November 14, 2018
For the first time in its history, the Exuma Marathon was able to announce the two sweetest words for any event in The Bahamas: sold out.
Nearly 250 runners from as far away as Holland and Ireland packed the starting line last Saturday in Exuma, all united in a race that has become a highly anticipated staple in the Bahamian tourism calendar.
Not a single shirt or race number was left over, inspiring last-minute runners to simply jump into the crowd, just to participate.
Young and old, tourist and Bahamian, swift runners and slow walkers all set off to pay homage to Pompey, the heroic slave who led a rebellion on the island almost 200 years ago.
“This is a special event,” said Doug Flannery, the Senior Director of Operations of the TCS New York City Marathon, who flew in with a group just to experience it.
“It has a distance for every level of fitness that will challenge even the most seasoned athletes.
The community involvement and Exuma hospitality makes this a must-do destination race. It’s a certainty that the event will again sell out in 2019. We are honored to participate alongside the Exuma Marathon team.”
The New York City Marathon typically attracts around 50,000 runners, making it the largest of its kind in the world.
But it is exactly the community integration, cultural relevance and authenticity of Exuma Marathon that makes this event special in the eyes of tourists.
Hotels, tour boat operators, taxi drivers and restaurants all benefited from the sold-out event.
Once again, Pauline Davis-Thompson, the two-time Bahamian gold medalist, joined the race to drape a medal around each and every neck that crossed the finish line.
“This is the only event I’ve been involved with where you get to dance at the finish, receive your medal from an Olympic gold medalist and enjoy the warmth of the Bahamian spirit at every turn,” said Lacie Flannery, Event Director at the Advocate health Care International Chicago 5K Race. “Add that to the bluest shades of ocean you’ve ever seen as a backdrop and you have an event that is truly paradise.”
Exuma Marathon features races for all ages, with the most impressive being the Run for Pompey, a grueling 50K race.
This year, in striking solidarity, Michelle Gibson and Shavaughn Blades, from Nassau, crossed the finish line together with a time of 6:39:47. Elaine McAunulty, from Ireland, won the full marathon with a time of 5:55:14.
Other races included a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and 2K “George Town Dash”, making the event accessible for young children and older participants.
At its core, Exuma Marathon focuses on community engagement and offering an integral, cultural experience for all.
Last Saturday was the 4th installment. Exuma Marathon is completely non-profit, with proceeds from the race going towards the annual Pompey Scholarship, awarded to a student in Exuma each year so he or she can attend college or university. Most recently, Deyonte Ferguson from L N Coakley took home the prize, and she is now attending Holland College in Prince Edward Island in the east coast of Canada.
“There is no doubt that this was our best year yet,” said Kevin Taylor, who founded the race with Jeff Todd, the Director of Communications for GIV Bahamas Inc.
“I think the sky is the limit for Exuma Marathon. It is a community effort in every sense of the word, from our volunteers, to the nurses at the hospital, the police officers and countless others that help us put it together.”
The race is supported by its four-time title sponsor BAF Financial & Insurance.
Other sponsors include GIV Bahamas Inc., the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Aliv, Sands Beer, Caribbean Bottling Company, Grand Isle Resort, Peace & Plenty, The Swimming Pig, Catch A Fire, Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill, Glinton, Sweeting O’Brien, BahamasLocal, Breezes, Cash N Go and Diane Phillips and Associates.
Exuma Marathon also partnered with the Bahamas Half, presented by Bahamas Roadmasters, which kicks off from Arawak Cay in Nassau on November 18th at 6am.
The next Exuma Marathon is scheduled for November 9th, 2019.
Third time’s a charm as Run for Pompey – October 6 to October 8 – welcomes a new sponsor and partnership with National Family Island Regatta
A senior at L N Coakley High School in Exuma became the second recipient of The Pompey Scholarship this week, with ambitious plans to study in Canada this fall and return to Exuma as a primary school educator.
Demi Rolle, whose favourite subjects include English and history, will join her friend Troyann Forbes, the first winner of this scholarship, at Acadia University on the Canadian east coast.
“I was really just stunned. Me? Really? When they called my name, I couldn’t believe it. It was really exciting,” Rolle said, who picked up her over-sized cheque at L N Coakley’s graduation ceremony, held at Sandals Emerald Bay last Tuesday.
“I plan to come back home [to Exuma], but I want to get that experience abroad as well and then perhaps open up my own pre-school when I return. I heard it is very nice in Canada and I have friends over there.”
Rolle’s big win is the end result of last year’s Run for Pompey, the second installment in an annual event that is rapidly becoming a fixture on the sports tourism calendar.
As the old saying goes, the third time’s a charm. The next Run for Pompey, taking place over National Heroes Day Weekend from October 6 to October 8 in Exuma, promises to be largest yet, featuring a new collaboration with the National Family Island Regatta. On October 7, or race day, runners from The Bahamas and abroad will be treated to a festival atmosphere in the park with a full bar, food stalls, Bahamians entertainment and a “mini-regatta” in Elizabeth Harbour.
The event is led by title sponsor BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Limited and MRI Nassau.
GIV Bahamas Inc., the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Grand Isle Resort, Sands Beer, Caribbean and Bottling Company, Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill, Catch A Fire, Chat N’ Chill, BahamasLocal.com, SuperClubs Breezes and Diane Phillips & Associates round out Run for Pompey’s strong network of sponsors.
Legendary “Golden Girl” Pauline Davis-Thompson will serve as Run for Pompey’s patron for the third consecutive time, draping medals around each and every neck at the finish line. She also provides a special keynote address at Grand Isle’s pasta night for runners the night before the race.
“The level of support for this event has been outstanding,” said Jeff Todd, Director of Communications at GIV Bahamas Inc., who founded the race with Kevin Taylor, the owner of DreamKatcher Media. “With the race as its centerpiece, Pompey is growing into a weekend-long celebration of Bahamian history and culture. The fact it takes place on National Heroes Day Weekend only makes Run for Pompey more poignant. Registration is already very strong and we expect a huge turnout in our third year.”
In 1830, Pompey, a 32-year-old slave, defied a transfer order on Exuma that would have separated 77 men, women and children from their families. While his rebellion was eventually squashed, it is widely seen as a key moment in the Bahamian fight for freedom.
To commemorate his memory, Run for Pompey features races for all ages, skill levels and abilities, including the 2K “George Town Dash”, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and the country’s first and only 50K ultra marathon. All races are professionally timed. Past events have attracted hundreds of runners from various countries, including Canada, the United States, the UK and The Bahamas.
Don Barr, the principal of L N Coakley High School, believes the history of Pompey is an essential ingredient in the event and the educational process.
“From the historical aspect of it, students know of Pompey, and the fact there is a whole committee and event surrounding it all, that in itself deserves praise,” he explained. “These scholarships means a lot to us. I believe it will inspire more students to do the same thing and follow in Demi’s footsteps.”
With two Pompey Scholarship winners now at Acadia University, the approach appears to be working, as students from Exuma continue to write their own page in the Pompey history books.
The donation will be paid directly to Acadia University on Rolle’s behalf by the Exuma Foundation of Canada.
To learn more about the Run for Pompey and sign up for the 2017 event, you can visit its website at https://runforpompey.com/
THE TRIBUNE | Wedesday. August 3. 2016 | PAGE 7
By ALEXANDER HAWKINS
GOING into its second year, more participants a r e expected to hit the roads for Run for Pompey in October in Exuma, a n event which celebrates Bahamian his- tory,cultureandsport,ac- cording to organisers a n d tourism officials yesterday.
More than 2 0 0 people from several countries took part in the inaugural Run forPompeylastyearand officials believe this year’s event, set for October 7 for 9 and expected to add at least 6 0 0 room nights during Exuma’s typically slow period, will draw even more. BAF Financial & In- surance L t d will again b e the title sponsor.
Run for Pompey sees runners compete in six distance races – 2km ‘Georgetown Dash’, 5km, 10k half marathon, marathon and the gruelling ultra marathon (50km), the only one in The Bahamas – to raise money for a scholarship for Exuma’s best and brightest students.
The racers run in the footsteps if Pompey, the slave who risked his life to sail to New Providence to convince the Governor of The Bahamas not to allow the splitting up of slave families with whom he lived with. In 1830, the then 32-year- old Pompey led a rebellion against h is British plantation owner. Lord John Rolle, who had declared that Pompey and 76 other slaves would be moved from Exuma to Cat Island. Local historians have said that Pompey’s rebellion marked the birth o f th e “freedom fight” that concluded with the emancipation o f local slaves in 1838.
Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Chester Cooper, the president of BAF and Pauline Davis-Thompson, The Bahamas’ Olympic gold medal winner descended from Exuma, attended the launch.
Mr. Cooper said of Pompey that he “symbolises the spirit of fighting for what you believe in.” All proceeds from the event are channeled into an educational scholarship for your Exumians, which last year send one young lady to Acadia University in Canada.
The Ministry o f Tourism also believes that this event can be a boon for the economy o f Exuma. “Pompey is one of our first national heroes, so it’s appropriate that this Run will be held on National Heroes Day,” Mr Thompson said. “Run for Pompey has all the elements of a tourism winner, opportunities to bring visitors and locals together for a weekend of activities that brings focus to Exuma’s unique history and stunning beauty.”
The Run for Pompey luring guests to Exuma in October also coincides with the Ministry’s “Bahamas Love” calendar, a year of romance with a different focus each month, noted Mr Thompson.
The Nassau Guardian | Wednesday, August 3,20161 | Sports Section thenassauguardian.com
Guardian Sports Editor: SHELDON LONGLEY email@example.com
The event that transformed distance running in the out islands last year, adding popularity and prestige, is back, and once again, set for the National Heroes Day holiday weekend in Exuma, Bahamas.
The 2nd Annual Run for Pompey, featuring six differ-ent runs, will be held October 7-9,2016, with a starting point at the regatta site in the island’s capital, George Town. Interested persons could register for the two kilometer (k), 5k, lok, half marathon, full marathon or 50k ultra marathon races.
The event is expected to showcase Exuma and everything the island has to offer once again. Race day is actually set for Saturday October 8. There will be a number of festivities surrounding the actual event.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, we are delighted to be sponsors with BAF Financial for the second annual Run for Pompey,” said Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Tourism. “Pompey is actually one of the first national heroes of The Bahamas, so it’s only fitting that this event will be held on the National Heroes Day holiday weekend. Also, Exuma is an excellent venue to host this event.
We look at Exuma as one of the natural wonders of the world. When you look at the beautiful blue waters and the international sensations such as the swimming pigs, you come to realize that the island has a lot to offer. It is a great honor for the Ministry of Tourism to participate in this event. This event brings focus to Exuma, and the opportunity for us to promote it.”
About 200 participants took part in the inaugural running of the event last year — 25-30 percent of which were foreign guests. Thompson said that they are expecting an increase this year, especially with there being regular non-stop flights from Miami and Atlanta in the United States, and Toronto in Canada, into Exuma. With that, he expects the event to add at least 600 room nights during Exuma’s typically slow period, thereby creating a great boost to the economy.
Sandy Morley, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BAF Financial & ‘Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd., said that they were elated to come on board as the title sponsor of the event once again.
“It is with great pleasure that BAF announces its sponsorship with the Run for Pompey,” said Morley. “Pompey symbolizes the underlying spirit to fight for what you believe in, and to push yourself to achieve your goals no matter the circumstances. Pompey fought to keep the families of slaves together. Today, many of us fight for the future of The Bahamas. Pompey displayed tenacity, pride and commitment in his quest to have the plight of slaves on Exuma brought to light.
“BAF was blown away with the popularity of last year’s event and couldn’t wait to get on board again. This event speaks to BAF pride and commitment to the history, culture and community of Exuma. The best part for us from a year ago, was that part proceeds from this event went toward a scholarship in helping to better the life of a resident from Exuma. We would like to express our true appreciation for being afforded the opportunity to partner with such a prestigious event. We are proud to be a part of it.”
Pompey himself was one of thousands of slaves in the islands during the early 1800s. He led a slave revolt and uprising that eventually led to British Governor of The Bahamas at that time ruling in their favor in allowing slaves to remain with their families on one island, Exuma.
Pompey was hailed as a hero, though later receiving 39 lashes as punishment. His actions is considered a key precursor to the emancipation in The Bahamas in August 1838. Run for Pompey represents a movement to further honor his memory, providing an annual schol- arship for students of E.xu- ma in need. Last year. Troyann Forbes, a student of L.N. Coakley Senior High School, was the recipient of the scholarship. She plans to attend Acadia University in the fall.
Once again, Olympic gold medalist Pauline Davis-Thompson is serving as the official patron of the event.
“It was truly a pleasure and delight to be the patron for the Run for Pompey last year, and to do it again,” said Davis-Thompson. “In the beginning. I did not know a lot about Mr. Pompey, but I now realize that persons like myself stand on his broad shoulders. This is the indomitable spirit where the Bahamian people came from and this is where one would have gotten that from.”
Davis-Thompson said that the island of Exuma holds a special place in her heart because it is the origin of her. grandfather, Thomas Davis.
“I’m proud as a Bahamian to be a part of this great oranization. I’m proud that BAF is sponsoring this event for a second time in a row.” she said. “For those of you who weren’t there last year, you must come this year. The atmosphere was just amaz- ing, and the island is just beautiful. You must come, you must bring your running shoes, and you must participate because Pompey got it all started for us.”
Representing the host hotel, the Grand Isle Resort & Spa, Sherial Mortimer said they are glad to he on hoard, and are truly looking forward to the event. The Grand Isle Resort And Spa will host a pasta night on the Friday night of the event.
“Grand Isle is aboard because Pompey is such an important part of Exuma’s history.” said .Mortimer. “Exuma is a beautiful island, and bringing this event to the forefront, it was a no brainer for us to get on board as a primary sponsor again this year.”
The Run for Pompey event is being promoted as another huge extravaganza in sports tourism’s “Sports in Paradise” brand. At least five major international events are planned to be hosted in The Bahamas next year.
“Part of our strategy is to go after sports tourism and bring tourists to this destination,” said Deputy Director General Thompson. “This is actually bringing sports tourism to the Family Islands, so it’s great in terms of bringing awareness to the islands and bringing eco- nomic activity to the island. People will come to the islands and spend their money on the hotels, transportation and also restaurants
and the local businesses, so this particular event is really a shot in the arm for Exuma.”
The Run for Pompey also coincides with the ministry’s “Bahamas Love” calendar, a year of romance with a dif-ferent focus each month noted the Deputy Director General.
Interested persons can register for the event on the website: https://runforpompey.com/registration/
It was more than 185 years ago that Pompey, a slave living in Exuma, sparked a rebellion that stopped a transfer order that would have separated 77 men, women and children from their families.
On a sunny day in Emerald Bay, L N Coakley High School helped write the next page in Bahamian history when a young woman was awarded the first ever Pompey Scholarship for her commitment not only to her studies, but the community at large.
The best part? Troyann Forbes said she never saw it coming.
“It feels wonderful and it is very overwhelming. I did not expect it at all,” Forbes said, who will a
ttend Acadia University in Canada this fall to study Biology. “I am just so grateful.”
The Pompey Scholarship is the aftermath of the inaugural Run for Pompey, held last October during National Heroes Day Weekend. It attracted more than 200 runners from four different countries, including Canada, the United States, the UK and the Bahamas. Featuring a 2K “George Town Dash”, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and the country’s first and only 50K “ultra marathon” race, Run for Pompey takes to the streets of Exuma once more on October 9, 2016.
The event features commemorative Pompey medals for all participants, wood-carved trophies for the winners by age category and even a special “Pasta Night Party” the evening before the race at Grand Isle Resort, the official hotel partner.
Legendary “Golden Girl” Pauline Davis-Thompson will again serve as Run for Pompey’s patron and drape medals around every neck at the finish line, while offering remarks during the Pasta Night and at L N Coakley High School.
From left: Chester Cooper, President of BAF Financial (Bahamas) Limited and Title Sponsor of Run for Pompey ; Troyann’s mother ; Troyann Forbes, winner of The Pompey Scholarship 2016; Lynnmore Taylor, GIV Bahamas Inc.; Danny Stratchan, Board Member at Exuma Foundation of Canada. CREDIT: KEVIN TAYLOR
The latter, L N Coakley High School, and its bright young minds, are the inspiration behind the event for co-founders Kevin Taylor, the owner of DreamKatcher Media, and the team at GIV Bahamas Inc in Exuma.
“It is a proud moment today,” said Lynmore Taylor, who represented GIV Bahamas Inc.
“This is our first scholarship and we plan to do many more. We are proud to be an organization based on community and helping young people.”
GIV Bahamas Inc. is joined by a number of sponsors, including BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Limited, MRI Nassau and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
“We believe Run for Pompey cements the legacy, history and culture of Exuma,” said Chester Cooper, the President of BAF Financial and title sponsor of the race. “Exuma is a magnificent place. Pompey has a magnificent story. The legacy and history, mixed with the event itself, on the marathon and tourism calendar of the Bahamas, make this a magnificent offering.”
Cooper, who was on hand to present The Pompey Scholarship, added that BAF’s support of Run for Pompey “is a win-win and no-brainer for BAF”.
Other important sponsors of Run for Pompey include Caribbean Bottling Company (official hydration partner), Sands Beer (official beer), Grand Isle Resort (official hotel), Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill, Catch a Fire, February Point, BahamasLocal.com, Sports 4 and Chat N Chill.
The donation for The Pompey Scholarship will be made to Acadia University by the newly formed Exuma Foundation of Canada, which has provided a unique off-shoot of the existing Exuma Foundation.
Danny Strachan, the General Manager and Treasurer of the Exuma Foundation, and a Board Member of the Exuma Foundation of Canada, believes the two organizations will have a “tremendous impact” on the community of Exuma.
He also commended GIV Bahamas Inc and the Exuma Foundation of Canada for their efforts to bring about an annual, world-class event for the island.
“We want to improve the quality of life for all Exumians and we will continue to work together to accomplish this,” he explained. “She has been a very strong community leader in sports, academics, church, and really trying to improve the whole community. That is why she was chosen.”
And another amazing moment for Run For Pompey! With the 1st Ever Bahamian Female runner to finish an Ultra Marathon!!
Marilyn Simmons Bowe!!! What an incredible run!
Its oficial!! Run for Pompey has the pleasure to award the first Bahamian to ever finish an Ultra Marathon!! Stephen Pintard is embraced with such excitement by patron, Pauline Davis-Thompson ! HISTORIC Moment no doubt!
Winner of the Half Marathon, Miami based marathon runner Frankie Ruiz (Second from left) poses with Run for Pompey’s Jeff Todd (Middle) and the delightful medal guardians!
Race Day! – Mid Morning Segment
Pauline Davis-Thompson embraces a runner who powers through to the end
One of our #RunningSelfie contest winner LeileiLight Lightbourn approaches the finish line!