Cayman’s running season is fully under way thanks to recent run/walks, the Stroke and Stride series and especially the just concluded Fidelity Fun Run series.
Three two-mile races starting at the John Gray High School on successive Saturday’s had the best turn out in the seven years Fidelity has sponsored and organised it.
Over 600 people in total ran (including me plodding round in two of them).
The men’s series was won by David Walker who finished second, first and first. His friend Marius Acker pushed Walker all the way finishing first and second twice in nail-biting finishes.
Russell Coleman and Mark Hogan were tied third overall.
The women’s race was equally as competitive. In the three runs, Julie-Anne Pearson was overall champion.
She finished second, first and second amongst the women, only being beaten by Beth Schreader. ‘I’m very pleased although, obviously, that second race was because Beth wasn’t in it,’ Pearson said.
‘This week I felt much stronger than the previous two, so clear improvement from previous weeks which is good.’
Pearson, 33, an accountant, is training for the triathlon in November and the Cayman Marathon on 6 December.
Another consistent performer was Jamaican De-Ann Foster who upstaged her younger sister Kedeen. She came third, second and third in the series to take the overall women’s runners-up prize.
De-Ann, 21, is a sales assistant. She is a year older than Kedeen and has been living here for four years. De-Ann used to lose to Kedeen but extra training has improved her times and she is now targeting Schreader and Pearson to be the island’s fastest.
She eventually wants an Olympic berth in the 400 metres for Cayman having gained status.
Another overall winner was Jeremy Superfine in the stroller class. He came a credible 18th, 22nd and 20th in the three races, a great achievement considering he was pushing his two little ‘uns every time.
‘This is my first gold medal ever, particularly with a pram,’ he beamed. ‘But there have been questions about me having a motor on my pram. And I’d just like to call out to the Phoenix Athletic Club and tell them to come and inspect it. I know you have these problems in Formula One but never pram pushing.
‘I complied with all the standards set by Phoenix and Fidelity are quite welcome to inspect it.’
Yes, but he did have a suspicious looking jet-pack on his back.
The Fidelity runs are for children too – with dogs joining in – and three who thoroughly enjoyed running were friends Lois Moody, 12 and Danielle Boothe, 13, and little Ciaran Touhey, 10, who ran with his family, dad Brendon, mum Tracey and little brother Christopher.
The Davies family were out in force again with seven members led by dad Roger who at 64 is not slowing down after 40 years of pounding the Cayman streets.
Davies is one of the founding members of the Hash House Harriers who meet for a run of varying distances every Monday night. Daughter Emily is one of the island’s fastest women and son Martin always finishes amongst the top ten. Joining Roger, Emily and Martin were Roger’s wife Mavis, daughter Lucy, Lucy’s husband Pascal and Martin’s girlfriend Gabriella.
‘Actually only Pascal and Gabriella did not win trophies for their age groups, so all the Davies family won one!’ smiled Roger. ‘Emily was third lady overall, Martin got third age group 30-39, (sixth overall male), Lucy was third age group 20-29 and Mavis first over 60. I was first over 60.’
Warming to the topic, Roger added: ‘I must show you a photo of Martin from the Compass, taken 28 years ago on his first Fun Run when he was six years old!’
Brett Hill is CEO and president of Fidelity. A keen runner too, he is a stalwart Hash House Harrier as well.
He said: ‘This is fantastic. We’ve had over 200 people every week. Normally we were 100 and something.
‘When we started sponsoring this seven years ago we only had about 100 runners and now we’ve doubled it, which is great.
‘People like this format better than the other events which are just a single run. Another thing we also do which is very popular is the cross-island relay. That got a huge turn out this year.
‘So we do things a little differently, rather than just a 5k run.’