Ryan puts the wheels in motion for the future

Wheelchair athlete Ryan Chalmers, who competed in the four-person relay of the Cayman Islands Marathon last year, will be returning next week to take on the half marathon as race organisers continue to work toward fully integrating physically-challenged athletes into future races.

Chalmers is now a junior at the University of Illinois in Champaign on a basketball and track scholarship. He recently played in a couple of basketball tournaments and is now preparing for the basketball season. He also successfully completed the Chicago Marathon in October.

‘We are so pleased that Ryan has chosen to come back and do the half marathon this year,’ said race director Rhonda Kelly. ‘We enjoyed having both he and Brian Siemann last year as part of the team event and I know the runners were impressed with their speed and their amazing racing bikes!

‘We know he is going to be just as impressive in the half, and we look forward to seeing him compete.’

‘I’m excited about coming back to Cayman to run the Cayman Islands half marathon this year and hope to complete the full marathon in 2011,’ said Chalmers.

‘Brian and I had an awesome experience last year, and I hope that our participation will help to pave the way for other physically-challenged athletes in future races.’

Kelly and the rest of the organising team are still assessing the feasibility of opening up the race to wheelchair athletes in the future, and will be able to get a better idea of how it will work after Chalmers completes the half marathon when they will gather feedback from other runners, volunteers and the Royal Cayman Islands Police.

Registration for the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon, four-person relay and Kids Fun Run is available at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.

Participants can also do walk-in registration at the Kelly Holding office. For more information log on to CaymanIslandsMarathon.com, email [email protected] or call Bev Sinclair on (345() 946-8822.