Eighteen Years Strong, EJC 5KRun/Walk a Success!

Written by: Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher (Mrs.) - Administrative Assistant to the President | Friday, June 14, 2019

A buzz of excitement could be felt as approximately One Thousand participants blocked Osbourne Road in Kingston, Jamaica at the Kingsway High School this past Sunday in anticipation of the eighteenth annual East Jamaica Conference 5K Run/Walk.

“Today was tremendous, the turn out great! We did not expect this large number of persons but God has been with us and I am elated to see the enthusiasm,” said Pastor Leonard Steele, Health Ministries Director of the East Jamaica Conference.

The run/walk held with the theme, Holistic Health for Personal and National Transformation is just one way in which the Seventh-day Adventist Church is throwing its continuous support behind the Health Ministry’s ‘Jamaica Move’ programme which was launched in 2017.

 “While we are happy that Jamaica and the world are recognizing the benefits of good health, we can appreciate the fact that this is a message, that as a Church, we have been preaching about for over 150 years,” said Pastor Dr.  Eric Nathan President of East Jamaica Conference who is strong supporter and ran the 5K event.

The Government of Jamaica has recognized through the World Health Organization’s report that Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. Some of these diseases include: diabetes, heart and kidney diseases and cancer. Hence, the national initiative, “Jamaica move”, is working toward a healthier nation.

Prior to the start of the run/walk, at 6:30 a.m. George Gillespie, the Jamaica Move Physical Activity Specialist conducted a warm up for 820 athletes with a heart pumping work out, to the sound of popular gospel songs. At the end, seven overall winners emerged from four general categories:




Age Group

Chip Time


5KRun Female


Erica G. Simon

Mona Heights







5K Run Male


Henry Thomas


UCT Steppas










5k Walk Female

Paula Sinclair

UCT Steppas



5K Walk Male

Carlton A. Williams

Morant Bay SDA








1.5k Run Female

Cloe E. Williamson




1.5K Run Male

Richards Joshua

Oak Glades SDA








Wheelchair Female


Vinette Green








The oldest participant, Elizabeth Mattis said, “I give God thanks for helping me to enter the race at the ripe age of eighty. I have been entering the 5K walk since its inception and it is good for my health. It is important to keep fit or else you will become lazy and that doesn’t make sense,” Mattis was placed 233 out 594 athletes.

“One of the thing is to start slow and finish strong,” said first time participant, Donovan Hanson who was placed 22 out of 594 in the 5K walk. “However”, he quickly quipped, “The race is not for the swift but for those who will endure to the end.”

Participating in the event were several groups; these included churches, clubs, couples, children and families.

“This is a very good programme,” said husband and wife, Wayne-wan and Sonia Howson. “We are entering this event not for a trophy, but because of health. Therefore, I am glad that I can participate in this race and I am feeling good,” said Sonia.

For the approximately eight-member NCU 91 FM team, they proudly proclaimed that, “Anyone can talk about education and wellness, but we live it!”  Members of the group have been entering several 5K’s across the island and were visibly donned at this event in their NCU caps and shirts.

Highlights of the day included games, prizes and surprises. In quizzing the contestants, Andrea Chisholm, broadcaster from Television Jamaica asked participants what the acronym NEW START means? The winning response was– “Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust is God.”

The day closed off with a medal ceremony.

“Thanks to the committed and dedicated team. Each person that was assigned their portfolio did a marvelous job. Without them this event would not be possible,” said a very grateful Pastor Steel. 

He also commended the sponsors who supported the event: NCU Media group, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, National Housing Trust, Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation, Virginia Dare, Mandeville Adventist Church, Ear Hearing and Dizzy Centre, Billings JUTA Transport, Bewellers Pharmacy, Sunshine Pump Supplies, Wheels and Wheels Auto Imports Limited, Tibby’s Auto Supplies, Pioneers Manufacturing Company Limited, Jamaica Biscuit Company, Newstart Wellness Medical and Georgia Hamilton and Company.


East Jamaica Conference is recorded on https://my4.raceresult.com/ as the seventh official organizer of a health run/walk in Jamaica since the start of the year.

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