More than two dozen runners braved passing showers to participate in the Elton Georges Annual Diabetes Run/Walk on Nov. 5 starting and ending at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Despite a stormy start, more than two dozen people joined the Elton Georges Annual Diabetes Run/Walk on Nov. 5 as Diabetes Awareness Month got under way.

Racers started in the early morning at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park amid light showers. Though the sunrise briefly shone through as they made their way to the halfway point at Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cows Bay, they faced strong winds and rain upon their return. Back at the park, the runners were greeted with cheers from BVI Diabetes Association volunteers who served them a hot breakfast.

More events are planned for the rest of the month to help educate the public about diabetes. Upcoming activities include health fairs at locations across Tortola from Saturday through Nov. 20; a community gathering for World Diabetes Day at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park; wearing blue to spread awareness on Nov. 18; and a symposium led by Dr. Colin Hawkes on Nov. 23 at Village Cay where the public can learn about insulin from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and medical professionals can attend from 5-8 p.m.

On Virgin Gorda

Community members also took to the streets on Virgin Gorda on Saturday for a three-kilometre fun run starting at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s campus on the sister island.

The awareness run was a collaboration between The Valley Sound Lions Club and the HLSCC College Classic Race Series, and organisers offered free health screenings. The club is also organising additional events, including a health screening from 6:30-8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Centre on Virgin Gorda and a fitness class led by Living Fit BVI at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 available for a $10 registration fee.

Additionally, the organisation is encouraging the public to drink water every “Wellness Wednesday” with the chance to win a prize via social media.

Additional details are available on the groups’ Facebook pages.

The BVIDA encourages community members to take diabetes prevention seriously and to learn to recognise symptoms.