Many people may not be able to run
a full marathon or 26.2 miles or even a half marathon but the organisers of the
Cayman Islands Marathon are challenging local businesses to round up members of
their staff and get them on the road to better health, fitness and group
camaraderie through a team-building activity, namely the four-person relay.
Each person runs approximately 6.5
miles in the team relay which is a lot more manageable and a great way for
novice runners to get their feet wet. The race is on Sunday, 5 December and
starts at 5am.
Forty-two teams participated in the
relay last year, the majority of them coming from local companies around the
island with some firms sponsoring more than one staff team.
“The four-person relay event in the
Cayman Islands Marathon is an excellent team building opportunity for local
businesses,” said race director Rhonda Kelly.
“It is not such a long distance that non-runners couldn’t face the
challenge, but long enough to gain a sense of achievement from completing the
race if you are a novice and a challenging race distance for regular runners.
Also, if you provide your team with company-branded t-shirts and caps it
couples as useful marketing exposure!”
One company that seems to support
the concept of team spirit and participation is law firm Walkers, which is
entering a whopping eight teams this year. A simple email from the human
resources department to staff members issuing a challenge to organise
department teams was the impetus for the creation of the teams with unique
names: Walkers Flash and the Pacemakers, Walkers Road Blocks, Walkers Running,
Walkers Sistas Got Blistas, Walkers Soon Come, Walkers Speed Bumps, Walkers
Wobblers and Walkers: We Thought It Was A Chocolate Bar.
Martin Davies, Walkers associate
and wholehearted supporter of the Cayman Islands Marathon from its inception,
says that the veiled bragging from the support services department, aka Team
Walkers Road Blocks, led by human resources director Victoria Hew, was all the
motivation he needed to pull his team together.
“The Road Blocks have thrown down
the gauntlet by implying that they will be the fastest Walkers team so bragging
rights are indeed on the line,” said Davies. “However, there have also been
persistent rumours of a wager where the winning team will be treated to brunch
by the also rans.”
Davies believes that Walkers is
keen to support its employees in such endeavours as the Cayman Marathon because
not only is it a tangible example of the firm’s active participation in the
local community but the event itself benefits two great causes in the Cayman
Islands Cadet Corps and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
When asked how the firm benefits
from supporting its employees’ sporting pursuits, Davies said: “I think that
encouraging and sponsoring Walkers employees to take part in sporting
activities benefits the firm in a number of ways. First of all, it improves the
employees’ health, which potentially translates to fewer sick days and less
time off to see the doctor. Secondly, this increases the productivity of
Walkers employees and helps them manage stress which is very important in our
line of work. Finally, supporting Walkers employees’ participation in sporting
activities may reduce health insurance costs for the firm and employee.”
Personally, Davies says he keeps
coming back to run the race because he is a fan of traditions and the Marathon
has become an event on the calendar that he looks forward to every year. He
also enjoys the team aspect of it and firmly believes that running is
beneficial for slowing down the aging process.
“The team event is definitely
growing and becoming quite competitive actually,” said Kelly. “I would like to
urge the managers and supervisors of companies out there to encourage their
employees to get active and show their support for a healthy lifestyle and team
spirit. I’d also like to thank companies such as Walkers, PricewaterhouseCoopers
and KPMG who have always been so supportive of this event over the years,
exhibiting great community spirit.”
Davies added: “The Marathon is well
supported by the business community in Cayman, but for those companies that
have yet to get involved I would say put on some running shoes and take part on
5 December. You will experience a strong sense of camaraderie and achievement
while helping two great causes.”
The Cayman Islands Marathon is
sponsored by Department of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth,
Sports & Culture, Gatorade, Flowers Bottled Water, Digicel, Cayman
National, Cayman First, Breezes By the Bay Restaurant, CayCompass.com, Kirk
Freeport, 106.1 KISS FM, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Dolphin Discovery,
Milo, BioFreeze/RVC Rehab Services, Digital de Sign, NCI Services, GNC, Quaker,
CUC, Arch Automotive, KPMG, Appleby, Scotiabank, RE/MAX Cayman Islands and The
Registration for the Cayman Islands
Marathon, half-marathon and four-person relay is available at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com. Participants can also do walk-in registration
at the Kelly Holding office. For more information email
[email protected] or call Bev Sinclair on 345.946.8822.