Weekend warrior Derek Haines sure did it again. The veteran long distance runner ran a respectable time of just over four hours in the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon last month and in the process raised tens of thousands for charities.
Haines may run hunched up and seemingly in immense pain, but he is pretty fast. For a 64-year-old, his time of 4 hours 12 minutes and 29 seconds was impressive considering the heat and humidity in the second half of the 26.2 mile race.
There was the usual competition to see who could predict his time and the winner of a bottle of champagne was only one second out.
The marathon was won by Cayman’s Olympic hopeful Jon Rankin in 2:43:09. Welshman Steve Speirs, champion in 2009 and 2010, was second. Canadian visitor Geoff Riggs was third and first woman home was Cayman resident Beth Florek who was fourth and the fastest female for the fifth consecutive time.
In the half marathon, perennial champ Marius Acker got to the start line in time to regain his crown. The previous year Acker arrived late and although his half marathon time was the fastest recorded, he finished fourth.
Jason Saunders, the previous year’s winner was second, ahead of emerging talent Dominic Corbin. Chadwick Webster was fourth ahead of Mark Hogan and Neal Coleman was sixth.
The wheelchair race was won by Ryan Chalmers ahead of Brian Siemann and the team event champs were the British Bulldogs again ahead of Phoenix Athletic Club and The Mdr A Team. Fourth were the Cajun Hounds.
Walkers turned out in numbers again to do the half marathon and there were kids races so organisers Kelly Holding could not be accused of excluding any demographic. No wonder the event grows by 20 per cent every year.
In fact, over 100 Canadians from Team Diabetes participated, twice the number they brought the previous year.
Donated money for Haines’ run goes this time to the Cancer Society and Health Authority towards a chemotherapy unit.
“I was as pleased as I can be with my time,” Haines said. “I was faster than Boston earlier in the year but disappointed not to have broken 4 hours again and also to have lost my first over 60s home crown. Have to get it back this year.
“I ought to have been fine but the last two miles took me almost 40 minutes as I suffered extreme cramp. A long day at work the day before didn’t help but such is life.”
Haines savoured the encouragement from spectators, who called his name emblazoned on his chest through the innovative personalised bib system that was introduced for the first time.
“My highlights were the usual good crowd support including the volunteers at the water stops. Also knowing that I was being supported by a bunch of generous people and companies helped.
“I have just under $50,000 pledged from family, friends, colleagues and companies plus ESSO will be donating five cents a gallon sold over an eight week period so that will, hopefully be a similar amount.
“Three Rotary clubs from the US have also said they will support and we are applying for a grant from Rotary International. If this all happens we will be able to fit out the chemotherapy unit and Thompson Shipping have pledged to bring all of the equipment down and pay for all the port fees. So, at present, about $100,000 seems to be on the table.
“It is certainly not too late to donate. This is towards a very good cause. Cheques can be made to the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and sent to PO 2339 Grand Cayman, KY1-1106.”
Haines absolutely loves the Cayman Marathon and is already preparing for the next one in December.
“It goes from strength to strength and is well organised. Also, I wish to thank everyone who has supported me over the years thus enabling various Cayman charities to benefit.”