The trend of a quiet start to another easy Sunday morning in the Woodbourne Community in Western St. Thomas was interrupted by the buzz and excitement of the Sunflower 5K Walk/ Run on March 5, 2023.
The event was organised by the Sunflower Pathfinder and Adventurer Club of the Woodbourne Seventh-day Adventist Church as a fundraiser to offset the cost of sending members to the Inter-American Division (IAD) Camporee 2023. The Camporee is set to be held from April 4-8 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Jamaica.
Over 150 participants signed up for the event that started promptly at 7:00 AM for the runners and at 7:05 AM for participants of the walk race. The diversely scenic route started at the Woodbourne SDA church with the majestic backdrop of the Caribbean seascape. The race took participants down a gentle slope then over the iconic Easington Bridge (that overlooks the infamous Yallahs River) before going through the Norris District to ‘about turn’ at the entrance to the Sunrise Manor Housing Scheme.
Two of the main prizes were copped by the husband and wife duo of Rodane and Cassandra Kelly, both of the JOB Fitness Club based at the Morant Bay SDA Church. Rodane won the male run in 24 minutes and Cassandra, the female walk race. Another JOB squad member Carlton Williams took home the overall male walk trophy with a time of 44 minutes. 14 year old Suzan Bent who is a member of the Sunflower Pathfinder Club won the overall women run in an impressive 36 minutes.
“The event was an overall success.” said Event Manager and Pathfinder Club Director Jade Fray. “As a club, we are excited about the upcoming IAD Camporee. However, given the economic reality of most of the members who we serve, we knew we had to find a way to raise funds so that our children and youth would not miss such a once in a lifetime event. The 5K was the perfect solution. What happened today is a result of a lot of hard work and determination on the part of the planning committee, the invaluable spirit of volunteerism from members, selfless contributions by many, financial support from sponsors and a tremendous effort from all the participants. I take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation to all.” Fray went on to say.
The Youth Director of East Jamaica Conference Pastor Joel Jumpp was not only present, but he also participated in the 5k taking on the walk race over the distance. Commenting on the event he said “It was refreshing and encouraging to see the togetherness and dedication displayed by the Sunflower Pathfinder Club as they executed the event to secure sponsorships for Adventurers and Pathfinders who wish to attend Camporee 2023. Additionally, the support from the wider Zone 4 family emphasized their investment in the next generation. I look forward to even more exciting times.
The event coordinators were able to secure sponsorships from entities such as Sure Financial Services, Running Events Jamaica, JMMB, Jamaica Aggregates and Jamaica Moves as well as individuals such as Garen Cain, Kimone Dean and Conrad Raymond. NCU FM was the official media sponsor for the Sunflower 5k.
Based on the vibes, fun, excitement and expressions of satisfaction from the participants, they fully enjoyed themselves at the event and some are already asking for it to happen again next year.