Conquering Savage Pen Road - Resurfaced roadway providing exercise opportunities

March 23, 2021
Ann Marie Kelly makes her way up the very steep Savage Pen Road in East Rural St Andrew.
Ann Marie Kelly makes her way up the very steep Savage Pen Road in East Rural St Andrew.
Ann Marie Kelly walks the Savage Pen Road  every morning as part of her daily exercise.
Ann Marie Kelly walks the Savage Pen Road every morning as part of her daily exercise.
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While the newly resurfaced Savage Pen Road in East Rural St Andrew has been sparking fear in some drivers, this steep roadway is turning out to be a perfect exercise spot for persons seeking an area to jog or walk.

Ann Marie Kelly, 59, is among the walkers who have been walking the hill in recent times. Last Friday, when THE STAR ventured to the area, she was the lone walker, but residents in the area say that the roadway tends to attract more walkers on Sundays.

Kelly said that she has lost about 20 pounds over the past few months since she began making the two-hour trek from her home in Industry Village to Savage Pen. She said that her weight had jumped from 140 to little over 200 pounds after doing two hip-replacement surgeries.

"I did the total hip replacements in 2018 and 2019, and I can walk now without pain. Walking in Savage Pen is like a medicine for me because I used to eat a lot of junk that I needed to break down. Let me tell you this, whenever I am through walking this stretch, I get a boost of energy that makes me feel like I can lift up my house and move it. Mi do all type a tings that mi never use to do," she said.

Savage Pen is an alternative route for residents of the hilly areas of St Andrew, such as Mavis Bank and Irish Town, who are seeking to get to Papine and beyond. The regular route through Gordon Town became impassable last November after a section of the roadway collapsed during heavy rains.

Kelly said that she has always felt the steep Savage Pen Road would provide her with the necessary exercise challenge, but it was not until it was resurfaced and made safer that she dared to walk it.

"I wanted to do it before, but the place was too lonely. However, there are workers directing the traffic now so I come here every day, except on Saturdays. I walk from my home through Savage Pen then go down Irish Town Road and some other places until I reach home, so that take me two hours, but the real workout is in Savage Pen because the road steep," she said.

"I am so happy for this road ... and recently, there was a young lady that was walking with me, and she got a job and had to stop, so I am lonely. Other people will walk at times, but never when I out here. But I would encourage a lot of those persons who are in the gym to come and try this road. It is a lovely road, and I am recommending this hill to everybody," Kelly said.

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