The Fidelity Fun Run series is just that for many but for others it is a serious event for bragging rights in the bar later on.
Dave Walker had not beaten Marius Acker for a long time but on Saturday, in the second running of three-part series he gained some satisfaction.
The pair are good friends and even trained together three times in the week. Identically prepared, it was ultimately down to tactics.
The two-mile run from the John Gray High School on Walkers Road saw a record 200-plus runners steaming out from 7.30am and all eyes were on the two fastest on the island as undisputed champion Scott Brittain was away on holiday.
There was another great assortment of runners from the good, the bad and the struggling.
Little Jamaica Bodden is only four but she’s already a veteran of the Fidelity runs.
Acker, 37, a banker had won the previous week by a convincing margin mainly because he cashed in on the situation and to his credit by coming from behind his faster finish paid dividends.
The Davies family, led by Roger, were probably the largest family group of eight. Other families there included the Touheys, Gammages, Superfines, McErleans, Hoeksemas, Crawshaws, Hews and the Courtis clan. (Apologies to any families not name checked.)
Swim coach Dominic Ross managed to drag his crew down again with mixed results. Curiously, some of them are like dolphins in the water but elephants on land.
The Cadet Corps were out in force again and must have numbered over 30 and there was the usual array of strollers, dogs and Seven Mile Beach stray crocodiles.
Super dad Jeremy Superfine pushed his two offspring round first to win the pram race. Suspicions are he has a small motor fitted under the seat.
This week it was more tactical as Walker, a lawyer, sought justice because the jury was still out on who was the best and by holding something back for the finale he was able to court all the praise.
It was cut and thrust throughout until Walker turned on the booster on the final stretch to win by about 30 metres in 10 minutes 05 seconds with Acker six seconds behind.
Russell Coleman, looking considerably trimmer than a month earlier when he had just spent a couple of weeks in the UK gorging himself, was third in 10.44.
First female home was Julie-Anne Pearson who was 15th overall in 12.27. Dee-An Foster was second female to finish.
A jubilant Walker said: ‘I’m very happy. That’s the first time I’ve beaten Marius in a while. The final race is going to be tougher, I’m sure. He’ll come with something extra.
‘Last week I led for quite a bit of the race and was outsprinted very convincingly. It wasn’t even close at the finish line.
‘So this week I changed my strategy to follow Marius until the sprint finish and saved myself for the end, which worked because he tends to run at a consistent pace.
‘My time was 10.20 last week so I’m very happy because 10.16 was my personal best.’
‘This time we went through half way a bit slower than last week,’ Acker said. ‘I expected the finishing time to be slower but it was about the same.’ (Last week he won in 10.07).
‘This is only the second time that Dave has beaten me in four years. I’m happy for him, he’s in good running shape. He beats me in training all the time. He’s got more finishing speed than me.
‘The final race is going to be tough. I told Dave I want to run under 10 minutes so whoever wins this one I don’t mind as long as we do a sub-10. I’m sorry Scott’s not here. He’s been skiing in South America. He’s not likely to run because he’s got a foot injury, but he’s still the best runner on the island.’
- The final Fidelity Fun Run race on Saturday is open to all. Registration 6:30am, start time 7:30am. Entry fee $5. Information at 945-3970. Individual times and division standings are posted on www.caymanactive.com.