Community Effort For Race Day Water Stations

May 22, 2018

[Written by Robyn Bardgett]

Those who have ever run the Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby will know that staying hydrated is key to getting through the race on what is often a humid day.

Luckily for the runners, eight official water stations are set up along the 13.1-mile course heading out of Somerset. And the people behind the stations generously donate their time to make sure that the runners are well hydrated, many of whom are families that have been helping for generations.

Slideshow of the finish line at last year’s race:


Debra Saltus said she has lost count of how many years she has helped to organize the water stations, but remembers helping her mum, Pat Lake, who was also part of the Derby committee, as early as her high school days.

You can still find Ms Saltus at the water station outside of Newstead, where her family has been working for years. Although, when the Aberfeldy water station was added to the route, her mum worked there until she passed away eight years ago, she explained.

“My mom got other families involved and they were very committed to her,” said Ms Saltus. “When she passed, they all said that they would continue to help knowing that I was taking on what my mom had done. I can speak for her in saying that she was very thankful for their support and I am very thankful.”

Water stations are set up along the race course starting with the first table outside of Dalton E Tucker School. Then Jews Bay, Raynor’s Service Station, Longford Hill/Harbour Road, Newstead, Aberfeldy, and the Bermuda National Library.

Along with family and friends that come out to help at each water station, Ms Saltus said that many of the spectators also chip in to help out.

“They’ll come over and offer to take a trash bag and offer to pick up the garbage along the way. It’s a real community effort, and I really appreciate the help. I’m very grateful to the volunteers that come out and those on the sidelines that help out.”

The event does prove challenging, she said, when dealing with members of the public who don’t respect the fact that the water is for the runners.

“My main concern is making sure that any water that I put out is there for the runners,” she said. “You’re not hurting us, you’re hurting the runners and that’s not very supportive.”

While she often doesn’t get a chance to watch the race, she said she enjoys the break on the alternative years when the race heads out of the East.

“You’re so busy trying to get water ready and make sure you have enough people to refill and you make sure you’re not missing any runners. The runners often come in droves, so by the time they all come through there is water and Gatorade all over you. I really enjoy it but I look forward to the opportunity to sit down and watch the race the following year!”

The 2018 Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby will take place this Friday, May 25 starting in Somerset.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Buoyage says:

    On behalf off all runners, many, many thanks for helping out with these waters stations. Without them, the race simply could not happen.

    Runners – if you have breath, thank the people who are spending hours in the sun providing you with water.

  2. Legalgal says:

    Love this race but an appeal -COLD water please! And anyone en route pls share your ice with runners. Good luck to all the runners. Have fun out there!

    • bananabus says:

      Not slippery at all when that ends up on the road