More about the Ani Villas Relay Race
The first Ani Villas relay race was held in 2013. The idea for the race came from a discussion between Mr. Tim Reynolds, owner of Ani Villas and Keith (Maduki) Brooks. They both share an interest in long distance running.
Maduki seized the opportunity to organize the first relay race. When he was asked about the objective of the event in 2013, Maduki replied that it was intended “to help promote young athletes and to give them an avenue” of exposure. He added: “You can never tell. This might help them to get a scholarship and then continue their athletic future.” (Credit – Excerpt from the Anguillian)
The prizes for the race were provided by Ani Villas. In the first year, there were four teams and the Roaring Lions captured first place.
2nd Annual Ani Villas Relay Race
The 2nd annual Ani Villas Relay Race was held on Saturday 9th August 2014. The race began at 3pm. There was not a cloud in the sky which meant it was blistering hot but this did not deter nine teams, each with 8 runners from taking their spots along the 16 mile stretch of Anguilla. The race started at Cove Castles and ended close to the pier in Island Harbour. Each runner covered a distance of two miles.
Nash, photographer and writer for My Anguilla Experience and of course my wonderful hubby, was one of those runners. He was on the sixth leg which started in the Quarter and ended at Best Buy in the Long Road.
We were kept abreast of how the race was proceeding through telephone calls and a text message here and there. When Ira Bloom, Director at Ani Villas informed the runners that the first runner of the fifth leg was at the old Hospital (now the Red Cross and home of W.I.S.E), the runners of the sixth leg crossed the street in anticipation. We had no idea who was leading at this point. Everyone wanted to get the first glimpse of who would be the first to pass the baton. It was a member of the reigning champions,the Roaring Lions, and we cheered them on as Johnny started to run towards Best Buy.
I kid you not, there was an 11 minute gap between the first and second team. We cheered as the runner for the second team came into view. It was Team Beach Bums. There was another break before the third and fourth team arrived and then Nash was handed over the baton.
Four members of Team Black and Gold squeezed into my car and we followed the race. We picked up a tired but happy Nash after he completed his leg of the race and followed the remainder of the race to Island Harbour.
The atmosphere in Island Harbour was festive as the participants, supporters and persons from the Island Harbour committee mingled and shared their experiences. When we arrived there were four teams who still had to complete the race so we were all sure to cheer them on as they arrived. It is no easy feat to run two miles and all the participants were not seasoned athletes.
I caught up with Bonnie Bloom, one of the organizers of this year’s Ani Villas Relay Race. As an aside, I first met Ira and Bonnie Bloom in 2005 when I was working at a law firm. Bonnie was happy with the participation in the race and anticipated that next year there would be an even greater turnout of both participants and spectators. She indicated that this year all the staff and management of Ani Villas were involved in the planning and execution of the race.
I was also happy to meet and chat with Tim Reynolds the owner of Ani Villas and the man with the vision for the Ani Art Academy. I wrote about the Open House for the Ani Art Academy in 2013 and the Open House in 2014. The students are doing a fantastic job at the Academy.
Mr. Reynolds was pleased with the level of participation in the race and looked forward to the growth of the relay race. Mr. Reynolds also shared that he hoped that the race would expand into other categories starting next year with all female teams for example.
He shared that there were two categories for the 2014 Ani Villas relay race. The categories were All male team and Co-ed team. The 1st place team received 1000EC, 2nd Place 600EC and 3rd Place 300EC in each category.
It was also fun to get a few quotes from some of the runners. Pastor Welcome of the Ani Academy team said ‘It was exciting. I enjoyed it.’ Kyle Sullivan of the same team said – ‘I ran last year and our team came fourth of four teams. This year we came third of nine teams. It was miserably fun.’ His teammate Denny Derrick agreed stating it was an ‘intense run.’
Results of the Ani Villas Relay Race
The results of the race:
- Roaring Lions
- Beach Bums
- Ani Art Academy
- Black and Gold (1st for Co-ed Team)
- Den Boys
- Ani Villas South (2nd for Co-ed Team)
- Ani Villas North (3rd for Co-ed
- GL Music
The Roaring Lions placed first place overall and won the first prize in the all male category. This is the second year they have captured first prize overall. Nash’s team Black and Gold captured 1st place in the Co-ed category. There were three females on this team. Shout out to Jonicia, Nicole and Janique!
All the participants did a phenomenal job. My Anguilla Experience extends congratulations to the participants, organizers and sponsors of this event. It is hoped that more teams will participate in this relay next year and that more persons will come out and support these participants.
Our advice to all prospective participants is to start training now. Let’s make this race bigger and better next year. I will be there. Will you?
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