Six long distance runners from Saint Lucia will represent the island at the 2022 Schneider Electric Paris Marathon de Paris (also known as the Paris Marathon) which will be held on Sunday, April 3.
The team from the Distance Group Runners making the trip to France are Jason Sayers, Zepherinus Joseph, Julian Toussaint, Michael Biscette, Jerard Charles and Winsbert Sylvester.
The Paris Marathon begins on the iconic Avenue des Champs Elysees and ends on Avenue Foch, close to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s Europe’s biggest and one of the world’s best marathons.
The team expects to leave Saint Lucia for Paris on March 30 to become familiar with the weather and the route.
By participating at the Paris Marathon, the team is hoping to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
While this will be a first for the six runners at the April 3 event, Jason Sayers has competed in mainland France before, placing 8th out of 1000-plus runners at a 10-kilometre race in Paris in 2016.
Chef de Mission, Kamille Huggins, says the team is training very hard daily to be able to complete the marathon under three hours.
Thus far, the team has received sponsorship from Sun Optic and Golden Stars Athletics Club (both based in Martinique), Taxi Sportswear, Mon Repos Co-operative Credit Union, Massy Stores St. Lucia, LUCELEC, and J.Q. Charles Group of Companies. While the team is grateful for the support received to date, Huggins encourages other sponsors to show their support.
“It’s not a very cheap event to attend and we’ve been lucky so far that some sponsors have stepped up,” she said. “However, we’re kindly asking other corporate sponsors to support our participation in this event.”
Zepherinus Joseph represented Saint Lucia at the 2004 Olympics, a five-time OECS half marathon champion, and a two-time Sportsman of the Year. He hopes to use his international experience to boost the other runners’ chances of success at the event.
“While I will be in the competitive mode for the event, I’m part of the team to really assist the other runners, who, hopefully, will be chasing down the qualifying times for the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Julian Toussaint, well-known for participating in endurance races locally, is also set on creating a great impression at the event.
“I’m very excited about the event because it will actually be my first marathon ever,” he said. “So I’m training very hard with the big guns in order to give a good time.”
To support the team’s participation at the Paris Marathon, go to The 758 Adventurers Facebook page for more information. There’s also a GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/f/road-to-paris-marathon, to which monetary contributions can be made.