New pro Forbes off to Orlando

Cayman national track athlete Ronald Forbes is heading off-island to resume his training.


Forbes will probably not be training here for a while.
Photo: Ron Shillingford

He is expected to leave Grand Cayman this week to restart his training schedule and is slated to get back on the track from Monday.

Forbes, who graduated from Florida International University in May before the Beijing Olympics, is officially a track and field professional.

The 23-year-old intends to compete in a number of meets in and around the US before gearing up for a run at the 2009 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships. That will be held in Berlin, Germany 22-30 August.

The championships happen every two years. The last meet was last year in Osaka, Japan. It fielded some 47 events and drew nearly 2,000 athletes, the highest amount of competitors ever in the history of the event.

Forbes said he looks forward to representing Cayman on a big stage yet again.

‘I’m training for the next big competition next year. I’ll be running multiple meets between now and then but I’m aiming to go [to Germany] and represent.’

He might possibly still have to qualify for the IAAF meet. Forbes recalls meeting the qualifying standard for the meet in the run-up towards Beijing though he is not sure.

In any case, Forbes is eager to get back on track after taking an extended break. He last ran in August during the Olympics and has been resting in Cayman until now.

One of the reasons for Forbes’ sojourn is to take time to fellowship with family and friends and take in his time in Beijing.

One of the people Forbes most wanted to spend time with was his father Ronald Forbes Sr, commonly referred to as ‘Ronnie.’

‘My father and I are like twins. It was a good feeling for him to be there at the airport to greet me. He has been the guy who made it [my running career] most possible.

‘He has always encouraged me to bounce back from mishaps and I’m always there to motivate him too.’

As Forbes states, his Olympic experience left a lasting impression.

‘I’ve been to many high-class events but China took things over the edge for me. There was no allowance for excuses as you had no shortage of facilities at your disposal. It allowed you to focus on competing.

‘Beijing was definitely the chance of a lifetime.’

While in Cayman, Forbes spent his days working for his father’s interior-finishing company Prestige Dry-Wall.

According to Forbes he had a supervisory role, dealt with much of the paper work and basically helped out wherever his father needed assistance.

In addition he made a public appearance mentoring kids in the North Side area about following their dreams and overcoming adversities.

He is familiar with adversity in regards to his body. One of the big reasons Forbes rested while in Cayman was to allow his aching muscles to heal.

He had an injury to the toe next to the ‘pinky’ toe on his right foot. Reportedly Forbes suffered from metatarsal inflammation where the bones in his toe were inflamed and swollen.

He received the injury in China, most likely when he knocked over a hurdle during his last run.

Forbes competed in the 110 metres hurdles in Beijing and just missed making the semi-finals.

According to Forbes he was told by numerous doctors to relax and let the foot heal over time.

‘I was treated in China and I was advised by everyone to relax. I’ve had four or five doctors look at me and all have said to rest. They said no stretching, no lifting; no nothing.

‘Since I’ve been in Cayman I haven’t seen a doctor because I basically know what I have to do already.’

Nevertheless, he’s in good spirits and feeling fine. He not only understands the reason to rest but welcomes it.

‘While I’ve been home I haven’t trained or done any lifting. I’m not even walking fast. I’m here to take a physical break.

‘It’s actually been over a year that I’ve been in full races and practice. The college system has you starting in August and stopping in about June. The thing is I went from that straight into China. My body needed a break.

‘I’m feeling good. The little aches and pains in my body have subsided. The injury is not serious. I was told that because of plenty of pounding on my foot it swelled up to protect itself.’

During his time at home, Forbes says he has been touched with the level of support he has received from the community.

He said there were many instances where random people approached him and commended him on his achievement.

‘I’ve been seeing the reactions from the community, people from school and the general public. People have stopped what they were doing to stop and talk to me.

‘I’m impressed that people were watching the Games and it got their attention. Their reaction makes it all worthwhile for me.’

He went on to say that he’s not sure when he will get back home but wanted to express his gratitude to the general public for all their well-wishes.

‘I just want to say a warm thank-you to Cayman and the general public. Thanks for all your support and your involvement in my rise in track and field. I appreciate all of your support.’