The Cayman Islands Marathon takes place in just under a week on Sunday, 3 December but the registrations from overseas runners continue to pour in and organisers have confirmed that this is indeed the largest number of international participants that the race has ever gotten.
At the time of writing, 78 overseas runners were registered for the event. 39 of them have committed to run the full marathon (26.2 miles); 27 will be running the half marathon (13.1 miles) and 12 persons will be running in relay teams (4 persons per team). The bulk of the athletes are traveling from the USA but there are also runners registered from countries further a field such as France, the UK, Denmark and Canada. Race organisers attribute the swell in international participation to increased marketing abroad. The race was promoted in elite running publication Marathons & Beyond and the event is an official member of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) which gives organisers access to thousands of runners around the world. In addition, the Cayman Islands Marathon had a strong presence at the Boston Marathon which took place in April where a race representative distributed thousands of Cayman Islands Marathon brochures and promoted the event to over 75,000 visitors at the Boston Health & Fitness Expo. The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, a major sponsor of the race, has also made the brochures available in all of their satellite offices around the world and at the various conferences and trade shows where DoT exhibits. Several local athletes have taken the pamphlets with them when traveling overseas to participate in other races as well.
‘We are absolutely thrilled about the number of overseas runners that are coming to run in the Cayman Islands Marathon!’ said Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Ltd., the organisers of the race. ‘Many of these people have never been to the island before and this is a perfect opportunity for us to showcase the warmth and hospitality of the Cayman Islands which will allow them to leave with lasting memories of their visit to Cayman, and return some day with friends and family. I want to encourage the public to come out on race day and support all of our runners, especially our visitors, and I want to thank all of our wonderful sponsors who have made it possible for us to attract these runners to our shores.’
Mrs. Kelly says that the organising committee and volunteers will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that every visiting runner has a wonderful race experience from the moment they arrive until the day they leave. There will be a welcome desk set up at the airport for the runners where they will get information about the race and a goodie bag containing rum cakes courtesy of Tortuga and other promotional items from DoT. Transportation will be provided free of charge to and from the race from the various hotels and tour operators such as Red Sail Sports and Nautilus have offered discount coupons to the visitors.
‘As organisers, we maintain that the Cayman Islands can and should be marketed as a sports destination. As it pertains to running, the flatness of the terrain, a family-friendly environment, beautiful beaches, other exciting attractions and great weather make Grand Cayman both an ideal vacation spot and a great race venue. Runners can indulge their passion and provide a memorable holiday for their families at the same time. We hope that as this event continues to go from strength to strength, it will encourage potential sponsors to step up and support the race because it does benefit everyone in Cayman.’
The Cayman Islands Marathon takes place on Sunday, 3 December 2006. Registration is open at www.CaymanIslandsMarathon.com. All proceeds from the race benefit the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
For more information, call Sue Greene at 946.8822 or email [email protected].
The Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by Digicel; Cayman Islands Department of Tourism; Deloitte; Cayman National; Breezes By The Bay Restaurant (Official Marathon Party Zone); 106.1 KISS FM (Official Radio Station); Cayman Airways; Flowers Bottled Water (Official Water); Gatorade (Official Sports Drink); Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort (Official Hotel); TAG Heuer; Final Touch; Butterfield Bank; Audi, CUC; RE/MAX Cayman Islands; Generali; Admiral; KPMG; Red Sail Sports; Island Companies and Pepsi.