Fidelity runs boost community spirit

When the Fidelity Fun Run Series began some years ago only a handful turned up. But now it’s become a significant event and effectively heralds the start of the running season climaxing with the Cayman Marathon in December.

The triathletes also come out in force to limber up for their own major event just before the marathon.

This is the seventh running of the Fidelity Fun Run series and certainly the most popular.

The last of the three race series is on Saturday from the John Gray High School in Walkers Road and it should be a fascinating one for onlookers.

Marius Acker won the first with Dave Walker second and last week Walker usurped his pal in a tight finish. So the rubber match is on and Las Vegas bookies are working frantically to collect all the bets on these two.

There is a great sense of community and family spirit at these events with up to three generations of the same family competing.

There is plenty of cross-training with swimmers, track athletes, rugby, footballers and even a couple of boxers taking part. It’s a veritable melting pot of nationalities with all parts of the globe represented.

The push chair racers are surprisingly fiercely competitive. Around a dozen turn out and they all deserve props for making the effort.

Leading that category is tennis association president Jeremy Superfine who has been smashing so far.

‘I do the stroller because I can’t leave the kids at home on their own,’ he joked. ‘My wife Sarah wants to come out running too so this is the best solution.

‘This is getting me fit but I don’t think I’m better than last week because I was 18th then but 22nd this time, so either I’m getting slower or everyone else is getting faster.’

He started from the back of the pack and having a double buggy helped mow people out of the way.

Superfine believes if stroller racing is introduced into the Olympics he will be a gold medal favourite.

Not everyone aims for high finishes, personal bests and trophies though; William Steward just does it for enjoyment and partly to measure his ageing process. He was just outside the top 100 on Saturday.

‘This is my third or fourth year,’ he said. ‘I’m not building up for the Cayman Marathon or anything, it’s just a bench mark to let me know that I can still do it.

‘I think I’m getting faster each time, which is good and means I’m getting some training effect.

‘I think these runs are wonderful and the range of ages is fabulous. I was running with a little boy of five. I won but give him two or three years and he’ll probably be beating me.

‘My wife Pat was walking with a little boy so she was last with him.’

William, 57, is Canadian but as he’s lived here for 19 years claims to be ‘all Caymanian now’.

Jim McLean is Fidelity’s business development manager.

He said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted with the turnout. This week we’re actually up to 227 which is the highest number ever for the event.

‘The media coverage we’ve got and general marketing has brought all these people out.

‘It’s tremendous that all the cadets and young people have come out too, exercising and training helps to build team spirit and camaraderie.

‘My son James is 20. He’s running in his fourth series. He wants to get into the air force as a pilot and is ensuring that his general fitness level is maintained.

The last week tends to be the big week because it’s the prize giving and everybody gets a T-shirt so hopefully it’ll be over 250.’

  • The final Fidelity Fun Run 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.
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