They sweated in the blazing heat in what has become the most gruelling sports event in the Cayman Islands.
The annual Off The Beaten Track 50 kilometres ultra-marathon was staged for the third time and the entry was the biggest ever. This year’s race attracted over 100 participants consisting of 17 relay teams and nine individual runners. The unique trail run which started at 6.30am ventures off the beaten track from Public Beach, onto dirt roads, through brush and even water crossings.
Ken Krys, Chief Executive Officer of KRyS Global and founder of the race, was proud of all the participants. “This is the third year for Off The Beaten Track and I am very happy with the outcome,” he said. “Every year the route changes and gives runners the opportunity to see parts of Cayman they are probably not familiar with.
“This year we made the course a little more challenging, incorporating the kayak challenge in the sixth leg, so that added a whole new element to the race”.
KRyS Global also had a relay team, with Krys himself finishing the last leg of the race. The course was 50km long and covered different areas of the island that took in Seven Mile Beach, George Town, South Sound, Airport and industrial park area, Safehaven and West Bay. Since the race is broken up into six parts, each relay team member runs around 8.3k each.
For those that competed individually, this is a particularly a tough feat. The fastest was Conrad Proud, crossing the finish line in 5 hours 6 minutes 15 seconds, picking up his baby girl and crossing the line with her in his arms. Proud also participated last year as part of the winning relay team Beer Me.
The fastest individual female was Elizabeth Berns with an amazing finishing time of 6:18:50, winning for the second consecutive year.
The first relay team to finish was The Leftovers in 3 hours, 43 minutes and 24 seconds. Team members comprised of Marius Acker, Chris Rose, Jonathan Shillito, Tristan Von Kirchenheim, Carl Grant and Ray Welds.
The fasted coed relay team was Marco’s Marauders finishing in 4:20:47. This team included: Marlon Crowe, Marco Miranda, Gabriela Davies, Martin Davies, Roger Davies and Sam Ellis.
The Ogiers Girls, who have participated all three years, finished the race with a time of 4:47:57. The comprised of Lisa Kehoe, Claire Lloyd-Hickey, Dawn Kirton, Kirsten McMillan, Pat McCallum and Claire Hughes.
There was also an award for the top corporate relay team, RBC Wealth Management, finishing in 4:50:03. Their runners included: George Carvallho, Jana Heath, Graham Coleman, Marius Deysel, Marco Gasper and Johan Heath.
Governor Duncan Taylor also had a relay team, the Governor’s Office, finishing overall third place in 4:26:11. Taylor ran the first leg through Safehaven and parts of Seven Mile Beach.
On leg 5 there was the youngest and oldest runners battling it out. Jamie Montero, 15, and Roger Davies, 67, competed for second place in the team standings. They finished together at the end of the leg, but 52 years apart! Davies was running for Marco’s Marauders who pulled away on the last leg.
Roger Davies said: “We were eight minutes behind the Governor’s team after leg 2, caught them by the end of leg 5, and were five minutes ahead at the finish for second place overall. Not bad for a scratch team!”
This year’s proceeds are going to benefit Facing Africa, Cayman’s ARK and the School of Fitness. Facing Africa is dedicated to helping children in Nigeria and Ethiopia who suffer from a disease, NOMA. Cayman’s ARK also had two relay teams in the race.
“Being able to help out these charities and organisations is very rewarding, that is what the race is all about,” Krys said. “We had tremendous support from the local community. We would also like to give a huge thanks to all of the volunteers, the race could not take place without them.”
Off The Beaten Track had donations from many organisations and individuals, including main sponsors: KRyS Global, Tower Marketing, BrownRudnick, Conyer, Dill & Pearman, Caymanian Compass and Ritch & Conolly. They also had volunteer photographers assisting: Jenn Smith, Ioto Iotov and Colleen Stoezel.