The Intertrust Cayman Islands Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, 4 December and organisers are sending a message to all walkers that they are welcome to participate.
The race route is officially open for six hours to accommodate the runners doing the full marathon (26.2 miles), making it possible for those doing the half marathon (13.1 miles) to complete their race at pretty much any pace they feel comfortable.
“We love having the walkers with us for the half marathon,” said Rhonda Kelly, Race Director. “Not only do they add to the enjoyment of the race but it’s also nice to see them along the route. They keep the course populated, which is great for a small race across such a long course.”
Kelly encourages people who have never run before to try walking the race and maintains that it is an achievable goal.
“Going 13.1 miles can sound daunting to someone who has never walked that distance before but it is totally possible to do. There is ample time to complete that distance and people can walk, run or a combination of both. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how it was done, 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles. We celebrate the accomplishment with everyone who crosses the finish line.”
One person who will definitely be celebrating on Sunday, 4 December is Holly Willows. Her decision to walk the half marathon has given her a new perspective on health and fitness and life after 40.
Willows started her training for the half marathon three weeks ago. Before that time, she admits she lived a very sedentary lifestyle.
“My exercise habits were nonexistent,” Willows said. “I haven’t had a regular exercise routine in 20 years.”
So what made the 43-year-old radio marketing consultant at Dms Broadcasting decide to tackle a half marathon after so many years of lying on the couch? “I made the decision to do the half marathon on the day that Rhonda Kelly and James Murray came into the studios to talk about the event on air. They told me that I didn’t have to run, that I could walk it. After they left I started thinking about the fact that I hadn’t set any goals for myself in a very long time. I stopped and bought my first pair of running shoes in 20 years on my way home from work that same night!”
Willows has convinced a number of her colleagues and friends to join her and is looking forward to sharing the camaraderie and fun with them and the other participants on race day. She confesses that she still has not achieved that workout ‘high’ that she’s heard others talk about. She adds that getting her shoes on and walking out the door is still a chore but the results she has seen in just a short amount of time are remarkable and motivate her to continue.
“I’ve lost 15lbs! I can see the difference in the tone of my legs, gluts, abs and arms. My skin looks great from sweating out the impurities and I feel like I’ve been walking off all of my stress and tension. I feel amazing.
“I’ve enjoyed finding that ‘you can do anything you set your mind to’ attitude and spirit that we all have a tendency to forget still exists inside us. I’m excited for myself with each new mile I add to my training and I’ve come to realise that there really isn’t any excuse for letting yourself fall apart when you reach your 40s. It may be harder to keep everything intact but it is possible.
“When coworkers are going out for a drink after work, I’m going for a walk. When I would have normally rolled over and gone back to sleep on a Saturday morning, I’m getting up at 6am to go for a 5-mile walk.”
With just under nine weeks until race day, there is still time to train to walk the Intertrust Cayman Islands Half Marathon and Willows is encouraging everyone to put on their sneakers and get out on the road.
“All you have to do is start, even if you start with just a mile. You just have to start. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can build up your endurance if you make it part of your regular routine.”
Registration for the 2011 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay and Kids Fun Run is open online at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com. Walk-in registration can also be done at the Kelly Holding office.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is also sponsored by Department of Tourism, Flowers Bottled Water, Gatorade, Digicel, Kirk Freeport, Breezes by the Bay Restaurant, Cayman First, Cayman National, CayCompass.com, Conyers Dill and Pearman, Cayman Airways, NCI Services, 106.1 KISS FM, Marriott Grand Cayman Resort, Dolphin Discovery, Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, Kelly Holding Ltd, FastSigns, Tropicana Tours, RVC Rehab Services/BioFreeze, Milo, KPMG, Quaker, CUC, RE/MAX Cayman Islands, Scotiabank, Ernst and Young, Caybrew Light, Smoothie King, Harneys, Coca-Cola, KRyS Global and The Final Touch.
For more information email [email protected] or call Bev Sinclair on 345.946.8822.