Home News Local news Women's Jogger Jam Celebrates Silver Anniversary

Women's Jogger Jam Celebrates Silver Anniversary


Feb. 11, 2007 — More than 350 runners, joggers and walkers participated in the island's largest and easily most joyous running event of the year Sunday, the Silver Anniversary Women's Jogger Jam.
The race started punctually at 5 p.m. on a clear afternoon. Race organizer Therese Hodge, a fine runner herself, lined the participants up. After some last-minute directions and encouraging words, it was time to race: "Ladies! Get set, run!"
And they were off on the two-mile course that circled the Schneider Regional Medical Center, past Lockhart Elementary School and back to the finish line in front of the Fruit Bowl in Wheatley Center.
The runners came in all ages and abilities. There was a palpable joy in the air, rare at a competitive event. Several said it was because this is a women's-only event. Joe Crawford led the warm-ups, but after that it was all women. The race included women with strollers and in wheelchairs, and one ran with her dog. Runners shouted words of encouragement to each other throughout.
The Jogger Jam raises money for the Family Resource Center and is run in conjunction with the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners (STAR), which also receives a small portion of the proceeds. It was started in 1981 by UVI President Dr. LaVerne Ragster, and for the first two years had no sponsor. Marty and Carol Goldberg started sponsoring it in its third year, and have continued to do so ever since. In addition to the registration fees, the Goldbergs contribute an additional $5 for each runner that finishes, plus T-shirts and refreshments. This year more than 350 finished the race.
There were many happy winners as Marty Goldberg awarded trophies in the nine different age groups. The overall winner was Jessica Chung, who finished the race in 12:47, followed by Melissa King. "She was so fast I couldn't catch her, but she's still my friend," King said as she and Chung basked in the glory after the race. "She kicked butt."
One of the afternoon's happiest moments came with the first-place finish of the Source's own Molly Morris in the senior division. Molly is one of the islands most popular and recognized residents, and has written many stories for this newspaper. After the race, however, she was almost speechless.
"I can't believe I won," Morris said. "I don't jog, I walk — but I have an ego." This was the eighth time she has "run" the race, but the first time she has ever received a trophy legitimately. With her customary wry smile, Morris told of receiving one by mistake and having to give it back. There was no giving this one back; she won it fair and square.
"Molly always does so much to publicize the race," Marty Goldberg said. "I am just so happy she won it."
It was a good day generally for the women of the local press, as Lynn Freehill of the V.I. Daily News finished first in her age bracket, as well.
Participants ranged from first-timers to seasoned veterans.
"I ran because it was a good cause," said UVI psychology professor Kathleen Dudemaine. "It is my first time."
"It's my second time," said Cassandra Bitterwolf, 11, who ran with her mother, Robyn, and won her division.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was Debbie Davis, who has run in all 25 races: "This has always been a big deal. It's the biggest race on the island, and always raises much-needed money."
Addelita Cancryn Junior High School won a team competition. Hodge has taught there for the past 26 years.
Major Clarence Hansby and the Civil Air Patrol controlled traffic and oversaw the event. "We couldn't do the races without them," Hodge said.
A list of all the finishers will appear in the Source later this week.
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