Walkers welcome at marathon

The Cayman Islands Marathon is only a few weeks ago and people of all fitness levels are getting ready for the various demands of the event.

It’s not just a marathon, there’s also a half-marathon, four-person relay and Kids Fun Run all on Sunday, 7 December and organisers are letting walkers know that they are invited and just as welcome as runners to participate.

The race route is officially open for six hours to accommodate the runners doing the full marathon (26.2 miles), making it possible for those doing the half marathon (13.1 miles) to complete their race at pretty much any pace they feel comfortable.

‘We love having the walkers with us for the Half-Marathon,’ said Rhonda Kelly, Race Director. ‘Not only do they add to the enjoyment of the race but it’s also nice to see them along the route. They keep the course populated, which is great for a small race across such a long course.’

Claudia Welds participated in the Half-Marathon for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed her experience.

Although unable to walk it this year due to injury, she is encouraging walkers to get out there and join in on the fun, and perhaps even challenge themselves by making it a walk/run.

‘Last year at the age of 56, I was very proud to complete my very first half-marathon doing a combination of walking and running,’ says Welds, Marketing Executive at Cayman National, sponsor of the Cayman Islands Marathon since its inception.

‘I am living proof that it can be done, and I would tell all walkers to go for it! Make it a personal goal, keep focused and enlist the support of family and friends which you will definitely need. You also need to prepare for the challenge, not only physically but mentally.’

Welds says her training was a combination of commitment and team support.

‘I received the support through training with a ‘buddy’ and with the encouragement and expertise of Laura Ribbins of Fitness Connection,’ explains Welds.

‘Once you have a training schedule and are committed to sticking with it, you will be prepared to participate and finish successfully. There are also the added benefits that come with training, such as becoming fitter and healthier.’

For the past two years Laura Ribbins of Fitness Connection has offered a walking and running programme for people who have signed up for the Cayman Islands Marathon and this year the training is being offered again to people of all levels. For more information, call Laura on 949.8485 or email [email protected].

Online registration for the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon and four-person relay is available at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.

Participants can also do walk-in registration at the Kelly Holding office. For more information log on to CaymanIslandsMarathon.com, email [email protected] or call Sue Greene on 946.8822. The main organisers are Bev Sinclair and Rhonda Kelly.

The Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by Digicel, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Gatorade, Flowers Bottled Water, Corona Light, Cayman National, Atlantic Star Limited, Sagicor, Breezes By the Bay Restaurant, Cayman Free Press, Kirk Freeport, 106.1 KISS FM, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Island Companies, ESSO, BioFreeze/RVC Rehab Services, Quaker, Red Sail Sports, CUC, Royal Bank of Canada, Audi, Tropicana, RE/MAX Cayman Islands, Million Dollar Run, Inc. and The Final Touch.