The Fidelity Fun Run two-mile events mark the official start of the running season right up to the Cayman Marathon in December and an Aussie who should be British with a name like Scott Brittain is likely to be the winner of everything he enters.
Brittain did it again on Saturday. Even at 7.30am it was sweltering but as always, he sped off from the John Gray High School in Walkers Road to finish the loop ending in Denham Thompson Way, comfortably ahead of David Walker.
Russell Coleman had been second the previous two weeks but was third this time so maybe his girlfriend Gemma is not the world’s greatest fitness trainer after all.
Brittain claims he is not as fit as he would like to be, which must be quite unnerving for his rivals. ‘Yes, my fitness is still coming along as we get further and further into the running season, but it’s getting better,’ said Brittain who had barely broken sweat.
‘It was my fastest one of the series so far. They called out 10 minutes exactly as I finished. I just did only one last year and ran 10 minutes 3 seconds.
‘Of course, I can’t complain too much, I just wish I had one more second in me. My time starting with 9 minutes… would sound a lot nicer.’
Brittain now focuses on the marathon in December and will do a few runs in between. He hasn’t registered yet but insists it’s not gamesmanship on his part to keep rivals guessing. ‘No, I’m just a bit disorganised.’
Fastest woman home was Beth Schreader and Julie Ann Pearson was second woman to finish.
Schreader missed the first week as she was off island. She was fastest woman in the second race too.
‘I’m training right now for the Cayman Marathon in December,’ she said. ‘I did the full two years ago and did the half last year. I was third female both times and hope to improve my place this year.
‘I don’t know who my main rivals will be because the marathon usually ends up with a lot of overseas runners and you don’t know who is coming in. We’ll see what happens.’
Fidelity did a great job and it couldn’t have run so smoothly without the input of master time keeper coach Jerry Harper.
Not everyone is an elite runner, of course, which is what makes the Fidelity runs so inclusive.
Whole families like the Tweedies, McErleans, Hoeksemas and Touheys turned out.
Children no bigger than the cones they were running around, mums and dads with pushchairs and even dogs completed the course. A tiny little girl called Jamaica looked about four yet she ran all three and got a prize.
No kid claimed to being beaten to within an inch of their lives to partake so props must go to their parents for getting them out there willingly.
The most improbable finisher was me, running it for the second consecutive week, finishing 86th in around 21 minutes and getting a third place trophy in my senior citizen age-group. Thanks Jerry, at least Usain Bolt hasn’t got one!
Typical family were the McErleans. Helen and daughter Electra walked with dog Lola while husband Eamon whizzed ahead.
Eamon claims not to be a serious runner who only does it for fun yet he was 21st the second week in a respectable time of 13mins 36secs and 25th on Saturday in roughly the same time.
He said: ‘I used to be faster but don’t run that much any more, partly because I got a knee injury a couple of years ago.’
Canadian Kendy Steeves and husband Doug are triathletes from Grimsby, just outside Toronto. They moved to Cayman in April and into their new house off Seven Mile Beach at the end of June.
‘We’ve really enjoyed training here because of the sunshine and the water, it’s been great,’ said Kendy. ‘We’re hoping to do the triathlon here at the end of November.
‘We’re going to Peru at the end of October for two weeks of hiking. We’ll be walking every day to get ready for the Andes hike.’
Doug was 52nd on Saturday and Kendy finished just ahead of me in 85th. Doug is senior finance manager for the Reef Resort in East End and now they have settled into their new home Kendy is looking for a job in food purchasing.
Doug was 45th the previous week. He said: ‘My sporting plans are same as Kendy’s, I’ll just tag along with her!’
Organiser Marsha Ebanks is a marketing and public relations co-ordinator for Fidelity. She said: ‘Everybody’s excited and really enjoyed these runs.
‘This has been the best turn out since we started. We’ve had really good feed back and it’s becoming a tradition for us.
‘Scott keeps winning, he’s amazing. By the time I walked around the corner after the start, he was coming in!
‘Next year we want even more people coming out and hitting the pavement.
‘Right now we’re giving away 1,000 freedom points if you sign up for a credit card. We’re giving you a chance for $50 of free gas or $50 discount on your RSA policy. So we hope to get people running, banking and insuring with us.’
Are there any other Fidelity runs planned? ‘We partnered with coach Jerry on this one and will keep that in mind.’
Jim McLean is manager of business services and business development for Fidelity. He gave out the trophies. ‘These runs have been a fantastic success and a great effort by everybody concerned,’ McLean said.
‘This was very much part of a team effort. I’m just a small part of a very big wheel.
‘Hopefully, next year it’ll be even bigger and more successful than this year. This was our sixth series.’