Not even the cancellation of the 2020 TCS NYC Marathon due to COVID-19 can stop Grenada’s Philomena Robertson from running 26.2 miles in honour of Reach Within, a local charity that supports children who experienced abuse or neglect.
This Sunday, November 01, Robertson will run her very own marathon route through the streets of Grenada.
The run will start at the westward facing bridge near the Grenada National Stadium; continuing through the town of Saint George, the Carenage, Port Highway and on to Grand Anse, Grand Anse Valley,
Woodlands, Calivigny, Westerhall and Red Gate. The turnaround point will be in front of the Mas Camp
building in Bailles Bacolet.
The return loop will be the same, except for the addition of two bits in Grand Anse – the section of the
Maurice Bishop Highway between the Sugar Mill and True Blue roundabouts and also the Morne Rouge
loop. The run will continue through Grand Anse, Port Highway and the Carenage, ending at the samebridge near the stadium. Run is scheduled to start at 4:30am.
Individuals can support Philomena’s marathon run by going to https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/10for10reachwithin, donate $10 and get 10 friends to join you.
In an interview with Troy Clarke, Reach Within’s Transitional Living Coordinator for adolescent and young adults, Robertson shared that she has been running marathons since November 2011 and has since completed 20 marathons in various states across the USA and islands in the Caribbean.
She said her motivation for running marathons stemmed from a 2011 news article about a fire-fighter who ran the Chicago Marathon on behalf of a charity.
Living outside of Grenada, she sought out charities affiliated with marathons that benefitted a cause in Grenada and came across Reach Within. “I contacted them, secured a spot for the NYC Marathon and the rest in history. Since then, I have run the New York Marathon five times, and on each occasion, it was in support of Reach Within and their work with disadvantaged children in Grenada,” she said.
In addition, Robertson, who is Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, describes herself as “a girl who loves running.”
She said, “Apart from supporting Reach Within when I run the NYC, completing marathons for me, represents a test of my own willpower. A journey of 26.2 miles is no easy feat and every time I complete that journey, it provides me with proof of what I’m truly made of – a silent, but relentless determination, matched by an unwavering persistence to finish what I started. As I cross every finish line, I feel this indescribable and unmatched sense of accomplishment, because I endured, I persevered and eventually, I triumphed.”
The marathon runner expressed that the success stories within the Reach Within programme inspires her. Noting that they refuse to let these circumstances define them, she said, “I admire that and when I run, I am energised by the sheer determination they display every day.”
In advice to young adults of Reach Within, Robertson urged, “continue pressing on. Challenges in life are inevitable and some of us face more challenges than others, but it does not mean that these challenges are insurmountable…Anything is possible if you go with God, with confidence, with determination and a willingness to fight for what you believe.”
With degrees in both media and international relations, Robertson is a well-travelled and accomplished professional who started her career as a broadcast journalist at the Grenada Broadcasting
Network and has worked in Public Relations for the past 12 years.