Nutmeg under tongue to increase stamina and protect from the haters. Wet asphalt increased the race difficulty. Sponsors and emergency vehicles…Check. Push Carts… Check. Strong able bodied cart pushers… Check- Or at least so they say. All was in place for the Annual Push Cart Derby in Clarendon on December 28, 2014.
Despite the heavy rainfall, a huge crowd gathered in the streets and under shop piazzas in Main Street, May Pen last Sunday. The Rum Bar Sponsored Event was in its third staging and has become a well anticipated annual event.
“Trust me, it nice bad, is something that me enjoy. Something dat is fi wi culture.” One woman remarked. The Annual Push Cart Derby was conceived out of the idea to form a better relationship between push cart drivers and other road users. A few days before the race, cart drivers are educated on road safety practices, courtesy and health practices to protect themselves and those they come in contact with. This idea seemed to be well received as Push Cart drivers in the town were no longer viewed only as nuisances.
Shortly after 3pm the heats for the races began. Drivers revved their carts, put the final drizzles of oil on the wheels and did the necessary pre-race stunts. People predicted races and cheered on their favourites. The event wasn’t without the usual drama as a mentally ill woman didn’t take lightly to being asked to clear the area.
The flag waved and the carts sped off, battered sneakers and bare feet hopped on the asphalt propelling carts to the finish line where they could win $10,000JMD along with a gift basket from RumBar to further heighten the holiday spirits. Second and third places were also rewarding, as cash prizes of $7000 and $5000 dollars respectively would be issued along with RumBar gift baskets.
The race was for the swift and who could endure but endurance did not seem to be a common fluid that flowed through the participants, as the return leg saw them panting, fainting and even crawling back with their carts. Thanks to the sponsors they were hydrated and the final races were run. The Finals saw Omar Nelson, favourite Lloyd “Blacks” Henry and Clayton Morrison emerging as winners.
The evening ended with everyone in high spirits and we anticipate the event to be bigger and better in 2015.