Half Marathon Organisers On Rules & More

May 28, 2023

Lamont Marshall is the official winner, the organisers apologize for any “misunderstanding or lack of communication regarding eligibility,” Dennis Mblenzi was well aware of the rules in advance, there are ways something like this can be handled moving forward and people are welcome to submit ideas, and overall the race saw thousands of spectators come out to support over 1000 participants and the organisers thanked everyone who supported the race.

This was from the Bermuda Day Half Marathon committee in response to questions following Friday’s race, which saw Gayle Lindsay claim her first ever Bermuda Day title, while Lamont Marshall earned his 4th official victory, following after his wins in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

When asked to confirm who the official men’s winner is, as in who will be recorded as the winner for history’s sake, Dr Gina Tucker explained that, “The winner can only be a person who is eligible to win the prize and placement per the long standing policy/rule communicated on the Derby website [bermudamarathon.bm].

“As shared during the Prize Presentation held at the Finish Line Zone on Friday 26th May, Lamont Marshall has been declared the winner of the 2023 Half Marathon Derby and will be recorded as such in the history books.”

The official website states, “Entrants must be Bermudian or Resident in Bermuda six [6] months prior to race day to be eligible for prizes or placement.”

The official 2023 Bermuda Day winners: Gayle Lindsay & Lamont Marshall 

Lamont Marshall and Gayle Lindsay Bermuda Day winners 2023 (2)

There was some negative commentary online and Bernews asked if the race committee has any plans to adjust the rules moving forward to prevent a similar occurrence or will the rules remain the same.

In response, Dr Tucker explained, “Complaints are the engine of change and have helped to move this race forward over the last 30+ years. As we continue to evolve, we will look to determine how we go from strength to strength without losing the essence of this race and what it stands for.

“We appreciate the persons who have given recommendations as to how we can grow in regards to this matter in particular and invite others to do the same.

“I take this opportunity to apologize on behalf of the organizers for any misunderstanding or lack of communication regarding eligibility, etc. It is indeed Bermuda’s race and we welcome the voice and input of the Bermudian public.

When asked if the organisers have any additional comment that may be helpful for the public to know, Dr Tucker said, “The eligibility rules for this race are not unique to Bermuda [see the rules for the well known Gasparilla Distance Classic Race for the Tampa Bay Area running community].

“What is unique with this race is that it is held on our national holiday. While we welcome visitors, unlike International Race Weekend, the Bermuda Half Marathon is what we would call a local community race. Mr. Mblenzi was well aware of the rules and chose to run nonetheless. He was cheered on by our awesome spectators and I’m sure he appreciated that.

“The committee certainly applauds him for his performance. As he clearly indicates on his FB page, there is no controversy and he is simply ‘causing good trouble’ on our Bermuda Day.

“As Chair of the Derby Committee which worked tirelessly over the last several months, I am mindful of what was accomplished: over 200 volunteers and thousands of spectators weathered the weather to support over 1000 participants of the 2023 Derby, and I thank the committee and all who supported in the organization of the race.

A quick look at Gayle Lindsay & Lamont Marshall crossing the finish line:

Dr Tucker added, “We encourage the Bermuda public to think about the many awesome things that were accomplished this year and to see this scenario not as a negative but as an opportunity.

“There are many ways this occurrence [a first in several decades and certainly during my tenure as President] can be handled moving forward. Again, we look forward to and appreciate any suggestions/recommendations from our Bermuda public. Recommendations can be emailed to info@bermudamarathon.bm.”

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Comments (16)

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  1. Royston Vasey says:

    This is a local race. For local people.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Dennis Mblenzi was well aware of the rules in advance”

    Thank you. That SHOULD BE all people need to know. It is not xenophobia, it is the rules.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    What is unique with this race is that it is held on our national holiday. While we welcome visitors, unlike International Race Weekend, the Bermuda Half Marathon is what we would call a local community race.

    In that case why allow visitors to enter, pay the fee and receive a race number? Keep it as a local community race. Simple.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Why exclude people?

      As long as they understand the rules and still wish to run, why exclude visitors or new arrivals?

    • S. Massey says:

      Exactly, why indeed. Greed SMH

      • Ringmaster says:

        Problem is the race can become ridiculous. Example, the first 10 places are non residents, but the 11th is a resident and is deemed the winner.

        Then of course is the modern dilemma for the womens’ race, and what is the protocol if a trans enters, and wins?

  4. Former runner says:

    It was a great event. Runners and spectators were awesome.
    Dennis know the rules and he was fine with it. I just ask why did he got a number?
    Maybe in the future runner’s like Dennis could be placed and even win the race, but the derby champion goes to the first local runner.
    Mrs Lewis not long ago was in Switzerland took part at the swiss championship. She couldn’t receive the title but could win the race and she was placed.
    Just a thought. Keep up the good work Bermuda.

  5. sandgrownan says:

    Bermuda. Myopic, insular and self absorbed. It’s another world.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Bermuda is another world, but there is no cause for branding all Bermudians as “Myopic, insular and self absorbed”. Not all of us are.

  6. Real Deal says:

    it is childish and silly to want to only include locals and this really only hurts locals
    now tell me who’s fault is it that some one comes here and severely warms you in your own yard
    it is your fault not the winners fault clearly what you put out was not good enough to represent the ROCK on the ROCK so put in the work do better do not hide from the challenge or challengers the vibe is supposed to be let em put on ears COME through and we show em what it is with SkillZ

  7. Guy Carri says:

    Bermuda afraid of the big bad boys/girls to come down and eat their lunch. That’s what competition is – how good you really are.

    Worst case scenario – have two streams, residents and non. Recognize the first across the line no matter where they reside. Also recognize first resident. But let history show who was the fastest that year.

    We want to attract and host international events but not welcome the internationals to our very own.
    Add the irony of it being a BTA sponsored event.

  8. Let's Keep It Real says:

    Simple fix: give all non residents instead of a number, a “GUEST” to place on there jersey.

    You could even consider them another time to start. Starting with residents only set the pace for resident runners.

    • Real Deal says:

      that don’t sound like keeping it real. keeping it real is we all start at the same time and i beat you not on paper i beat you for Real .you watch me pass you knowing that you can not do a thing that is keeping it 100% Real

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Simple fix: give all non residents instead of a number”

    Yes, it could be tattood on their left arm!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Oh don’t be such a drama queen . I’m surprised you didn’t say on their foreheads.
      The suggestion of a different colour number tag is perfectly sensible and all that’s needed and would give spectators a chance to give special recognition to our participating visitors .