Kelly is proud of pulling power

The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon was the best ever in its ninth year. No wonder Race Director Rhonda Kelly bubbled with delight at the end of another exhausting weekend when she got no sleep from Saturday morning to Sunday evening.

“It was incredible!” Kelly said. “We are just amazed by how the event has grown and the support we get from all areas, including the runners, the sponsors, Government, the community, the volunteers and all the organisations we have to work with to pull the race off. This event has truly been embraced by the Island on a whole and we are so grateful.

“Although the marathon record went, what definitely pleased me was that we achieved 1,000 runners because that indicates that the event is growing and that people are coming back each year to support us. However, it was thrilling to have Justin Grunewald here not only to participate in our event but to make such an accomplishment. He got the Tag Heuer watch courtesy of Kirk Freeport,

“It’s very exciting that Grunewald ran because he is a world class athlete. The fact that we don’t offer cash prizes tends to deter a lot of elite runners from participating. However, the event itself has gained such a good reputation and Cayman is such a beautiful place to run that people are willing to run our event anyway for personal enjoyment or to qualify for other events. We’re definitely a destination run and we’re happy to leave the cash prizes for races like Boston.

Kelly and her business partner Laurie-Ann Holding and co-ordinator Bev Sinclair are grateful for the massive support they get from sponsors. “We don’t view the companies that support us as just sponsors,” Kelly said. “They are our partners in making this event the success that it has become and in the true sense of partnership, they do so much more than give monetary support. 
“They volunteer, they man water stops, they provide gifts, they come out and cheer on race day. We are so proud to be affiliated with such great companies, and we are grateful for their belief in this event, and us as the organisers.”

The feedback has been positive. Valentina Hristova. a visiting runner from the UK, said: “Best race event ever. Many thanks to everyone for the perfect organisation. For sure I will be coming back next year.”

Tara Thompson Manson of the Local Relay Team Runner said: “The road side supporters and water stations are what really got me through. Thanks to you all. Also, big thanks to everyone involved in the organisation.”