Digicel 5K Run For Special Needs takes place tonight
Thousands of persons, weather permitting, are expected to converge on the Waterfront in downtown Kingston on Saturday night for the annual Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs, which is set for a prompt 7 pm start.
Now in its seventh staging, the event is aimed at raising awareness and financial support for persons with special needs.
The 2017 staging attracted over 10,000 participants and five special needs organisations received $1 million each from the proceeds.
Seven special needs organisations will benefit from funds raised in this year’s event. They are: Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Early Stimulation Programme, Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica, Jamaica Autism support Association, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation and Promise Learning Centre.
Ahead of the race, participants are asked to take into consideration traffic changes.
Traffic travelling to or from the Norman Manley International Airport between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm will be diverted by the police.
All roads leading to the race route and staging area will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6:30 pm and 8:30 p.m.
There is a slight change to the route. For the first time the race route will bypass West Parade, North Parade and East Parade.
The event, the first-ever night-run 5K, will commence at the Digicel headquarters on 14 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston. It will proceed west along Ocean Boulevard, then left onto Port Royal Street, around the bend onto Water Lane, right onto Pechon Street, then left onto Harbour Street, left onto King Street, right onto South Parade, right onto Church Street, then left onto Harbour Street, proceed easterly along Harbour Street across to lower South Camp Road around the Norman Manley Boulevard round-a-bout then right onto Port Royal Street, finishing at the intersection of Princess Street and Port Royal Street.
Race director Alfred 'Frano' Francis of Running Events Limited said that water stops will be located at the start and finish lines, along with two on the route to ensure adequate hydration.
He also pointed out that qualified medical personnel will be on hand for first aid needs. In addition, Francis said that adequate security will be provided on the route and at select parking lots.
During the launch of the 2018 staging on August 17, Justin Morin, CEO of Digicel Jamaica pledged $50,000 to the event.
Morin noted that "Digicel 5K run for Special Needs is a great way for all of us to show our special needs community that we care."
Since its inception in 2012, the 5K run/walk has raised over $41 million.