Hundreds stride against cancer

Although Samantha Widmer was
recently cited as one of Cayman’s fittest athletes, she’d never participated in
the annual 10K ‘Stride Against Cancer’ walk-run before this Sunday.

Events in August changed things for
the young Caymanian national golf team member – who wore a sign that said “running
for my mum” on the back of her shirt during the race.

“My mom was diagnosed….with stage
four colon cancer; it’s something we never knew was there…just discovered during
a routine check,” Ms. Widmer said. “It’s something I’ve really taken to heart,
all the cancer events. I never realised how much goes on the Islands for that
kind of thing.”

No fewer than 700 people turned up
for the race, which has been held each year on Grand Cayman for more than a
decade, although it’s name ‘Stride Against Cancer’ has only been around since
2006. Previously it was just known as the Cayman Islands Cancer Society walk-run.

Society members said they did not
have a full count on race participants since people were still registering
Sunday morning. Some 1,200 ran in the race last year.

There were actually two races, one
a 13.1 mile half-marathon that started at 6am, and a shorter 10K distance (6.2
miles) started at 7am.

New Cayman Islands Governor Duncan
Taylor, his wife Marie-Beatrice and his son Max were front-and-centre at the
start of the 7am race. There was no word on the Governor’s finishing time,
however.

The race itself is a
non-competitive event, so no one is actually timed by race volunteers and everyone
is encouraged to go at their own pace. Water stations were set up at each mile
point along the shorter course – running from West Bay Public Beach to the
Wharf restaurant.

The Cancer Society’s Christine
Saunders said funds raised from race participants would go toward a number of
initiatives including medical care for uninsured cancer patients, free HPV
vaccinations for teenage girls, and free cancer screenings for both men and
women.

“I’ve been running it for the last
ten years,” said Mina Dixit, who brought her three dogs –Jack, Bailey and Luna
– along for the run. “I thought it was great, very well organized and the dogs
all did very well.”

Doug Kuschman who generally walks
the course each year, made some visiting relatives do the run with him this
year.

“We know this helps fund cancer research, so
(this event) is a pretty easy way to do it,” Mr. Kuschman said.

StrideCancer

Governor Duncan Taylor with his wife Marie-Beatrice at start of Sunday’s race.
Brent Fuller
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