Stroke and Stride
The second week of the Ogier Stroke and Stride series managed to produce an even bigger turnout than the opening event.
In spite of the longer swim distance, the event drew 129 starters keen to take on the 600 metre swim and two mile run.
It was expected that the same faces would feature on the podium once more, although the longer swim distance was likely to make it harder for the weaker swimmers to chase down the top swimmers on the run.
With Seiji Groome back from injury and reunited with his team runner Beth Schreader, it was expected that they would challenge for the overall win, although beating the previous week’s winners, Jasper Mikkelsen and Dave Walker, would be a tough ask.
In the men’s and women’s individual races, Marius Acker and Lizzie Haines seemed set for repeat victories, as they used strong runs to build on a good lead built up in the swim to dominate the first race.
Groome pulled clear early in the swim, exiting the water well ahead of Andrew Smiley in second placed, with both swimmers handing over to their team runners, Schreader and Bill Edwards respectively.
Matthew Courtis was the first individual competitor out of the water, followed by Russel Oliver with defending champion Acker hot on their heels. Johan Heath, second in the previous race, followed Acker out, with Mikkelsen producing a greatly improved swim to leave the water not too far behind Heath.
Among the women, Haines produced another impressive swim to lead the individual women out onto to the run, with Annelle Rabie also putting herself in contention for a podium finish.
As the swimmers kept pouring out of the ocean, the action was hot out on the road as the better runners moved up the field.
The first runner to round the bend and make his way across the finish line was Walker, coming up with yet another win for team One Speed. He was well clear of Acker, who claimed the individual men’s race over Heath in second and Dean Gaffigan in third. Oliver could well have taken third place, but as this was his first race, he was not certain where the finish line was and allowed a charging Gaffigan to sweep past and claim the last step on the podium.
Among the teams, Cool Runnings claimed second, with Cajun Hound Racing rounding out the podium.
Haines crossed the line first among the individual women, more than a minute and a half clear of Emily Davies in second, with Rabie in third.
The results leave Acker at the top of the points table among the men, two points clear of Heath, with Gaffigan another two points adrift in third.
Among the women, Haines holds a three point lead over Davies, with Rabie another two points back.
The team competition looks similar, with One Speed leading Cool Runnings by two points with Cajun Hound Racing in third.
With only today’s race remaining, contenders for overall honours will have to be on top of their game to lay claim to the overall title.
The third and final instalment of the race starts today at 5:45pm from Sunset House. The swim distance increases to 800 metres, which should favour the stronger swimmers even more, and might lead to a couple of changes in the overall standings. The event will be followed by the prize giving, with spot prizes also being awarded. The series serves as a fundraiser for the NCVO Nadine Andreas home. The person or team who raised the most funds for the home will also be rewarded with two return tickets to Miami.
For full results, visit caymanactive.com