The Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon is only 10 years old but already has enormous international respect.
That was confirmed on Sunday when hundreds of overseas competitors enjoyed another wonderful staging thanks to the Kelly Holding team, which worked around the clock in the days leading up to it to ensure absolutely everything was covered.
“Most people don’t see the challenges in the background but the most important thing is that the runners had a good experience and that is basically what we work for,” said race director Rhonda Kelly. Laurie-Ann Holding and Bev Sinclair complete Team Terrific.
Last year they topped 1,000 competitors for the first time in the full marathon, half marathon and four-person relay. This time they went for 1,200 and achieved that comfortably.
“The increased numbers needed a bit more logistical work,” said Kelly. “We expected that, 20 per cent more. That was our goal. We were expecting 200 more and were excited to have it.”
They introduced personalised bibs for the first time, which helped onlookers identify and cheer runners on.
“A lot of races do that so we were excited that we could introduce it,” said Kelly. “Working with the company in Canada, we got some good ideas and do some great things with them.”
Cayman’s own Jon Rankin won in 2 hours 43 minutes and 10 seconds. Last year’s champ, Justin Grunewald, ran three-quarters of the race but dropped out.
“We know that Justin dropped out and he wasn’t injured,” added Kelly. “He got into a car. It was lovely having Jon win. We always want to welcome people from here, our local runners, we love them.”
The 26.2 mile race started at Breezes by the Bay at 5am and ran along South Sound up to Prospect Point and back twice. Consensus is that this one of the world’s most beautiful courses, especially along South Sound and Prospect. The atmosphere generated by the water stops – usually in costumes – is a big plus too.
“The feedback I get from runners is that they love the water stops, which we increased. The feedback we’ve also had is that the traffic was a lot better. We worked really had to get the public behind us. That was a really good thing to hear. And the weather cooperated today.
“It was a little humid but overall it was a nice, cloudy day, not burning sun. That all comes together and gives everybody a great day.”
The numbers were boosted by the return of Team Diabetes Canada who brought over 40 last year and enjoyed it so much that they had a huge increase.
“They had over 100 people in their group so we were thrilled. They more than doubled their numbers from last year. They booked this trip the day after last year’s because they had such a good experience. We hope they do it again because we love having them.
“We want to get more groups like that. That is what’s going to grow our marathon. At the end of the day we had 135 in the full which increased from 111 registered last year of which 101 participated.
“When you look at that increase, we only had 30-something locals. There are only a certain number on this Island that can run a full marathon and the only way to grow that event is through visitors and it’s groups like Team Diabetes who really took that number over the top.”
To see pictures from the Cayman Islands Marathon 2012,
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