An elite runner from the Cayman Marathon six months ago enjoyed her first experience here so much that she hopes to return from her home in Jersey for the next one in December, assuming she can get a sponsor.
Vicky Barrett ran with husband Jon last year and this time she wants to come alone and soak up the unique experience again. The 40-year-old mum has two children, Jessie, 12 and Joseph, 7. She is a fitness instructor and runs after school fun and fitness sessions for primary school children. She was a bank manager until five years ago when she resigned to concentrate on encouraging others of all ages to enjoy exercise as a way of life.
“I would like to find a sponsor to help me with the cost of coming back to Cayman,” she said. “Due to injury last year I had to downgrade to run the half instead of the full marathon and I came third in the half.
“I had saved long and hard to make the trip last year and was bitterly disappointed to downgrade the race. I cannot afford to make the trip again without some financial help.”
Barrett says the benefits to the sponsor are the publicity side of things. “I would wear the sponsors name on my running vest – not only in the Cayman race but also when I run here in the Channel Islands and the UK. The amount of miles I do week on week, believe me the name would be cropping up everywhere.
“I enjoyed Cayman so much, not just the race but the people of Cayman too. Also because the half marathon is run in the dark, I want to experience the full marathon and enjoy Cayman as it comes into the light of day. Apparently, it feels like a brand new race even though it is the same course as the half, just the second time round is in the glorious sunshine of a new Cayman morning.
“My husband too enjoyed Cayman but he is not a keen runner like myself so he much more enjoyed the holiday than the race. And for financial reasons we couldn’t both come back again and as it stands I will not be able to come without a sponsor.”
Following injury earlier this year Barrett has been focusing on regaining fitness and increasing her mileage without re-injury. Her first race back was in England in March where she finished third veteran woman in a half marathon in a time of 1 hour 33 minutes 2 seconds. “I was in the throws of a bad chest infection at the time so not my best time by a good few minutes.”
Then it was the London Marathon where she was placed on the championship start on the strength of last year’s time of 3.12.22. She completed London in 3.14.58 – not a personal best but a good sign post injury that she was getting back to form.
In May she came second in the Jersey Half Marathon in 1.30.00 and last weekend was first woman home in the Guernsey half marathon, her first win there having placed third the last two years. “I was a little disappointed with a 1.31 time but with no woman near me to compete against. The next lady home was four minutes behind me.
“I have a few local races lined up here in Jersey then the Berlin marathon in September where I am hoping for a time of around 3.10. I have a couple more half marathons booked then I am working towards qualification for next year’s Island Games in Bermuda.
“However Cayman is still right up top of my list of races to do and I pray that I find a sponsor soon.”