The 25th Annual OECS Half-Marathon will be held in BVI this year for the first time, and will be combined with the BVI Half-Marathon, held initially in 2006. The joint event to be run on Tortola offers $10,000 in prizes. Last year’s winning time and course record was 1 hour 15 minutes 53 seconds, set by Curtis Cox of Trinidad and Tobago.

St. Lucia’s Zepherinus Joseph, who has won the OECS Half-Marathon for the last six years, will be defending his title for prize money of $1,000. With the course record expected to fall, the winner will collect an additional $500. Joseph’s best time is 1 hour 4 minutes 55 seconds.

Visiting athletes are expected from Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts-Nevis, and US VI.

The race begins at 6 a.m. Saturday at A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds and heads east to the Port Purcell Roundabout and down to Pockwood Pond, before returning to finish on the track. An awards luncheon is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Tortola Sports Club in Pasea. Final registration and collection of information packets will be done at the Tortola Sports Club between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday.