The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon next week will benefit the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society but each year the event continues to bring out the charitable spirit in the community as many runners choose to run and raise funds for non-profit organisations that are near and dear to their own hearts.
This year’s race is Sunday 4 December. A few of the Intertrust Cayman Marathon participants are raising funds for causes such as diabetes, the Red Cross and the Humane Society. One fundraiser is Derek Haines, who is well known in Cayman for both his love for rugby and his philanthropic spirit.
Haines runs the full marathon every year, and has used the long run to raise funds for the Rotary Club of which he is a member, Meals on Wheels, youth rugby and Special Olympics. This year he has chosen Cayman Hospice Care and he is almost at his goal which, if achieved, will net a new vehicle for Cayman Hospice and a couple thousand dollars for the youth rugby programme.
“Cayman Hospice Care is a charity that my Rotary Club supports, and having witnessed firsthand the passion the Hospice staff has for caring for their patients, together with the support they give to the patients’ family and friends, I decided that I would try to raise money this year towards providing a vehicle for them,” Haines said. “In addition, as president of the Cayman Ruby Union, I am very keen on ensuring that our youth rugby programmes succeed and so any surplus to the cost of a vehicle will go towards that end.”
Haines says that a company can have its logo on the Hospice vehicle for a pledge of $5,000. Individuals interested in making a donation can take a guess at his finishing time in the Intertrust Cayman Marathon for every $25 that they pledge. The closest guess will win six bottles of champagne.
Using this method last year, a total of $67,000 was raised. This bought a new bus for the Special Olympic athletes and gave $15,000 to Haines’ beloved youth rugby programme. So far, he has over $20,000 pledged towards the effort.
“The target of $30,000 is in sight but we would love to raise more than that. There is still plenty of time for a company to obtain space on the vehicle and for individuals to win extra champagne for Christmas.”
For those who want to get in on the guessing game, Haines says that his fastest ever marathon time is 2 hours 59 minutes but that was 25 years ago and unlikely to be repeated in this lifetime. Last year he finished the Cayman Marathon in 3 hours 55 minutes which allowed him to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April 2012. It was still a great run by a 62-year-old considering the sweltering heat.
This is event is a wonderful opportunity for the general public to come out and support intrepid runners like Haines. The atmosphere is enhanced by the fun water stations too, like the Flintstones one last year and the naughty schoolgirls.
“The charity chosen by Derek is also near and dear to me as I witnessed the caring he talks about firsthand when my mother-in-law was ill last year and eventually passed away. They are truly a special and vital organisation for our country,” said Rhonda Kelly, race director. “Running in aid of a charity is a great way to motivate yourself and push forward when the training becomes tedious or difficult and the fact that your completion of the race will benefit people in need is always a great incentive. Each year we are amazed at the generous spirit that runners like Derek display and the kindness of the Cayman community in supporting them in their efforts.”
Haines echoes those sentiments. “I first ran a marathon in 1982 and quickly realised that folks like to identify themselves with a sporting event, such as a marathon, and are generous in their support of a good cause,” he reminisces. “In those days I was a member of Leicester Lions and because I have a mentally and physically challenged brother, I raised money for a school for handicapped children with the backing of my club.
“On moving here I joined the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and have enjoyed the full support of the membership in this annual event. The bottom line is that I am running anyway so if I can raise a few dollars for a good cause, that is both a bonus and the motivation to get me round the course.”
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 & Culture, Kelly Holding Ltd, FastSigns, Tropicana Tours, RVC Rehab Services/BioFreeze, Milo, KPMG, Quaker, CUC, RE/MAX Cayman Islands, Scotiabank, Ernst & Young, Caybrew Light, Smoothie King, Harneys, Coca-Cola, KRyS Global and The Final Touch.
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.