When the Cayman Marathon was run in December a large group from Canada ran for Joints in Motion, a charitable organisation to help arthritis sufferers.
One of the 40-odd runners was Mark Trenton who has been involved with Joints since 2003 when he ran my first marathon – The In Flanders Field Marathon in Belgium. He was inspired by the first run because of his daughter, Laura, who was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of seven. She is 16 now.
“When she was first diagnosed she was admitted to hospital for five days,” Trenton said. “She had inflammation in almost all her joints. She couldn’t walk and was in constant pain. Today, she takes an injection once every two weeks and the doctors are slowly reducing the medication.
“She hasn’t had any inflammation in about two years. She’s gone from really bad to great. We’ve needed to cycle through several different treatment regimens, but that’s why we raise money – for research and treatment options.
“Laura did not travel with me, but my wife Karen Ritson did. She ran the half-marathon. The Cayman Marathon was great. I love smaller races, because they have a different vibe. They make you feel really special and the spectators are always so nice and attentive.
“Cayman was great, because of the number of water stations, the contest for the best water station and the fact that all the beverages were really cold, including the Heineken at water station 13!”
Trenton, 46, lives in Toronto, Ontario and works for the Federal Government in Canada. “This year I raised about $2,500 money is still coming in. In total, I’ve raised over $50,000,maybe closer to $55,000.
Trenton didn’t get to see much of the whole island but he said: “B
y running the marathon I probably saw more than I thought I would. We walked into George Town several days and up Seven Mile Beach both on the sand and up the road.
“We also took a trip to Stingray City which was really amazing. I never realized that they were that big. The snorkelling at the Marriott was pretty good, too.”
The Trentons had such a lovely time that there is a definite possibility they’ll return. “I don’t generally like to be a race repeater, but the time of year works out well and I think we’d like to visit the Island again. I know there are things that we’d like to see that we didn’t. “Okay, and the sun and warmth was nice considering it’s pretty cold up here and we’re expecting snow. And the race was great. They make you feel special, it’s well organised and running in paradise never hurts.
“Travelling with a Joints in Motion group is really special. You will generally only know a few people, but the common purpose that everyone travels with creates a bond that just grows and grows until race day.
“There’s nothing quite like yelling encouragement to a green shirt during the race or passing a JIM cheering section. It lightens the load, inspires and propels you forward. I find that JIM people are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. I find them inspirational people and some of them have become some of my closest friends.
The Cayman experience was so nice he cannot pinpoint one particular one. “Gosh, I had several. Seeing the sun come up over the Caribbean Sea. All the different water station themes. Running with a guy who was running his 30th marathon of the year and with a guy who was running his 50th (Tristan Miller)!
“Running a race knowing that I’m doing something special for my daughter and all of those living with arthritis. Finishing the race with a beer in my hand! Hell, just finishing!”