Marilyn Simmons Bowe has run 142 marathons in her life.
The professor, writer, motivational speaker and educator is on a running streak, hitting the bricks for 1,362 consecutive days, on a seemingly superhuman mission to cover 2,000 miles (3,218.688km) for 2015. Simmons Bowe has endured just about anything a runner can face.
That is, until she experienced the Run for Pompey in Exuma, Bahamas.
“It was a great course, but it was hard. It started to get hot after about mile 12, all the way through mile 18, so I backed way off,’ she said, who completed the grueling 50K marathon in just over six hours. “Then the rain name down at about mile 22, so I picked up and luckily it rained the whole way to mile 30, so i was able to make up some time and bring it on in.”
Bring it on in is perhaps an understatement. The accomplished runner from Nassau saved one last burst of energy when she crossed the finish line and went straight into the award ceremony, dancing to the sound of drums and trumpets as she collected her trophy.
You can watch a video of her triumphant finish here. https://www.facebook.com/runforpompey/videos/690929294375796/
This moment marked the end of the first ever Run for Pompey, a widely successful event that brought together Bahamians from all over the island, and tourists from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. The race featured a 5K “Fun Run” for the whole family, a half marathon, a full marathon and a historic ultra marathon. Simmons Bowe and Stephen Pintard, both Bahamians, became the first female and male respectively to complete at ultra marathon in the Bahamas.
Indeed, Run for Pompey was historical in every respect.
Pompey, a 32-year-old slave, led a slave rebellion in 1830 on the island of Exuma after John Rolle, a British lord and large plantation owner, declared that him and 76 other workers would be transferred to work on another island. The Bahamian hero managed to reverse the transfer order, and today, a memorial in Exuma commemorates his deeds.
The rebellion is widely seen as a key moment in the Bahamian fight for freedom, by showing, for the first time, that people could not be moved like property against their will. It is considered a key precursor to the emancipation in the Bahamas, which occurred in August 1838.
“I’m actually a decendant of Exuma from Rolle Town, Exuma, to be exact. My great grandfather s from there. And my uncle as well. Both are passed. So I had two angels with me,” said Pintard, who won the 50K ultra marathon. “I was inspired because it was the first ultra in the marathon in the Bahamas, in Exuma. So I had to do it.”
Pintard and Simmons Bowe were two of more than 170 local and international runners on race day. They were supported by 14 sponsors, including creator and organizer GIV Bahamas Inc., the title sponsor BAF Financial & Insurance, as well as the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Isle Resort & Spa, Dasani, Sands Beer, Señor Frogs, Associated Island Developers, February Point, BTC, Catch A Fire, Chat N Chill and BahamasLocal.com.
Sports 4, which owns two running stores in Ottawa, came on as the event’s first international sponsor.
Now that the inaugural year is over, the next step is to award the first ever Pompey Scholarship to one student on Exuma. The scholarship, created by the race proceeds, will award funds to one student on Exuma each year, so he or she can attend university or college.
“Events like Run for Pompey are important, both because we can give back to the community, but also because it shines a spotlight on this amazing island,” said Peter Nicholson, the President of GIV Bahamas Inc. “I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm of the local community, our sponsors and the runners who made the trip from around the world. We look forward to watching this event grow.”
Watch our video of the Race day here: https://youtu.be/q9MdqAL9EV4