Steve Speirs is the reigning Intertrust Cayman Marathon champion and the Welshman who now lives in Virginia Beach is hopeful of a completing his hat-trick here this weekend.
“I’m in pretty good shape at the moment and pleased with the build-up to the marathon,” Speirs says. “As you can imagine, not a week has gone by this year without someone mentioning the ‘hat-trick’ or ‘three-peat’. I can’t control the opposition, but I’m looking to have fun, be at my best and run a sensible race.”
So it seems this particular Welsh dragon is really fired up although the heat means he will be boiling over at the end.
Speirs, 44, will run the first leg for team British Bulldogs on Sunday that includes Tom Gammage, David Shibli and Derek Larner before making his solo effort. He is confident but not arrogant about his chances of a third victory.
“Racing has gone well since last year’s Cayman Islands Marathon – I still race often, about 30 events so far in 2011 – and this year have enjoyed dabbling in the fascinating world of ultra-marathons. In addition to three marathons on the road, I’ve completed two 50ks and two 50 milers and both a 12-hour and 24-hour trail race.”
Speirs always comes with wife Ally and once again she will be competing too. “Ally is running the half marathon again. She’s doing well too and is in good form after a solid half marathon in Cardiff, Wales and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC last month.”
Both Speirs absolutely love racing here. “Considering the race starts at 5am, the buzz and excitement at the start line is second to none in my book,” says Steve. “The volunteers are simply tremendous. It’s a bit of a cliche, but events like the Cayman Marathon just cannot happen without the hundreds of volunteer hours that people put forward. I love the final mile through the streets of George Town. Great crowd support and such a cool finish line location. And there are no worst bits!
“I’m not sure I can pick out a favourite water station. Each and every one of them are special in their own way. I love the enthusiasm of the volunteers, and can’t thank each station enough for the support along the course.
“We arrive in Cayman a couple of days before the race – not much time to get used to the higher temperature, but enough to have a couple of shake out runs to mentally prepare. I don’t typically get nervous before racing and am sure the relaxing atmosphere at The Reef Resort will provide the perfect preparation.”