Local runners and visitors alike get their chance to test themselves this weekend in what has become one of the most popular sporting events in the Cayman Islands.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half-Marathon and 4-Person Relay are on this Sunday, 4 December starting at 5am in front of Breezes by the Bay Restaurant on the waterfront.
The public should come out and support this great charity event which raises funds for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society as well as other organisations.
On Monday organisers confirmed 100 full marathoners, 416 individuals participating in the half marathon, 66 teams registered for the race and 3 wheelchair competitors, a significant increase over the numbers from last year, and the usual flurry of last minute entries is yet to come.
The Kids Fun Run, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth Sports & Culture and MILO will start at 10.30am at the new Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue and end at the Breezes by the Bay finish line. This event is free for primary school students between the ages of 6 and 12 years old.
The top three male and female marathoners and half marathoners in the 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over age categories will be awarded for their achievements. New this year is the introduction of team divisions.
Four-person teams can compete in the all males, all females, open mixed (combination of males and females) or corporate (combination of males and females from the same company) categories where the top three teams in each event will receive awards.
The wheelchair half marathon category will see three athletes competing. Brian Siemann and Ryan Chalmers, who have competed in the event since 2008, will be joined by their friend and fellow competitor Amanda McGrory, an accomplished athlete who just recently won the women’s wheelchair race in the 2011 New York Marathon and setting a new course record. She will be going on to the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London to represent the United States.
Another exciting element that becomes more and more popular each year is the Water Stop Challenge, where volunteers vie for runners’ votes and the chance to be lauded as the most exciting, enthusiastic, supportive water station.
The Challenge is being sponsored this year by Dolphin Discovery and Cayman Airways. The winning water stop will receive dolphin swim packages from Dolphin Discovery and five Cayman Airways airline tickets. Indian Champs, Magic People, Mo-Jo’s and 2010 winner Re/Max are just some of the groups vying for the top spot.
“We are looking forward to a fun, safe and exciting race this weekend,” says Race Director Rhonda Kelly. “This event is so inspirational and at times so emotional. We are just thrilled to be able to share these milestones and great moments with our runners.”
And what great moments are expected! Local runner Scott Ruby will complete his very first marathon, having lost almost 100 pounds a year ago and Jennifer Kristensen of Team CanCayDia will be running in memory of her parents who both passed away in the past year.
Tanya Ponich of Alberta, Canada is celebrating her 30th birthday by running a full marathon to prove that she can still be athletic despite having two kids under the age of four.
Noel Tucker of Edmond, Oklahoma ran her first marathon in 31 years last year here in Cayman and is returning to improve her time. Steve Speirs is coming back to try and complete a hat trick having won this race in the last two year.
Daniel Huijser from the Netherlands will make the long journey back to Cayman where his marathon career started after doing his first long run in the first ever Cayman Islands Marathon back in 2002.
It will also be interesting to see if Beth Schreader, three-time women’s full marathon winner and Marius Acker, five-time overall half marathon champ can hold on to their titles.
“The 2002 Cayman Islands Marathon was my very first marathon, and ever since then I’ve been hooked,” says Huijser. “The race on 4th December will be my 23rd marathon, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Team Diabetes out of Canada will be bringing a contingent of approximately 50 runners and walkers who will all be participating in order to raise funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association. Local runner James Murray and American ultra-runner Lisa Smith-Batchen will complete the full marathon, days after Murray completes his 100 mile trek around the island. About 200 overseas runners accompanied by family and friends are expected.
Organisers are asking for the public’s cooperation during the race by keeping traffic along the race route to a minimum, and in particular those people who live along the route are being asked to secure their dogs in their yards, and turn on their Christmas lights if they have any from 4:30am on the morning of 4 December.
The race starts at Breezes and goes through South Church Street, South Sound and Old Prospect Road, after which runners turn around and go back through South Sound and then onto Walkers and Hospital Roads, Elgin Avenue, Edward and Fort Streets and back to Breezes.
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 in Selkirk Plaza.
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.
For more information email [email protected] or call Bev Sinclair on 946-8822.