Don’t miss the year’s best event!

Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of a marathon should take the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and fun on Sunday in Cayman’s biggest sporting event.

It’s the running of the sixth annual Cayman Islands Marathon which includes the Half-Marathon and 4-Person Relay.

Sleepy-eyed, runners, volunteers and spectators alike will be up and a ridiculous hour ready for the start at 5am in front of Breezes By The Bay Restaurant on the waterfront.

The community spirited among you are invited to come out and support this great charity event which raises funds for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society.

Two days ago, organisers confirmed 65 full marathoners, 300 individuals participating in the half marathon and 36 teams registered for the race, a significant increase over the numbers from last year, and the usual flurry of last minute entries is yet to come. Last year they attracted around 500, this time round it’s likely to be 800-plus.

And with three major running magazines sending correspondents to cover and run the beautiful, that number could swell further next year.

The event has something for every age and ability. For instance, the Kids Fun Run, which was introduced last year, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Sports and Education, starts at 9:30am at the Government Administration Building (Glass House) on Elgin Avenue and ends at the Breezes by the Bay finish line.

This event is for children aged 8-12 and was very popular with the Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie wannabes last year.

The top three male and female marathoners and half marathoners in the 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over age categories will be awarded for their achievements as well as the top three teams.

In addition, the top male and female marathoners will win a TAG Heuer watch courtesy of Kirk Freeport, the top male and female half marathoners will score two iPods donated by Audiophile and the top team will win Maui Jim sunglasses from sponsor Island Companies. One lucky volunteer will receive an iPod Shuffle from Cyber Joes.

Another exciting element each year is the Water Stop Challenge where runners vote for the most exciting, enthusiastic, supportive water station.

The Mexicans are usually the station to beat but for the first time in five years they will not be competing which opens the door for a new Water Stop Champion that will win a US$2,000 travel voucher courtesy of Cayman Travel Services.

Steel Attitude, Sabor Colombiano, J’ouvert Run and Team Audi are just some of the groups vying for the top spot.

Cayman Free Press will man a station at the end of Old Crewe Road and South Sound in front of the Sunrise apartments and they’ve promised to behave out of character and be the friendliest and most helpful.