It’s a marathon of a promotion

The Cayman Islands Marathon may be at the end of the year but its organizers are busy promoting it abroad at every opportunity.

Organisers of the Cayman Islands Marathon had the opportunity to promote their race at the Boston Marathon two weeks ago. The Boston run is the oldest marathon in the world and over 21,000 competed in the 112th running. It was a perfect opportunity to promote Cayman’s which has less than 1,000 runners but is growing in popularity every year because of its scenic beauty.

The Cayman Marathon had a booth at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo and Number Pick Up which took place on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the big race on Monday, 21 April.

Sue Greene was there to talk about the event, which takes place on Sunday 7 December.

Judith Ackerman, from the Department of Tourism’s marketing department was also at the booth promoting the Cayman Islands as a tourist destination.

An estimated 90,000 people passed through the Hynes Centre in South Boston where Greene handed out over 6,000 Cayman Islands Marathon promotional brochures.

‘Exhibiting at the Boston Marathon is an excellent opportunity and probably one of the best races to attend to promote the Cayman Islands Marathon and the Cayman Islands as a destination,’ explained Greene.

‘This is our third year exhibiting at this event, and I strongly feel we are getting the exposure we need to grow our numbers with overseas runners.

‘The interest was phenomenal, and the fact that our marathon is the same weekend as our Jazz Festival made Cayman an even more attractive race destination.’

Grand Cayman is ideal for running because of its flat terrain, making the course a fast one. Scott Brittain won it last year in a record time and will no doubt want to defend his title if he is still on the island. Tennis coach Eduardo Torres was second. Torres ran the Boston Marathon as well last week.

In addition the Cayman Islands Marathon is certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations and is a member of the International Association of Marathons and Distance Races. The Cayman Marathon is also a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

‘We have a vision for this race. We believe it not only benefits the Cayman Islands economically, but it is also a great community event that promotes better health and fitness,’ said Rhonda Kelly, Race Director for the Cayman Islands Marathon.

“As a result, we are investing even more time and money this year into marketing the event internationally in order to get the results that we believe are achievable.

‘Our goal is to have 2,000 runners on the streets of Cayman in the next few years, and with a comprehensive, strategic marketing plan which includes going to races like Boston, putting brochures in runners’ bags at other races, and placing ads in publications such as Runner’s World and Marathon and Beyond, we strongly believe we can achieve our objective.

‘Partnering with us are our amazing sponsors who continue to support us each year, and without whom we could not take advantage of these great marketing opportunities. We are so grateful to them for sharing in our vision and this great experience.’

All proceeds from the marathon go to the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Online registration complete with early registration discounts is now available at www.CaymanIslandsMarathon.com for the marathon (26.2 miles), half-marathon (13.1 miles) and the four-person relay.

The 2008 Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism; Digicel; Cayman National; Atlantic Star Limited; Flowers Bottled Water (Official Water); Gatorade (Official Sports Drink); KISS 106.1 FM (Official Radio Station); Sagicor; CayCompass.com; Kirk Freeport; Breezes By The Bay Restaurant (Official Marathon Party Zone); Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort (Official Hotel); Tropicana; Quaker; BioFreeze; Island Companies; The Final Touch; Red Sail Sports; RE/MAX Cayman Islands; ESSO; CUC; Royal Bank of Canada and Audi.

For more information about the race, call Sue Greene at Kelly Holding on 946.8822, email [email protected] or log on to www.CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.

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