Scotia damp but prizes sizzled

In spite of some inclement weather, the second edition of the resurrected Scotia Relays went well last Thursday.

The rain may have cooled temperatures but the competition was still hot as over 30 teams, including four junior teams and a ladies team, battled it out for honours.

The event even included a much more senior team, Grumpy Old Men, which this year featured special guest runner, Governor Duncan Taylor.

Teams of five took on a 1 mile circuit that started and finished on the track at Truman Bodden Sports Complex and took runners through the Liguinea subdivision.

According to event organiser Roger Davies, the event was held annually before Hurricane Ivan caused extensive damage to the track.

This was the second edition since the event was brought back last year.

He said: “The event was a fundraiser for the Cayman Islands track and field programme and this year the proceeds will go to the CIAA to support their junior track and field programme and to assist with sending a squad to the Island games in the Isle of Wight at the end of June.”

The event was expected to be a closely run affair between three strong teams – Team A, The Pressure and Postfontaine. “Prior to the relay, 15 runners volunteered to be put in a pool to create three even teams – on paper at least. By doing this, we all expected it to be a close race,” said Derek Larner, who ran for Postfontaine.

The other two teams were Team A which counted Marius Acker among its numbers, and The Pressure with Russell Coleman. Larner said: “In our team, we decided to put the slower runner on first and a quicker runner each leg. The idea is that we would always be chasing someone; which is much easier to chase than to be chased.”

At the end of the first leg, The Pressure was first to the handover with Coleman leading the way, well ahead of Ray Welds for Team A and Chris Rose for Postfontaine.

The Pressure had established a solid lead at the end of the second lap through James Murray, who was some 90 seconds ahead of Greg Meaker of Postfontaine, who had managed to pass David Shibli of Team A.

By the end of lap three it was still The Pressure in the lead through Conrad Proud, but Larner and Mike Macdonald from Team A had managed to close the gap somewhat.

Gabe Rabess managed to defend the lead for The Pressure on the fourth lap, although James Ogden closed to within 70 metres for Postfontaine, while Marlene West slipped back off the pace for Team A, although they managed to hold onto third place.

The final lap saw Mark Hogan for The Pressure take off with a slim lead over Scott Brittain for Postfontaine, while Acker for Team A started the leg far enough behind the leading duo that he would not be in the running for the win.

Although Hogan battled valiantly, Brittain overtook him before they entered the stadium and held on to give Postfontaine the win in a time of 27 minutes 22 seconds, with The Pressure taking second in 27:38, followed by Team A in 29:14. The Hi-Tec Tigers team followed in fourth, with Synchronicity in fifth.

The next team home was PwC Big Five, which took the corporate category in 31:01, with PwC Sprinters and Red Sail Sports making up the rest of the corporate podium.

The top ladies team, What’s Your Bliss, came home in 33:49 to win their category, with team members Julie-Anne Pearson, Caroline Cahill, Emily Davies, Melissa Lim and Caroline Heal looking resplendent in their matching tops by team sponsor Bliss Yoga.

An honourable mention must also go to junior team MDR, made up of young middle distance runners Ryan Kirkaldy, Tiffany Cole, Alex Moroney, Tahj Lewis and Denniston Thompson, who finished in 11th place.

In spite of lower than expected turnout, Davies was very happy with the event. “I believe the event was very successful and everyone enjoyed the random prizes which totalled in value some $5600! Most teams won two prizes and every team at least one.”

Prizes included a BlackBerry Pearl donated by LIME, a new road bike, helicopter rides, a round of golf for four donated by Britannia, gym memberships donated by World Gym and by Anytime Fitness,a month’s unlimited yoga donated by Bliss, and dinners for two donated by Pappagallo and Karma, in addition to many other valuable prizes donated by the sponsor Scotiabank & Trust.

The grand prize of an American Airlines round trip ticket to anywhere in the continental US, Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, was won by Douglas Anderson of the Red Sail Sports team.