High Moun­tain cof­fee road race back with a twist

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - OBSERVER CENTRAL | NEWS - By Ali­cia Suther­land

MAN­DEV­ILLE, Manch­ester — Af­ter more than three decades as a sta­ple on the cal­en­dar of Manch­ester to fos­ter ca­ma­raderie, the an­nual High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race was no­tice­ably miss­ing last year.

The event, which is now in its 35th stag­ing, is back on and is sched­uled to be held on Sun­day, Jan­uary 27, as usual in Wil­liams­field.

How­ever, the races will now be start­ing at 6:30am and not in the af­ter­noon as had been done pre­vi­ously.

John O Minott, chair­man of the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race Com­mit­tee, said at the press and spon­sors brief­ing on Thurs­day that over the years there have been con­cerns from some ‘would-be’ par­tic­i­pants about hav­ing to do the event in the sun.

“We have suc­cumbed to the plea for the ear­lier time. As you may know, most road races of this na­ture are held in the morn­ings and as such we have de­cided to give the crowd what they asked for. By do­ing so we are hop­ing that we will get the num­bers grow­ing,” he said.

The or­gan­is­ers are urg­ing cor­po­rate and other bod­ies to or­gan­ise teams to come out and a prize for the team with the largest num­ber of peo­ple is among the in­cen­tives on the day.

Minott dis­closed that elec­tronic (chip) tim­ing tech­nol­ogy will be used for the first time as a way of en­hanc­ing the ac­cu­racy and time­li­ness of re­sults.

The High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race is a cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity event of fam­ily-owned busi­ness and cof­fee pro­ces­sor, Ja­maica Stan­dard Prod­ucts, which op­er­ates from Wil­liams­field in the par­ish.

Minott said that his fa­ther, Jackie Minott, is the con­cep­tu­aliser of the race.

The el­der Minott, he said, had a med­i­cal emer­gency which re­quired him to be taken over­seas around the same time that the race would have been held last year, re­sult­ing in the can­cel­la­tion. His fa­ther is still abroad re­ceiv­ing treat­ment, he said.

John O Minott said the fact that the race is now in its 35th year means that it is the old­est road race in Ja­maica.

The event is a way to pro­mote to­geth­er­ness in the com­mu­nity, trade and eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity for mi­cro/small busi­nesses, en­cour­age health and well­ness and most im­por­tantly con­tinue to raise funds for the Re­nal/ Kid­ney Unit at the Man­dev­ille Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, which has ben­e­fit­ted from the pro­ceeds for the last five years.

Michael Bent, Re­gional di­rec­tor for the South­ern Re­gional Health Author­ity, said that it is cost­ing the hos­pi­tal $65.8 mil­lion an­nu­ally to sus­tain the 58 pa­tients and the sup­port is nec­es­sary as in ad­di­tion to re­place and main­tain equip­ment, there is a wait­ing list of pa­tients that they do not cur­rently have the re­sources and ca­pac­ity to take in for treat­ment.

Re­tired se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, Que Mor­gan, who is now a pa­tient at the unit, com­mended the Man­dev­ille Re­gional Hos­pi­tal for the level of care that is pro­vided.

He en­cour­aged Ja­maicans to reach out to each other be­cause the fu­ture for ev­ery­one is un­cer­tain, em­pha­sis­ing that the need to sup­port kid­ney pa­tients is cru­cial as it is costly and many are re­ally struggling to sur­vive.

Mau­rice West­ney, meet di­rec­tor on the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race Com­mit­tee, ad­vised par­tic­i­pants to wear, prefer­ably, run­ning shoes that have been worn be­fore and to fuel them­selves at the wa­ter stops on the route.

He said that it is an all-in­clu­sive race and in ad­di­tion to the 10K run and 5K run/walk, dif­fer­ent groups such as peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties are in­vited.

Or­gan­is­ers say reg­is­tra­tion can no longer be done on race day. Races will start and end at the Wil­liams­field round a bout and the part­ner­ship forged with Shore Ath­let­ics Club out of New Jer­sey to have over­seas run­ners at the event and boost the com­pe­ti­tion, still stands.

For peo­ple who are not able to par­tic­i­pate but still want to con­trib­ute to­wards the de­vel­op­ment of the Re­nal/kid­ney Unit, do­na­tions can be made to the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race Well­ness Fund at Sco­tia­bank, Man­dev­ille, ac­count# 644311.

Spon­sors for the event in­clude the Ja­maica Observer, Manch­ester Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union, Barita, Power Ser­vices Com­pany Lim­ited, Ja­maica Drip Ir­ri­ga­tion, Sun Is­land, Sanco’s Truck­ing, Man­dev­ille Ho­tel and Bull­head Moun­tain Spring Wa­ter.

(Pho­tos: Gre­gory Ben­nett)

Or­gan­is­ers, spon­sor rep­re­sen­ta­tives and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of ben­e­fi­ciary in­sti­tu­tion, the Man­dev­ille Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, at the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race press and spon­sors brief­ing held at the Man­dev­ille Re­gional Hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day.

Meet di­rec­tor on the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race Com­mit­tee Mau­rice West­ney.

Chair­man of the High Moun­tain Cof­fee Road Race Com­mit­tee John O Minott.

Re­tired Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice and kid­ney pa­tient at the Man­dev­ille Re­gional Hos­pi­tal Que Mor­gan.

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