The first road race of the new year did not throw up any surprises as Scott Brittain is clearly the fastest in Grand Cayman at present.
The 31-year-old Aussie has won all four races he’s entered – including the marathon last month – and was easily the quickest on the run leg of the team triathlon in November. On Sunday, Brittain confirmed his dominance by winning the Fuji 5K Run/Walk in a relatively fast 16 minutes 53 seconds, eight seconds ahead of second placed Marius Acker. Third was Russell Coleman in 17.01.
Brittain said: ‘It was a pretty competitive field, all the top runners on the island were out. There was about five or six of us who turned together at the half-way point. There was Marius, Russell, Dave Walker and a couple of others. It was just after half way that I got the feeling that Marius was trying to pick up the pace a little bit. My plan was to sit in as long as possible because I wasn’t exactly sure how fit I was given the break I’d had after the marathon. So I was still with Marius with about 200 metres to go and I put in a kick at that point and he came with me and fortunately, I opened a big enough gap to hold on and finish just ahead of him.’
It’s not true that beer loving Brittain had a jug of the golden nectar waiting for him at the end to ensure he finished fast. He laughed: ‘I think I’ve had enough of beer drinking in the last few weeks to last me a lifetime!’
Acker is a 36-year-old South African. An accountant with Butterfield Bank, he devotes all his spare time to training for various road races and triathlons. When anyone trains to a certain level, endorphin hormones are released into the body which create the feel-good factor. Some people are ‘addicted’ to that. Acker denies being an endorphin junkie but his love of staying in shape is amazing. ‘I wouldn’t say I was addicted to keeping fit but most people would say so. I do get irritated if I don’t train, so I have to train at least once a day, something that makes me sweat. It’s good and keeps you in shape.’
He beat the old Cayman half marathon record a month ago by two minutes, despite not being 100 per cent. ‘My legs were cramping because they still hadn’t fully recovered from the previous week’s triathlon. But I wanted to defend the title from the previous year and also better my time.’
He is gunning to beat Brittain. ‘I wouldn’t say Scott is the fastest on the island. He is beatable.’
Acker was the first amateur home in the triathlon when former professional world champion Spencer Smith breezed it a couple of months ago. Acker overtook Walker in the last few minutes. He is looking forward to the Half Ironman in Orlando in May. It’s a 2k swim, 90k bike and 21k run and he hopes to win his age category and finish in the top 20 overall. ‘I’m also running the Miami half marathon at the end of this month and the Cayman duathlon in March. That and the marathon are the only two events I haven’t won on the island in my three years here.’
Not a lover of team sports, partly because it is not physically exerting enough, he also hates getting injured from physical contact. ‘The last time I played touch rugby I cracked my rib and it prevented me from defending one of my titles.’
Somehow he also finds time to go surf-kiting, tennis, spinning (static cycling), gym sessions and windsurfing. Not surprisingly, he’s a single man. ‘I think if I was married and devoted all my time to sports as I do I would quickly be divorced!’