Annual Event Launches University Pride Celebration …
A few dozen walkers and
runners, including past winners, repeat participants, students, faculty, staff
and UVI alumni got up before sunrise on Friday, March 18, a work-day, to
celebrate the founding of the University of the Virgin Islands and the 15th
year of the UVI/Queen Mary 5K Walk Run.
The annual event, which is
hosted by UVI and organized by the Virgin Islands Pace Runners, was held as
part of the University’s first official event of its 13 day University Pride
Juan Robles decided early in
the week to make it special and ran an unofficial race record of 15 minutes, 33
seconds on the point-to-point course that is slightly uphill. So did Bridget Klein who broke her personal
record of 20 minutes, 14 seconds, was the first overall female finisher, was the
third overall winner with 19 minutes, 37 seconds, and now has the unofficial
female race record.
Billy Bohlke, a former race
winner, took second place with a time of 18 minutes, 55 seconds; Randall
Nielsen was the third place male in 20 minutes, 30 seconds; Mike Klein, St.
Croix Scenic Mile Champion was fourth in 21 minutes, 26 seconds and UVI student
Alfredo Guerro was fifth in 21 minutes, 51 seconds.
Bridget Klein, track and
cross-country coach at Good Hope/Country Day School, broke her 2014 unofficial race
record with a first place finish for females and third overall with a time of
19 minutes, 37 seconds. Rachel Conhoff, of St. Croix Track Club/Good Hope
Country Day, was second in 21 minutes, 51 seconds; Mikaela Smith, St. Croix
Track Club/St. Croix Educational Complex High School, was third in 22 minutes, 14
seconds; Amy Roberts was fourth in 22 minutes, 15 seconds and Elizabeth LaBelle
UVI student was fifth in 22 minutes, 55 seconds.
Michelle Elliot, UVI business services
supervisor, welcomed the finishers, a mix of local and visiting runners and
walkers who for some reason, likes the challenge of the start on a work-day, in
The walk/run was the idea of co-founder
Jenifer Jackson, former chancellor of UVI on St. Croix.
“The reason I picked the time
and day was to make a special effort to get the public’s attention,” said Jackson,
who was recognized at the annual award breakfast held following the event. Wallace Williams, co-founder, said the Virgin
Islands Pace Runners got its start at UVI back in 1978 with the UVI Cooperative
Extension 4-H Program on the University’s St. Croix Campus in the exact spot
for the finish line and awards presentation area for the UVI/Queen Mary 5K.
He said, “those who ran then,
still do”, including Dr. Alan Lewit, UVI professor of Computer Science, who wrote the first computer program
for results for V.I. Pace. Dr. Lewit was present on Friday. He thanked the University
and the runners for maintaining the long relationship with the V.I. Pace
Special Category Awards
UVI Male Student: 1st Alfredo Guerro
UVI Female Student: 1st Marcia Tuckett
UVI Alum: Male 1st Dexter Hypolyte
UVI Alum Female: 1st Hedda
UVI Male Staff: 1st Anthony Laurent;
UVI Female Staff: 1st Elizabeth
UVI Male Faculty: 1st Bernard
UVI Female Faculty: 1st Valerie
Community Member: 1st Randall
Community Member Female: 1st Rachel
here for results of the 5K race.