It generated all the excitement of a heavyweight title clash – and unlike champion boxing matches that usually disappoint, this contest actually lived up to expectations.
David Walker and Marius Acker went toe to toe for the third consecutive week, only this was a two-mile race and the only punches exchanged were the fruit ones in the bar later.
Acker won the first Fidelity Fun Run in just over 10 minutes, then Walker ran a far cleverer tactical race in the second run to out sprint his pal, again in a tad over 10 minutes.
The scene was set for the rubber match and although over 200 people participated, pre-race chat was on who would win the rubber.
Acker was intent on going under 10 minutes and claimed he didn’t care who crossed the line first. Well he partly got his wish because Walker stormed home with an electric burst at the finish to clock 9 minutes 55 seconds with Acker only a whisker behind, two seconds slower.
Third was Russell Coleman in around 10:26, fourth was Tom Stephens and then Mark Hogan.
First female home was Beth Schreader in 12th place overall, followed by Julie-Anne Pearson, in 16th and third woman to finish was De-Ann Foster in 18th place.
The Fidelity winner in the previous two years was the brilliant Scott Brittain but injury and a holiday prevented him defending that coveted title this time. At least Scottie turned up to show his support in running gear. Or was it to psyche out the others?
A jubilant Walker said: ‘I’m very happy. It was very close. I’m happy that I improved in each of the series of events. It’s great to have a series where there’s an opportunity to improve each week.
‘Essentially, it was the same race as last week. Marius did all the hard work in setting the pace. His strength is his endurance and ability to wear people down.
‘My strength is the sprint finish and I managed to hold on. I wasn’t sure I had really won it until we were very close to the end. I could hear him breathing down my neck even as we crossed the line.’
It wasn’t quite the course record, 10 seconds out in fact, set by a schoolboy from East End years ago, but Walker was not focusing on claiming that mark.
‘I’d love to go for a chance for the course record but I think Scott stands more of a chance of beating it.
The 31-year-old accountant added: ‘These Fidelity runs are great. The turnouts are huge and I’m very happy to participate and see so many people joining in. It’s a fun social event and a great way to start the weekend.’
Acker, 37, is Cayman’s undisputed triathlon champion. The Butterfield banker said: ‘I’m happy. It’s not a disgrace to come second in a sub-10 minute race. We also beat Scottie’s time, which I’m happy with.
‘Dave and I are probably going to duel again in the Miami Half Marathon in January.
‘I’m preparing for the Cayman triathlon and the Half Marathon. Hopefully I can beat Jasper Mikkelsen in the triathlon.
‘Jasper’s really improved. He’s training a lot. I’ve been second three years in a row (but top amateur) and maybe I can go one up this time and beat the pro who is coming from Canada.
‘I enjoyed these Fidelity runs. I only planned to run one, but I got sucked in. My best time previously was 10:05 three years ago so to do 9:57 now is great.’