He runs like Quasimodo but has a heart of an angel. Yes, it could only be Derek Haines, the 62-year-old marathon runner who could never be held as the perfect example for stylish running yet blitzed around the Cayman event last week in an amazing 3 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds. Plenty of money was raised by runners in the Cayman Marathon and Haines probably generated the most individually by selling advertising space on a new Special Olympics bus for $5,000 each as well as taking individual donations.
Along with first time half marathon runner Naomi Mirren, Haines raised around $60,000 for the bus and to help the youth rugby programme. He is the president of the rugby association.
“It was tough running under four hours but the cool weather, support on the course and extra preparation (1,800 miles for the year completed when he finished) helped a lot,” said Haines. “It feels great to be under the four hour mark again. Seventeenth place and first in the over 60 category.”
Mirren finished the 13.1 mile half marathon in 2 hours and 33 minutes, an excellent time for a first timer.
“I have $51,500 in pledges and Naomi and the rest of Camana Bay teams raised $4,500,” said Haines. “The Kiwanis and Cayman National Bank have also made donations so over $60,000 in total was raised towards the bus for Special Olympics and youth rugby. Most will go to purchase the bus but there will, hopefully, be in excess of $10,000 for rugby.
Plans are that Eric Crutchley, the Special Olympics chairman, will take possession of the new bus early in the new year.
“Hopefully life will continue in this old dog and folks will be able to see me and my lame Quasimodo gait on a regular basis,” joked Haines. “I’m told that because of my age and time I qualify for the Boston Marathon so I will be delighted to give that a go.
“Thanks again to all who so generously supported my fundraising efforts. The winner of the closest guess of my finishing time is James Dunnett who was out by only three second.
“Those who purchased panels on the bus for $5,000 each were Scotiabank, Davenport Development, Gaelic Football, AON insurance, Esso, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Cayman Automotive, Price Waterhouse Cooper, DART – together with another $4,500 from other team members and other donations from the Kiwanis and Cayman National Bank.”