Fourth chance to be bushwhacked

Off The Beaten Track is the tough endurance race that is being staged for the fourth time next month and despite its incredibly challenging course is now a firm fixture with weekend warriors.

Racers will set off on Sunday 24 February with a fresh start time of 6am, a new route and an exciting new finish line at Tiki Beach.

This unique off-road trail run cuts across beaches, the bush and back roads of Grand Cayman.

While the physical demands of the race are significantly more challenging than a typical road race, team relay members only run a fraction more than five miles each.

For those entering as individuals, they will run an epic 50 kilometres (roughly 30 miles) across a course designed to mirror the gruelling Marathon des Sables ultra-distance race run in the hot sands of Morocco every year.

English pair Conrad Proud and Lizzie Berns were the individual men’s and women’s winners in the gruelling race last year. Proud certainly had plenty to be proud about, finishing in 5 hours 6 minutes and 15 seconds. Berns did the course in 6:18:50.

The fastest all male relay team was The Leftovers in 3:43:24. Fastest coed relay team was Marco’s Marauders (4:20:47). Fastest all female relay team was Ogiers Girls (4:47:57) and the top corporate relay team was RBC Wealth Management (4:50:03).

The Leftovers comprised of some of Cayman’s top runners so were the overwhelming favourites. They were Marius Acker, Chris Rose, Jonathan Shillito, Tristan Von-Kirchenheim, Carl Grant and Ray Welds.

Title sponsor and organiser KRyS Global’s CEO, Ken Krys says: “There are a great many runners here in Cayman, and I urge all of them to come out.

“The team aspect allows everyone of all levels to participate, while experienced marathoners can choose to run solo. Another unique aspect is the actual course is not revealed until the week before race day.”

No stranger to challenges, Krys faced the Antarctic Ice Marathon and Amazon Jungle Run in 2011. Last year he braved dog sledding in Norway, the 42km Marathon Du Finistere in France, and just recently, the 212 km Manaslu Mountain Trail Race in Nepal.

All proceeds raised from the race will go to charity. Facing Africa, the primary beneficiary, is an organisation that sends teams of surgeons and medical supplies to Sub-Saharan Africa to battle a devastating disease called Noma, which causes deformities of the face in predominantly young malnourished children.

This year’s local beneficiaries are Cayman’s Ark and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.

Long standing partner and key supporting sponsor, Lynne Byles, Managing Director of Tower Marketing says: “Off The Beaten Track has so many positives for Cayman – encouraging health and fitness, promoting the Islands as a sports tourism destination and raising funds for worthwhile charities. Tower is proud to be a part of this unique local competition.”

Cayman’s business community is invited to enter their corporate relay teams. This year there will be prizes for the fastest individual male, individual female, all-female relay team, all-male relay team, co-ed relay team and corporate relay team.

Runners will enjoy a hearty post race meal during the medal distribution ceremony in the scenic comforts of Tiki Beach.

Online registration is now open on www.caymanactive.com with fantastic early bird entry fees available until 24 January. Costs are just US$240 for relay teams and US$80 for individuals. After 25 January full entry fees apply at US$300 for relay teams and US$100 for individuals. For more information visit www.offthebeatentrack.ky.

Corporate sponsorship is invited and volunteers are welcome. Anyone interested should contact Nicky van Rensburg at 947-4700 or [email protected]

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