The 19th staging of the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run kicks off tomorrow in New Kingston, with close to record-breaking runners, walkers and wheelchair participants set to take part.
The 5K charity road race is aiming to raise $60 million for the 2017 beneficiaries, Bethlehem Home for abandoned children, Spanish Town Hospital Special Care Unit and Mandeville Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The run is being held under the patronage of Father Richard Ho Lung, Tessanne Chin and Yohan Blake.
Ingrid Card, vice-president of Group Marketing at Sagicor is reminding the public that donations are still welcomed as Sagicor is still behind its $60-million target.
“As we look forward to race day, we continue to welcome donations through the various streams created for that purpose, as we need to ensure that the beneficiaries receive the necessary lifesaving equipment and supplies,” Card said.Donations can still be made by visiting generosity.com and typing ‘Sigma Run’ in the search bar or through the Sagicor Group Jamaica website: www.sagicorjamaica.com by selecting the option to donate via Generosity.com and PayPal.
Local residents can donate through pledge cards or by making cheques payable to Sagicor Foundation or Sigma Run 2017. Deposits can also be delivered at any Sagicor Bank location islandwide or cash deposit to account number – 5502326386. People in the United States may also make donations by contacting the American Friends of Jamaica.
Registrants are urged to participate in the pre-race warm-up at 6:45 am inside Emancipation Park with Body By Kurt, while comedian Elva Ruddock will take the reins on Knutsford Boulevard at the start line. A 7:30 am and 7:35 am start time has been set for wheelchair and run categories, respectively. The walk segment will commence approximately 15 minutes after.
Participants are asked to arrive in New Kingston well ahead of the 7:30 am start time to avoid road closures. The public is also advised that sections of Knutsford Boulevard will be closed from 2:00 pm today.
The event organisers say they have enhanced systems to secure the safety of participants. Elements such as medical stations and ambulances, security officials, race marshals, hydration stops, and emergency numbers on each race bib are just some of the safety mechanisms in place for the big day.
Traffic officials will be on hand to direct vehicles to designated parking lots. The organisers are advising that no parking is permitted on Knutsford Boulevard, along the perimeter of Emancipation Park, Park Boulevard or in the National Housing Trust parking lots.
The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run began in 1999 and has raised more than $200 million in the past 19 years to purchase essential equipment for charities such as Sophie’s Place and Mustard Seed Communities, The University Hospital’s labour ward, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, the renal units of the Cornwall Regional, University and Kingston Public hospitals, Victoria Jubilee Hospital’s Neonatal Care Unit, and the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Last year, nearly 24,000 people ran, walked and wheeled through New Kingston to raise more than $35 million in cash for children living with cancer across Jamaica, the Jamaica Cancer Society and the Black River Hospital Paediatric Unit.