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Date : 27th March, 2018
Time : 56’ 58”
Number of runners : 17
Total distance run to date : 1410 km
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2609070924
One of the questions I most frequently get asked is, “You visit a lot of places. Any holiday recommendations?” I then have to explain that I can’t really help as Run the World is about as far removed from a tourist’s experience as it’s possible to be. I’m usually in a country for less than 24 hours, staying at a low cost hotel in a city centre or near the airport, and doing very little apart from running and transferring back and forth to the airport.*
Take the Maldives for example. Renowned for its luxury holidays, I must be the only overseas visitor who’s been there and not seen the sun or a beach. Just grey skies, crowded roads, a cramped hotel room and a close up of the pavement when I slipped and face planted …
But every so often I go somewhere that is so obviously lovely that you immediately think about going back there on holiday. Antigua was one such place. (For anyone who’s not familiar with Antigua, try the following taster video which includes expert local commentary from Bryan – of whom more below.)
Of course it always helps you appreciate a country when you have a good run with good people – and that’s exactly what Bryan Law of the Antigua Hash House Harriers had organised.
We started at Sugar Ridge Hotel where I was staying (many cuts above my usual accommodation on these trips…) and followed the yellow hash flags to Ffryes Beach and the Darkwood Beach. My running companion at the time didn’t share my excited reaction to the beaches. Which is only to be expected if, like her, you live in Antigua where great beaches are commonplace. If, on the other hand, you live in London and have just endured winter, then a beach bathed in sunshine is a wondrous thing!
We were also somewhat lost in conversation about something which, I’m ashamed to say, I knew very little : hypothalamic amenorrhea/ or REDS (relative energy deficiency in sports) syndrome. In essence, if a woman over-exercises then it can impact her menstrual cycle and even mean that she can’t conceive. Apparently this is quite common amongst elite women athletes.
On a related subject, she also told me that a six pack can damage a woman’s internal organs. Her view was that women need a little body fat around the middle.
While I hate to write anything that might discourage anyone from exercise, I thought this was all worth mentioning. I guess it just goes to show that, as is almost always the case, moderation is best.
Back to the run. Which some of us were running while others walked. But have no fear. This was (mostly) a hash crowd and, of course, we all came back together for the post run photo.
And libations. Which took place at Miracles. Where they donated a free bottle of fizz to the proceedings in honour of our great achievement. Or perhaps it was because we’d already bought so many Wadadlis. Either way it was a lot of fun.
The following day, Bryan changed role from hasher and run organiser to PR guru and tour guide. He picked me up from the hotel and drove me from Jolly Harbour to English Harbour – which is a 45 minute drive through and past some stunning scenery – for an interview with English Harbour Radio.
Which he’d personally arranged for me and where I did about 20 minutes on breakfast radio with the irrepressibly charming Gemma Handy.
He then took me sightseeing and I took a lot more photos of Antigua. Here’s one of them. You know, just in case you hadn’t already got the picture that its quite a nice place with some decent beaches..
It just remains for me to do what I somehow forgot to do during the radio interview – and say a huge thank you to the Antigua Hash House Harriers and everyone who ran / walked / supported the run in Antigua. And, of course, special thanks to Bryan for arranging everything and to Gemma for hosting me on breakfast radio. I had a great time – see you all when I come back on holiday!
Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!
*To be fair, I also get to meet a lot of locals, do some media, give school talks etc. All of which are great but, again, have nothing in common with a tourist experience.
More photos below
Facts & Stats
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.
Antigua also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.
Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish after an icon in Seville Cathedral, “Santa Maria de la Antigua” — St. Mary of the Old Cathedral.The name Waladli comes from the indigenous inhabitants and means approximately “our own”. The island’s circumference is roughly 87 km (54 mi) and its area 281 km2 (108 sq mi). Its population was 80,161 (at the 2011 Census). The economy is mainly reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market.
Over 32,000 people live in the capital city, St. John’s. The capital is situated in the north-west and has a deep harbour which is able to accommodate large cruise ships. Other leading population settlements are All Saints (3,412) and Liberta (2,239), according to the 2001 census.
English Harbour on the south-eastern coast is famed for its protected shelter during violent storms. It is the site of a restored British colonial naval station called “Nelson’s Dockyard” after Captain Horatio Nelson. Today English Harbour and the neighbouring village of Falmouth are known as a yachting and sailing destination and provisioning centre. During Antigua Sailing Week, at the end of April and beginning of May, an annual regatta brings a number of sailing vessels and sailors to the island to play sports.
World Bank Data
Here’s the latest World Bank data for Antigua & Barbuda – with the year 2000 as a comparison.
GDP $1.46bn 2016 $830m 2000
Population 101 k 2016 84 k 2000
Primary school enrolment* 88% 2015 115% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 5.4 2014 4.1 2000
% below poverty line*** NA NA
Life expectancy at birth 76.4 yrs 2016 73.5 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $13560 2016 $9230 2000
*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students
** Metric tons per capita
***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)
Greatest Sporting Nation Data
Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Antigua performed in the global sporting arena in 2017:
Global Cup – NA
Per Capita Cup – NA
The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.