With less than two months to go before the starting gun is fired, Run for Pompey is hitting its stride and heating up sports tourism, with more than a dozen major sponsors on track for the inaugural run that is expected to drive hundreds to Exuma in October.
The run, set for National Heroes Day, will culminate three days of events celebrating the life of the slave named Pompey who, at 32, stood up on behalf of some 77 slaves on the Rolle plantation who were ordered to be moved to Cat Island, separating them from their families. Unwilling to be shipped like property, Pompey courageously defied orders.
In 1830, he risked his life by fleeing the plantation and living in the bush for weeks before finally commandeering a boat to sail for Nassau to plead his case to the Governor. Though Pompey never made it that far, the Governor heard of the courageous slave, heeded the plea and issued an order allowing slaves to stay on Exuma. When Pompey returned to Exuma, he was hailed as a hero. Eight years later, The Bahamas abolished slavery, though Pompey suffered severe lashings for his courage.
Race organizers and the major sponsor, BAF Financial & Insurace (Bahamas), said hosting a run in Exuma on October 12 was a fitting tribute to the man credited with inspiring a rebellion that caused authorities to recognize slaves as human beings rather than property.
The race, according to BAF Chairman Chester Cooper, was an opportunity to support a “major event so closely linked with our Bahamian history, legacy and culture.”
“Pompey is unquestionably a true national hero and celebrated emancipator. It is therefore only fitting that this new event takes place on National Heroes Day. Despite all the things that divide us, Pompey is a powerful uniting force for freedom and empowerment,” he said.
Along with BAF, sponsors include the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the TripAdvsior top-rated Exuma hotel Grand Isle Resort & Spa, GIV Bahamas, Dasani/Powerade, Senor Frogs, Bahamian Beverage & Brewey Company, Bahamas Telecommunications Company, Catch A Fire, BahamasLocal.com, February Point, Associated Island Developers and Chat ‘n Chill.
Run for Pompey flyer with featuring all the sponsors that have joined together to make this race a success.
“We are extremely excited about the variety and quality of sponsors who have gotten on board,” said one of the race organizers, videographer and runner Kevin Taylor. “Having companies like BAF, Ministry of Tourism, Grand Isle, BTC and February Point on tap, along with Sands beer, Powerade, Catch A Fire, Senor Frogs, BahamasLocal, Associated Island Developers, and one of Exuma’s great success stories, Chat ‘n Chill, all on the same ticket is amazing and speaks volumes about the potential of this event.”
Race patron is Olympic gold medal winner Golden Girl Pauline Davis-Thompson, who was also just named an individual member of the prestigious IAAF board worldwide.
Run for Pompey is a selection of four routes all starting and finishing at Regatta Park in the heart of George Town, the capital of Exuma. Participants may sign up for a 5km “fun run”, a 21.5km half marathon, a 42K marathon and a mega marathon, a distance of 50k.
All runs are professionally timed, and end with a barbeque and cookout in the park with Junkanoo. National Heroes Day was introduced last year and is intended, over time, to replace the 2nd Monday in October holiday that had been known as Discovery Day, honouring Christopher Columbus.
“The inaugural of any event always presents opportunities and challenges because you want to make sure that you get everything right,” said Jeff Todd, Director of Communications at GIV Bahamas Inc.
“But given that this is the first time we are hosting Run for Pompey, we are very encouraged by the number of sponsors who appreciate the potential of the event and the response that we are getting to date. We hope to have runners from several countries and you can’t ask for a more scenic environment than Exuma. Add to that the fact that it is a holiday weekend, the weather is usually great in October and we have a slew of activities scheduled in addition to the race, Run for Pompey has all the makings of what can become one of the most eagerly awaited dates on the Bahamian calendar.”
A full version of this article can be found here: http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21808:13-major-sponsors-on-track-for-run-for-pompey&catid=85:sports&Itemid=193