AS perfect as Sunday’s weather was for a 10 mile long walk, so was the public response as thousands showed up to take part in the event.
The walk which was filled with both ups and downs got off to a late start at 7:00 a.m. instead of the scheduled 6:30 a.m. from the Vigie Playing Field.
Participants of all ages, sizes and abilities took to the streets and were ever ready to walk to the Pigeon Island Landmark.
Emergency Medical Technicians as well as Fun Walk officials made their presence well known just in case any form of assistance was needed. Added to this was the heavy police presence. The lawmen and women not only patrolled but took part in the event. A team of 70 members of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force earned the title of “Company with the most participants”.
One of the biggest downsides to the event, however, was the cheating aspect of the walk where individuals in huge masses joined the walk while it was already in progress instead of from the starting line. Thousands never bothered waiting for the start signal and went ahead regardless. Worst of all, many participants were seen riding on mini buses only to be dropped off closer to the destination, all in order to win prizes and medals.
Many disgruntled participants have vowed to boycott the event stating that it should be better policed for cheaters and that the whole event which started 16 years ago was becoming nothing more than a farce.
Individuals felt that the organisers simply cared about making money off the event rather than investing in proper organisation which would have seen to it that honest participants got rewarded and cheaters got disqualified.
Others shrugged off the issue saying that with an event this large, it is not possible to monitor every single person taking part, so with this knowledge, they took part solely for the fun of it after all, it is called a “fun walk”.
With all the pros and cons aside, the numbers certainly told a tale for itself as the sea of walkers that took over the streets signalled an overall successful event.