The organisers of Sunday’s Cayman Marathon have asked motorists to respect the runners and not drive too closely and too fast.
They also want residents on the route to offer as much encouragement as possible, especially to the slower runners who may be boiling in the early morning sun after 7.30.
‘We’re looking forward to a fun, safe and exciting race this weekend,’ says Race Director Rhonda Kelly. ‘This event is so inspirational and at times so emotional. We are just thrilled to be able to share these milestones and great moments with our runners.
And what milestones they are. There’s Robin ‘Redhat’ Wilson, 74 and still going strong. He’s running his 340th marathon and celebrating his 46th wedding anniversary with his wife.
Then there is husband and wife Dave and Linda Major from the UK who will be doing their 300th and 204th marathons respectively.
Half marathoners John and Laurie King are looking forward to returning to the Cayman Islands 21 years after they honeymooned in Grand Cayman while Ryan Chalmers and Brian Siemann will be the first wheelchair athletes to compete in the Cayman Islands Marathon.
Last year’s marathon winner and record holder for best time, Scott Brittain, will be competing to retain his title while Courtney Deniston, 14 and Paul Deniston, 12, from Chicago will be running their first official race with their father as part of a team.
Organisers would love to see another exciting finish like that of the half marathon last year when current record holder Maria Mays (1:28:14) just nudged out Florida runner Julie Stackhouse (1:28:29) who also holds the course record for the full marathon from 2006.
Marius Acker is expected to defend his Half Marathon course record of 1:17:54 as well. He was in brilliant form two weeks ago in winning the Turtle Triathlon and admits he hopes to run 1:16.
Brittain shattered the full marathon record by eight minutes last year and if conditions are right this time, he could break his 2:45:23 time. No one else broke the three hour barrier in 2007 but there is a bunch of runners this time who could do that, including Mike McDonald, Russell Coleman and Eduardo Torres.
Organisers are asking for the public’s cooperation during the race by keeping traffic along the race route to a minimum, and in particular those people who live along the route are asked to secure their dogs in their yards, and turn on their Christmas lights if they have any from 4:30am on Sunday morning.
The race starts at Breezes and goes through South Church Street, South Sound and Old Prospect Road, after which runners turn around and go back through South Sound and then onto Walkers and Hospital Roads, Elgin Avenue, Edward and Fort Streets and back to Breezes.
Registration for the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon, four-person relay and Kids Fun Run is still open at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.
Participants can also do walk-in registration at the Kelly Holding office or at the Grand Cayman Marriott tomorrow between 10am and 4pm.
For more information email [email protected], log on to CaymanIslandsMarathon.com, or call Sue Greene on 345.946.8822.
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.