Tyler Butterfield races up Front Street. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.
Tyler Butterfield races up Front Street. *Photo by Kageaki Smith.

A record number of 110 teams entered Friday’s iconic May 24 race, swelling the field to well over 1,000. Some, however, feel this diminishes the elite aspect of the 13.2 mile contest.

A number of early starters also raised some eyebrows when they crossed the finish line at exactly the same time as the top runners.

Dr Gina Tucker, president of the organizing committee, admits both concerns will be looked at and vowed to do what was necessary so the top performers’ — like Tyler Butterfield and Rose-Anna Hoey — moment of glory is not compromised.

She told the Bermuda Sun: “We always have a post-mortem where we reflect critically on the various components, especially the relay.

“The relay is popular, from the participants’ point of view for sure, and it’s growing more and more popular.

“Not everyone has criticized it but there is some – but what we have to do is manage it, and look at the ‘criticism’ or concerns.

“I hate to say we will throw it out at this point but we will look at it.”

She added: “People run for the joy of it, the self achievement and there are a few that  run competitively.  We just have to manage  and not compromise that but it shouldn’t take away from the day for the other runners.”

As for the early walk-runners, Dr Tucker says holding them up at Cedar Avenue might be an option to allow the race leaders through.

She said: “That’s something we really need to look at. Their time shows they’re much slower but their arrival time was close and that’s a concern.

“We need to clean that up. Some won’t get in without an early start but we have to manage it so it doesn’t compromise the elite athletes.”

Overall, she said the successes had outweighed the negatives and reserved special praise for Ed Sherlock and George Jones, 81 and 76 respectively.

She said: “It was a wonderful day and a wonderful race. There was a surprising outcome for the men but [the wins were] well achieved by young Tyler [Butterfield] and Rose-Anna Hoey. All in all, it was a very good day.

She added: “The excellent George Jones and Ed Sherlock were amazing  in their participation. The whole community should salute them. There is something special about them.”