Home News Local news Fort-to-Fort Run Sunday Part of Martin Luther King Celebration

Fort-to-Fort Run Sunday Part of Martin Luther King Celebration

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Jan. 16, 2008 — Scores of residents will lace up their running shoes Sunday to take part in the annual 15 1/2-mile Martin Luther King Fort-to-Fort Run.
The feat will be part training and part conscience for running enthusiasts and marathoners. The run honors the efforts of the slain civil rights icon who would have been 79 years old Tuesday, said Wallace Williams, founder of V.I. Pace Runners, which is sponsoring the event for the 23rd year. The national holiday named for King will be celebrated Monday.
"The MLK run commemorates the efforts of Marin Luther King Jr., and with St. Croix's two forts having an association with slavery, it brings the focus back on overcoming those challenges associated with slavery and freedom," Wallace said.
There is no entrance fee, and runners simply need to show up well before the kickoff at 6 a.m. Sunday.
The run starts at Fort Christianvaern and winds its way through downtown Christiansted, Estate Richmond, Golden Rock, Princesse, Morning Star East and Mid-Island Road to Mahogany Road, before ending at Fort Frederik. V.I. Pace Runners will provide water and Gatorade at various points during the run, Williams said.
"It's an endurance event — not something that should be taken likely," Wallace cautioned. "There is no registration — just core runners who do it annually, and some people who are training for marathons also participate."
The 15 1/2-mile — or 25-kilo — run is one of 30 events the V.I. Pace Runners organize annually. Others include the annual Women's Race, a fund raiser for the Women's Coalition; the UVI/Queen Mary Highway 5K Run/Walk; and Run to Your Library 5K, which takes place in April during National Library Week.
Williams, well known on the island as a runner himself, said he's been doing it "forever."
"I've been running as a kid, in high school, in college," he said, adding that his love for running was the catalyst for forming V.I. Pace Runners.
Since there is no pre-registration for Sunday's race, there's no telling how many people will show up, Williams said. He only knows that they do.
"They love it because it's a challenge," Wallace said. "It's a serious endurance event, and when you can get to the rain forest before the sun comes up, it's just a nice, cool time for running."
Interested runners can get more information on the club's website or email Williams.
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