The Athletics Association of Guyana is excited for this weekend’s annual road race, citing the need for more local athletics events.
An average of around 150 athletes have so far registered for the 7th Annual 1 mile, 5k and 10k Road Races hosted by Guyana Ex-Athletes and Friends Inc, in collaboration with the Athletics Association of Guyana.
Aubrey Hutson, President of the Athletics Association of Guyana, noted concerns about the hosting of the race as Guyana approaches the rainy season.
He added that while the rain may be a plus for athletes as opposed to having them race in the hot sun, it can become an issue if the Eve Leary field is flooded or if there is a thunderstorm during which athletes are not allowed to race.
“The athletes would have at least 300 metres of grass to run on. We know that sometimes the Guyana Police Force, Eve Leary ground can really and truly be waterlogged once it rains heavily. We are hoping that the conditions there can be as good as they can possibly be in the event that we have a spectacular ending of 3/4 athletes coming down driving for the finish. The last thing we’d like to see is someone slipping.”
Events begin on Sunday, May 22 from 07:00 hours at the Guyana Police Force Sports Club Ground in Barrack Street, Eve Leary, and most races end there.
Prizes are available for junior and senior athletes in a number of age categories.
The Independence road race is held annually in an effort to motivate athletes in the sport and award them for outstanding performances.
Hutson praised the return of the race, noting the value of consistent competition for local athletes.
“Our athletes need more competition. The countries that would have really progressed in Track and Field are the countries that really and truly have a lot of competition. The competition is what drives our sport and everything falls in place after that. An athlete would realise; I need a better coach or I need better facilities or I need to go to the gym more often because I need to be more competitive. It makes no sense you train hard and do all the hard work and you don’t have competition.”
The Guyana Ex-Athletes and Friends Inc. will also undertake a humanitarian effort to give back to the public by donating items to the Guyana Veterans Association.
Spectators are cautioned against infringing on the race route.