Oisin, 9, already runs dad close

The Kids’ Fun Run at the Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon two months ago gave a glimpse of the talented youngsters likely to emerge in the future.

They only ran seven-tenths of a mile instead of the full 26.2 miles, but many did it in kind through completing a twenty-five-and-a-half mile training schedule during the weeks leading up to the event.

One of them was Oisin McGeough, a 9-year-old student at St. Ignatius Catholic School, who could one day be a marathon winner, like last year’s champion, Jon Rankin.

The children were allowed to complete the mileage by running, walking, cycling or swimming and their parents signed off their schedules as they completed each mile.

McGeough decided to do all his training with his dad, Paul, who is an accomplished runner himself over a 20-year span while living in Cayman.

The Cayman Islands Intertrust Marathon is organised by Kelly Holdings, who took the initiative to get more children involved in the race and also to promote them playing more sports and to increase physical activity.

“Several evenings a week after dinner and with all his homework completed I would bring him out for a small run along South Sound close to where we live,” Paul said. “We would start off at a nice easy pace, but soon he was pushing it and running farther and farther. He is not the fastest sprinter by any means, but he has stamina and good pace and is far more of a distance runner.”

In the four weeks prior to the marathon, Oisin trained three evenings a week running between two to three miles each time. He really enjoyed those runs and also looked forward to filling in his log marking off each mile.

“Maria Kennedy, a teacher at his school, also actively encourages all the kids in Year 5 to participate in this race and she was there on race day,” Paul said.

Oisin is not a novice to road racing. His first competitive race in the Cayman Islands was last year’s Pirates Week 5K where he came in 61st place out of 149 finishers in a time of 25 minutes 10 seconds, which is around the eight minute mile mark. Pretty good for an adult and brilliant for a 9-year-old. He was the youngest competitor to finish.

“At St. Ignatius School, a teacher, Andy Irish, organised an after school running club and she encouraged Oisin to keep running going and coupled with a lot of encouragement from me, he hopes to participate in more fun runs,” Paul said.

Oisin really enjoys most sports, including playing football for his school team. He also loves tennis and swimming. He has a younger brother, Max, and a sister, Isabella.

Oisin was at East End over the weekend for the Cross Island Relays supporting his dad and he announced that he definitely wants to run a leg next year. Each stage of six is roughly four miles.

He would also like to enter a St. Ignatius School team in this race and maybe encourage some of the other schools to do the same.

“It would be great to see a schools division at this race as they currently have corporate divisions,” said Paul, who is a sales manager at Green Thumb Building Materials. “He has ambitions in the future to run a full marathon and next year he would like to participate as part of a team. His goal is one day to beat me in a proper race. I believe that he is already not too far away!”

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