Frederiksted hosts 30th annual Women Race this Sunday

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ST. CROIX - The Women's Coalition of St. Croix is celebrating its 33rd year of service this fall, and this weekend the organization will sponsor its 30th annual Women Race in Frederiksted.

As they have done for the last three decades, hundreds of women and girls will take to the streets of Frederiksted on Sunday for the race to show support for the Women's Coalition and solidarity against domestic violence in the St. Croix community.

This year's Women Race is dedicated to Mary Mingus, former co-director and one of the coalition's founders, for her commitment to helping victims and survivors and ending violence in the community. Mingus retired earlier this year.

This year, for the first time, the women and girls will be joined by men and boys, who are encouraged to show they support putting an end to domestic violence.

Race activities begin at 4:45 p.m. Sunday across from Fort Frederick on King Street.

Residents of all ages are eligible to participate in the Women Race, which is not just for runners.

Competitors can finish the two-mile race in any fashion they choose: walking, running, jogging, pushing a baby stroller or using a wheelchair or cane.

The race is a major fundraiser for the Women's Coalition, which is an advocacy group for abused women and children and offers support and counseling to victims of violent crimes, domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse and rape.

The race starts at Fort Frederick, heads north to Rainbow Beach, then turns around and heads south up King Street and turns down Strand Street where the race finishes in front of the McBean Clock Tower.

Top finishers in their age groups will be recognized, and participants also will receive medals and trophies in categories by age, from younger than age 8 to older than 80; for top finishers; for team speed; and for mothers with babies in strollers.

Coalition director Clema Lewis said the work the organization does in the community touches hundreds of lives each year, and she hopes the community will continue supporting that work and the race.

Lewis said the coalition has managed to stay afloat despite a number of challenges in the last year, including a significant loss of its contribution stream with the closing of the HOVENSA refinery and thousands of its employees and their families moving off island.

Lewis encourages sororities, churches, schools, social clubs and other organizations to get involved, form groups and come out and get physical for the cause.

She also encourages men and boys in the community to be a part of the event and a part of spreading the message that there is no room in the community for domestic violence.

Registration for the race is $15 in advance and $20 on race day. Participants can also purchase a T-shirt or tank top for an additional $5. Girls younger than 14 can participate for $1, which does not include a shirt. Early registration is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at both St. Croix Kmart locations, Cost-U-Less and the Frederiksted Post Office.

For more information about the Women's Coalition or the race, call 773-9272. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 222734, Christiansted, VI, 00822-2734.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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