Dream Team may tame Bulldogs

Runners across the Cayman Islands are set for the highly competitive annual Fidelity Cross Island Relay this weekend.

Running club Hash House Harriers organised the event and club spokesman Paul Schreiner is hoping for the event’s biggest ever entry on Sunday, 3 February.

“We are hoping for a record entry of 100 relay teams this year,” Schreiner said. “Each year we are continually impressed by the solid turnout and this year we anticipate we will see the greatest number of entrants ever.

“The Fidelity Cross Island Relay has become a regular fixture on everyone’s calendar.”

The race begins at 6am near Collier’s Beach in East End and finishes at Smith’s Cove in South Sound, with awards presented there at 10am.

The route is similar to last year although there have been some slight modifications to make it safer and faster. Full details will be provided in the race packet or can be viewed on the Hash website at www.caymanhash.com

Trophies will be awarded to the first five teams in the Open Division, the first three teams in the Ladies Only Division and the first three teams in the Corporate Division, where all six runners must work at the same company.

Teams are made up of six different runners who are each required to run a four mile leg. Red Cross volunteers will attend to provide water at the half way mark on each leg and there will be refreshments at Smith Cove.

Fidelity’s Vice President and Regional Marketing Manager, Tom Gammage, is delighted Fidelity is again staging such a popular event, working alongside the Hash House Harriers.

“Our annual Cross Island Relay attracts increasing levels of support each year which is a sure sign that more and more people are embracing a healthier lifestyle and enjoying the camaraderie of the event,” he said.

“We also note that competition is becoming increasingly fierce when it comes to winning the coveted title of Fidelity Cross Island Relay Champions.

“The fastest time ever recorded was 2 hours 14 minutes 3.7 seconds which was achieved by the Hash House Harriers ‘A’ Team back in 1982.

“This year we understand that there is a ‘Dream Team’ seeking to break the record, so we encourage all prospective entrants to don their running shoes now and get up to speed for the main event!”

The best two men’s teams are the Dream Team comprising of Marius Acker, Dominic Corbin, Mike McDonald, Jonathan Shillito, James Ogden and Dave Walker and the British Bulldogs. The Bulldogs of Derek Larner, Neil Ainscow, Jason Saunders, James Ogden, Tom Gammage and Neal Coleman, are the reigning champions. They may change their name at the last minute because Saunders is Jamaican. James Murray also has a strong team that may include Chadwick Webster.

Acker quipped: “The Bulldogs are likely to be tamed this year and should all be on leashes before the end of the relay! They’ve been running wild for far too many years now.” They had toyed with calling themselves The Doghandlers.

The Sole Sisters should continue their reign as the top women’s team with Beth Florek their best runner. Last year’s team was Florek (formerly Schreader), Pam Abbott, Megan Kounnas (since moved to New York), Tracey Walker (pregnant), Lauretta Bennett and Julie-Ann Pearson. Replacement members this year are Megan Kelly and Laura Knox-Clingerman.

Pre-registration for the event is available by logging onto http://www.caymanactive.com/register.

Packet pick up and in-person registration is being held between midday and 4pm on Saturday at the base of the Observation Tower in Camana Bay. There will be no registration on the day of the event.

To learn more about the Fidelity Cross Island Relay email [email protected]