Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 18, 2017 (SKNIS): Vaughn Rouse, who emerged the clear winner of the Department of Environment’s Xtreme Hike, which was held on Saturday, July 15, was one of 27 hikers who participated in the event as part of the department’s Environment Month Celebrations in June.

Derionne Edmeade, Environment Officer, said that Mr. Rouse was filled with enthusiasm, noting that the winner indicated that his strategy to win was simple.

“I ran most of the hike. I ran and walked and every time I saw somebody close I started to run again because I wanted to win this. I fell a few times but that did not stop me. I came here to win,” said Vaughn Rouse.

The environment officer noted that the hikers were well prepared for the journey ahead to Dos D’ane Pond.

“With the excitement brewing, the participants made their way to the starting line with their water, energy bars and anything they felt would keep them hydrated and energized for the task ahead. It was an interesting scene as many tried to take an early lead by running to the front,” he said, noting that there were clearly marked signs to point hikers in the right direction. “Checkpoints were placed along the trail to help guide the participants. Once they got to top of the trail, each participant collected a wristband which they had to show upon reaching the finish line to place/qualify.”

He said that Dos D’ane Pond is known to most as one of the most difficult trails to hike, however, Mr. Rouse was able to complete it in just over an hour.

Shortly after Vaughn Rouse’s victory, Reginald Gumbs, of New Road Housing Project, crossed the finish line to seal second place, followed by Dave Simon of Parray Village to capture third place. Another notable finisher was Ms. Ashaunta Williams, of Middle Island, who was the first female to complete the hike in sixth position. She was highly commended for her effort. When asked about her performance, she noted that it was a fun experience and she is looking forward to the next hike organized by the Department.

Prizes were awarded to the top three finishers, while the first ten (10) persons were awarded a meal coupon compliments Burger King. Additionally, a gift bag, compliments of the Department of Environment, was given to every person who participated.

Officials at the Department of Environment expressed thanks to the sponsors, FLOW, Burger King and Island Auto Supplies for partnering with the department to provide the prizes for the event. The department also expressed profound gratitude to all the participants because without them this event would not have been a success.