All eyes are focused on Cayman’s biggest sporting event this weekend.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half-Marathon and 4-Person Relay is on Sunday 2 December starting at 5am in front of Breezes by the Bay Restaurant on the waterfront.
The public is invited to 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.
Organisers confirmed 130 full marathoners, 589 individuals participating in the half marathon, 71 teams registered for the relay and two wheelchair competitors on Tuesday, a significant increase over the numbers from last year and the usual flurry of last minute entries is yet to come.
The race reached its 1,000-runner milestone in 2011 and is expected to smash that record this year with an anticipated 1,200 participants. It is also celebrating its tenth year.
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 students between the ages of 5 and 11.
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.
The top three teams in the corporate, all-male, all-female and mixed team events will also receive awards.
New this year is the introduction of personalised bibs which may explain the increase in registrations as participants who wanted their names on their bibs had to register before 9 November.
Brian Siemann and Ryan Chalmers, who have competed in the wheelchair half marathon event since it was introduced in 2008, are here to compete again.
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.
“We are looking forward to a fun, safe and exciting race this weekend,” says race director Rhonda Kelly.
“It’s the marathon’s tenth anniversary and we believe it will be a memorable one in terms of record numbers and great achievements.
“This event is so inspirational and at times so emotional. We are just thrilled to be able to share these milestones and powerful moments with our runners.”
And what great moments are expected. Michelle Wight and her brothers Alan and Matthew will be running the relay to honour their mother Debbie who succumbed to cancer earlier this year, and raise funds for the new chemotherapy unit at the George Town Hospital.
Priscilla Knaus, 66, of Columbus, Ohio will be participating in the half marathon to celebrate her cancer survivor status and Katherine MacPherson will be running the half marathon and thinking of her aunt who died just a month ago from cancer.
Scott Ruby, who ran his first marathon last year and has not slowed down since, will be running in honour of Jule Frazier who has cerebral palsy and has inspired Ruby.
Stuart and Lora Ault of Altoona, Iowa will be running the full marathon to commemorate their thirtieth wedding anniversary while Elizabeth Maloy of Louisville, Kentucky will be celebrating her thirtieth birthday
Canadian mom Trish Palek and her sons Nik and Zak are returning with Team Diabetes to run the half marathon in memory of their father and grandfather who passed away in January 2011 from complications due to diabetes and celebrate Nik’s life which he lives as a Type I diabetic.
Shirley Inglis and Pierre Meier of Canada are running 26 marathons from A to Z in no particular order and the Cayman Marathon is their ‘C’ and Todd Oakes and Linda-Marie O’Connor of Tennessee will run the full marathon on Sunday morning and tie the knot on Sunday evening.
“We are always amazed and inspired by the stories behind why people run our race, and we are just so honoured to be a part of their experience,” says Kelly.
Beth Schreader, four-time women’s full marathon winner, is looking to retain her title while Marius Acker is seeking to regain the title of half marathon champ which he held for five years before oversleeping last year and being beaten to the finish line by Jason Saunders.
American Justin Grunewald, 27, is also returning to run the full marathon after smashing the course record in 2011 in 2:36:23.
Team Diabetes out of Canada, who brought a group of 40 last year are returning with a contingent of over 100 runners and walkers, all participating to raise funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Over 315 overseas runners accompanied by family and friends are registered for the race.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by Department of Tourism; Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture; Gatorade; Flowers Bottled Water; Digicel; Cayman National; Cayman First; Breezes By the Bay Restaurant; Kirk Freeport; 106.1 KISS FM; Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, CayCompass.com; NCI Services; Dolphin Discovery; Conyers Dill & Pearman; MILO; Cayman Airways; FastSigns; RVC Rehab/BioFreeze; Bliss Living Yoga Cayman; Coppertone; Tropicana Tours; Quaker; CUC; RE/MAX Cayman Islands; KPMG; CayBrew Light; Smoothie King; Scotiabank; The Final Touch; Harneys; Coca-Cola; Cayman Imports Ltd.; Cost-U-Less; and KRyS Global.
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 Sunday morning.
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 2012 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay and Kids Fun Run is open to late registration at the Marriott Hotel on Saturday from 10am-3pm.