The marvellous effect that participating in the Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon has is that it often inspires those who used to be sporty but as work and family commitments increased so did their waistlines.
Eric Bush, Franz Manderson and Wil Pineau all have high-profile, exacting government jobs and demands on their time outside of work hours, but they found time and energy to train to run/walk the 13.1 miles of the Cayman half marathon earlier this month.
Manderson is the Deputy Governor, Bush is the Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs and Pineau is the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Centre.
Bush and Manderson debuted in the competition last year and Pineau joined them this time.
“I made it a goal to complete the half marathon again this year,” said Bush. “My first half marathon was last year and it was tough, but I was proud Franz and I completed it, so I wanted to do it again.
“Our time was somewhere around 3 hours and 25 minutes which is almost 10 minutes off our time last year. Whilst I was not too concerned with my time, I did want to improve over last year.
“Franz and I agreed that we would run/walk it again this year. After the article in the Compass about us completing it last year, Wil reached out and asked if he could join us. We were happy to have Wil with us this year and happy to walk/run with any others who would care to join us.
“Franz and I participate at a number of 5ks throughout the year, but I think I will only stick to the Cayman Marathon for the half.”
Bush was fairly active in high school, competing in football, basketball and track and field. In college he concentrated on martial arts. “However when I returned home from collage to work, my fitness levels dropped to nil,” Bush admitted.
“Over the last 18 months I’ve started to pay more attention to my eating habits as well as reintroduce regular exercise.
“I attended CrossFit sessions with Teresa at Cayman CrossfFit for about nine months, but then was promoted so couldn’t find the time to attend.
“I have recently taken up squash at the South Sound Squash Club. I’ve only been playing for about seven weeks but am already addicted.”
Bush loves the atmosphere of Cayman’s biggest sporting event which grows substantially every time. “I think it’s the fact that the Cayman Marathon is so well organised and executed.
“I haven’t participated in any other marathons, but have participated in international track meets, with thousands of competitors and the coordination at the Cayman Marathon is bar none.”
Manderson has lost plenty of weight in the last two years, helped significantly by running.
“Completing a half marathon was my New Year’s resolution in 2011 which I did last year,” he said. “This year my goal was to improve my time. I’m pleased that I completed the half marathon in 3:24 which is eight minutes better than last time.”
The collective spirit with the other two helped get him around. “We agreed to participate as a team and it was fun to have the company.”
Like Bush, Manderson was a keen sportsman in the past.
“I played football until my early twenties and the last team I played for was Scholars International.
“After football I played darts for a number of years and was honoured to be the captain of the Cayman Islands darts team during the Caribbean Championships.”
The Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon was what got him off his couch and onto the road. “I think people love the challenge,” Manderson said.
“Additionally, it is very well organised and is well supported by many businesses.
“The people at the water stops do a great job of keeping you motivated.
“I would really like to have a large team from the Civil Service take part in the marathon next year.
“I will definitely continue to take part in as many run/walks as possible and will be in the Cayman Marathon next year.”
Pineau admits he was inspired by seeing his two colleagues in the media.
“Last year I saw a picture of Franz and Eric in the newspaper and I figured that if they could finish I would give it a try,” he said.
“We agreed to walk/run together and I did my best to keep up with them! At my age, I need all the help and support I can get.”
Pineau has always been active. He ran track in high school and played baseball in high school and college. “I walk and run regularly and participate in the co-ed softball league organised by the Cayman Islands Little League Association.
“In fact, this year our team, the Coors Light Chuggers, won the championship in our division. At my age that is quite an accomplishment competing against players half my age.”
Like the others Pineau is inspired by the marathon vibe. The community spirit increases through having more kids involved in their fun run and the post-race facilities that include massage, stretching, first aid, refreshments and awards
“It is a unique annual event that allows people who are at various skills levels to come together to share in the excitement and challenge of completing one of the most challenging running competitions,” said Pineau.
“Since this is my first experience I admire the commitment of anyone who successfully finished the half and full marathon. I really enjoyed the experience.
“I plan to participate again next year. I’m also considering participating in other local road runs/walks. I enjoy staying active and interacting with others in our community who feel the same way.”