500 JMD or US$25.
“It (Virtual Run) is actually a growing community; it’s something that probably started the last five years and you find that there are a lot of virtual runs and all these runs have a charitable cause that are donated to.
“So these are people who hear about the causes and want to support the event but are not in that particular location. So you can now do your own run on a treadmill or you can do it around your neighbourhood,” Harrison explained, while addressing yesterday’s Jamaica Observer’s Monday Exchange.
“You don’t have to do it on that day at that particular time, but it would be nice if you’re on Facebook streaming live. But we need to get other persons involved and so we hope to continue it year after year and the monies raised will go to the beneficiaries selected for that year,” she added.
Though the Sigma Run is still well over 33 days away, Harrison, who works alongside expert road race organiser, Alfred “Frano” Francis, pointed out that plans for the race day execution are well under way.
“The Sigma engine is something that I think is fairly well laid out, so in terms of race execution, we’re well advanced. Race day is just over 30 days away and at this point, all we’re doing is fine-tuning.
“We have already placed orders for all the various equipment and stuff like that, making sure that we have all the proper approval for use of the road, and all that, so all of that background stuff is going on. The biggest part is the marketing of the race, making sure to get the registrations in,” Harrison shared.
With the aim being to always up their performance from the previous year, Harrison revealed that another new component will also be in play for this year’s Run to further improve the participants’ experience.
“We’re adding an additional timing split, so now we’re doing a 2K split and a 4K split, plus we’re adding more equipment at the start and at the finish, particularly at the start.
“Because there has always been a challenge with so many people crossing the timing mats all at the same time, we’re now putting in a backup mat for the first time at the start. So as you can see, we want to up the game constantly,” she noted.
Meanwhile, fitness instructor and motivational speaker Shani McGraham-Shirley, who along with Ian “Ity” Ellis, are this year’s patrons, welcomes the opportunity to be a part of an event that goes hand in hand with her passions.
“I am honoured to be a part of this. I love the fact of marrying two things — taking care of your own wellness and health and giving back and helping others — and that’s what Sigma run embodies.
“When people know they’re going to do a run, they become more mindful of the food they’re eating, their level of hydration, or start walking around the neighbourhood and getting their cardio up. So I like how it forces people, because they want to give to the cause, but in turn, it forces them to start taking better care of themselves. So that’s the first thing and I love that,” McGraham-Shirley reasoned.
Some 27,000 individuals are expected to turn out for the Sagicor SIGMA Corporate Run which will be in aid of the Bustamante Hospital for Children Special Care Nursery, The Clifton Boys’ Home and Savanna-la-Mar Hospital’s Maternity and New-Born Unit.