Cayman marathon nears the starting line

| 01/12/2017
CNS Local Life

Ristorante Pappagallo relay team at last year’s race

(CNS Local Life): The latest numbers for participants in this Sunday’s (3 December) marathon show 109 confirmed full marathoners and 650 registered for the half. In addition, 80 teams have signed up for the relay. More than 100 last-minute entrants are also expected to come in the day before the race. This year’s event is raising funds for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society, as well as other worthy organisations.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the event, which pulled in just more than 1,300 runners in 2016. Visiting runners, their families and supporters will bring close to 500 visitors to the island, organisers said in a press release.

The Kids Fun Run, sponsored by Milo and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, will start at 10:30am at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue and end just past the finish line on the corner of Cardinall Avenue and Harbour Drive. This event is free for students between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and is expected to attract 300 kids.

The top three male and female marathoners and half marathoners in the 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over age categories will be awarded for their achievements. The top three teams in the corporate, all-male, all-female, mixed and CUC High School challenge relay events will also receive awards.

Another element that organisers say has become more popular each year is the water stop challenge, where volunteers vie for runners’ votes and the chance to be lauded as the most exciting, enthusiastic and supportive water station.

New this year for runners are bibs featuring a Cayman underwater image, with coloured shirts and timing chips embedded in the bibs.

“It’s our 15th anniversary and we are looking forward to sharing this milestone with our runners, volunteers and sponsors and everyone who has supported us over the years,” said Rhonda Kelly, race director. “This event is so inspirational and at times so emotional. We are just thrilled to be a part of the triumphs and powerful moments that a lot of our local and visiting runners will experience this Sunday.”

CNS Local Life

Steve Speirs, last year’s marathon winner

Organisers are asking for the public’s cooperation during the race by keeping traffic along the route to a minimum and, in particular, those people who live along the route are being asked to secure their dogs in their yards, and turn on their Christmas lights if they have any from 4:30am on 3 December.

The race starts at on the George Town waterfront, by Sharkey’s Restaurant (formerly Breezes) and goes through South Church Street, South Sound and Old Prospect Road, after which runners turn around and go back through South Sound and then onto Walkers and Hospital Roads, Elgin Avenue, Edward and Fort Streets and finally to Sharkey’s.

Late registration for all categories of the event can only be done at the Westin Resort’s Galleon Ballroom from 9am to 3pm on Saturday, 2 December, during packet pick up.
Among the people taking part are:

  • Brittany Kahl and Adam Kremers from Denver, Colorado, who are both running the full marathon – and hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon – then getting married two days after the race
  • Tammie Meisner from Woodridge, Illinois, who is turning 50 on race day and chose to celebrate by running a full marathon with 30 of her closest friends who have either travelled to run with her or just in support
  • Cayman resident Jayne Woollard, who is lacing up this year in honour of her sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and said all of her efforts and training were for her
  • Half marathoner Katie Lee (Cayman) is raising money for a brain cancer charity after her friend was recently diagnosed with that disease
  • Caymanian Kristina Buckeridge, who said she has struggled with her weight her entire life but decided in January 2017 to take control of “this life-long plague”, and joined the CrossFit 7-Mile Couch to 5K programme. She’s lost at least 30lbs so far and has set a personal goal to complete her first half marathon
  • Caymanian Nasaria Budal, who has completed the half marathon twice before, but said this time around will be different and cathartic. Budal was diagnosed with clinical depression late last year, and has found that walking/running is one of her best outlets for getting through each and every day. “There’s nothing quite like a run to release negative energy, reconnect with my body, recharge my mind and restore my soul. So, for me, the marathon – each and every step – will just about complete my ‘year of self-love’…and that’s a story I can’t wait to share.”
  • Russell Crumpler, who is a Hurricane Irma evacuee from the British Virgin Islands temporarily living in Cayman. He’s running the full marathon here, which happens on the same day as the annual BVI half marathon that he said will still be taking place this year
  • Resident Carey McKee, who was attacked whilst running one morning but was determined not to let it stop her, instead setting the half marathon as her goal and her motivation to keep running
  • John Cluley and his wife Wendy Wheless from Austin, Texas, who will be tackling the half marathon together. Wendy is 6.5 months pregnant, and just finished the New York City Marathon. Their planned ‘babymoon’ vacation to Cayman has now evolved into a destination race.

For more information, email Cayman Islands Marathon or call Bev Sinclair at 623-8822


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Category: Events, Running, Sports

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