Supreme marathon man Scott Brittain goes for a unique hat-trick on Sunday hoping to continue an unbeaten sequence that started when he first arrived here from Australia two and a half years ago.
Brittain, 34, beat his own 2007 Cayman Marathon record by almost three minutes last year despite running the second half of the 26.2 mile race by himself. He ran it in 2 hours 42 minutes and 33 seconds.
Only tennis coach Eduardo Torres looks remotely fast enough to go with Brittain this time but his best time is just under three hours.
Brittain’s likeliest pace setters could be the Yoshi four-man relay team. They won the team event in a relatively pedestrian 3 hours 20 minutes last year but this time have changed the personnel and intend to finish well inside three hours. Yoshi consist of Chad Gilbert, James Ogden, Jasper Mikkelsen and Mike McDonald. By coincidence they are all 37 years old except McDonald who is 30.
Whatever the competition, Brittain is mentally ready to push himself through the pain barrier and improve his time once and for all even though training hasn’t been ideal.
‘This year’s preparation hasn’t been as good as last year,’ he said.
‘I really haven’t got the same volume of miles in the legs as I wasn’t running between May and mid-September with a foot injury.
‘I’m hoping the lack of miles doesn’t come back to bite me late in this race. However, since I’ve been able to get back into training, what I have done has gone reasonably well.
‘The one thing I’ve got going for me is that I’ve got the Boston and Chicago Marathons in the legs from earlier in the year.
‘At the moment I’m in one piece. I was still icing my foot injury daily until about two weeks ago and there shouldn’t be any issues on the day with niggling injuries.
‘I’ve heard Eduardo Torres is talking about trying to stick with me for the first part of the race but I don’t think he is aiming for the same finishing time.
‘I know he is in good shape as he has done some great training this year so hopefully he runs an even pace and gets a good time.’
There is a chance that a fast overseas runner might enter at the last minute and Brittain is ready for that.
‘Once again, I’ve done a little research on particular demographics from the entry list and haven’t found any threats.
‘I’d also be surprised if a really good runner turned up here given the climate isn’t great for fast marathons.
‘They would be more likely to travel to a big city marathon where everything is generally suited to fast times. But I could be proven wrong in both cases here. You just never know until the race is underway who your likely competition is going to be.
‘I’m actually looking forward to be tested by Yoshi. I think we could be within a couple of minutes of each other at the finish based on some of their predicted splits.
‘Either way, I’m hoping it helps me as I haven’t had company the last couple of years on the second lap and it’s very hard to motivate yourself to keep pushing hard.
‘I’m hoping to beat my record but there is a question mark over my short preparation.
‘I will need similar conditions to last year and will also have to run it a little more evenly if I’m to have a chance.
‘Three wins in three records would be nice. If I’m beaten and run faster than last year, I’ll still be happy.’
Brittain’s training partner Russell Coleman was second last year but is only doing the half this time because he hasn’t been able to put the training in.
Coleman’s fiancée Gemma had their first baby, Leo, in October, five weeks early and he was unable to commit to early morning runs to train for the marathon.
Coleman has been hitting some good training form however in the last couple of weeks and the race between him and four-times triathlon champion Marius Acker could be a sizzler.