South Sound is ready for invasion

The Cayman Islands Marathon, Half-Marathon and 4-Person Relay takes place this Sunday and all indications are that it will be the biggest and best ever.

Brittain and Schreader

Brittain and Schreader won their respective categories. Photo: Ron Shillingford

It starts at 5am in front of Breezes By The Bay Restaurant on the waterfront.

The public is invited to come out and support this great charity event which raises funds for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society as well as other organisations.

At the time of writing organisers confirmed 81 full marathoners, 342 individuals participating in the half marathon and 36 teams registered for the race, a significant increase over the numbers from last year, and the usual flurry of last minute entries is yet to come.

The Kids Fun Run, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth Sports & Culture will start at 10:30am at the Government Administration Building (Glass House) on Elgin Avenue and end at the Breezes By The Bay finish line.

This event is free for students aged between eight and 12 and this year organisers are hoping that a competition between the schools will further motivate kids to participate. The school which has the most children in the race will win a TCBY party at their school.

The top three male and female marathoners and half marathoners in the 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over age categories will be awarded for their achievements as well as the top three teams.

In addition, the top male and female marathoners will win great prizes from sponsors that include Kirk Freeport, Island Companies, Digicel and Dolphin Discovery.

Another exciting element each year is the Water Stop Challenge where runners vote for the most exciting, enthusiastic, supportive water station.

This year the challenge is being sponsored by Dolphin Discovery and the winning water stop will win the chance to swim with the dolphins at one of Cayman’s newest and exciting attractions.

Slum Dog Millionaire, Soul Power and J’ouvert Run are just some of the groups vying for the top spot.

‘We are looking forward to a fun, safe and exciting race this weekend,’ says race director Rhonda Kelly. ‘This event is so inspirational and at times so emotional. We are just thrilled to be able to share these milestones and great moments with our runners.’ And what great moments are expected!

Campbells attorney Alistair Walters has declared that he will run the full marathon in a Borat-style mankini if he is able to raise $10,000 for the Rotary Scholarship Fund.

If he is able to raise $5,000, he will run in a tutu. So far he has raised just over $3,200 so spectators may be in for a treat – or fright depending on which way you look at it.

Then there is the inspirational story of Antonia LaTour who is running the half marathon in honour of her husband George who is currently serving in Iraq as a commander in the US Navy, flying with the Special Forces Squadrons.

She says that the running has helped to distract her from missing him so much and completing the half marathon is a goal she can be proud of achieving for herself.

Virginia Beach native and regular Cayman Triathlon participant Gene Bachman will be running the full marathon again, just days after completing the triathlon and getting married on Seven Mile Beach. His wife will be running the half marathon.

Almost 200 overseas runners are expected, the most to date, and although most are from the US, there are some coming from Finland, Germany and a group of six from Italy.

Scott Brittain will be defending his record 2 hours 42 minutes 33 seconds marathon time and Beth Schreader will be back to try again for first place female full marathoner, the title she captured in last year’s race.

The event continues to attract international media attention thanks to public relations efforts being made by the Department of Tourism’s offices in Canada and the UK.

This year journalists from both countries will be coming to run and report on the race.

Britta Sendlhofer, who writes for Running Fitness magazine and www.run247.com in the UK will be running the full marathon and Tim Slee of Square Mile Magazine, an up-market glossy for workers and residents of the City of London will be running the half marathon and reporting on his visit to the Cayman Islands and the event.

Canadian journalist Chris Robinson who does a weekly one hour travel show on Saturdays in Toronto and Montreal will be running the half marathon and broadcasting his show from here.

Robinson will also be writing a travel blog about Cayman for his website.

Organisers are asking for the public’s cooperation during the race by keeping traffic along the race route to a minimum, and in particular those people who live along the route are being asked to secure their dogs in their yards, and turn on their Christmas lights if they have any from 4:30am on Sunday morning.

The race from Breezes goes through South Church Street, South Sound and Old Prospect Road, after which runners turn around and go back through South Sound and then onto Walkers and Hospital Roads, Elgin Avenue, Edward and Fort Streets and back to Breezes.

The Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture, Gatorade, Flowers Bottled Water, Corona Light, Digicel, Cayman National, Sagicor, Breezes By the Bay Restaurant, Dolphin Discovery, Cayman Free Press, Kirk Freeport, 106.1 KISS FM, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, RVC Rehab Services/BioFreeze, Island Companies, ESSO, Quaker, CUC, Volkswagen, Tropicana, KPMG, GNC, RE/MAX Cayman Islands and The Final Touch.

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

Participants can also do walk-in registration at the Kelly Holding office or at the Grand Cayman Marriott tomorrow between 10am and 3pm.

  • For more information email [email protected], log on to CaymanIslandsMarathon.com, or call Bev Sinclair on (345) 623-8822.
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