Lovers of all sorts got their chance to express themselves during the Valentine’s Mile with three separate races.
Besides the adults, there was also a kids’ race while dogs and their owners also had an opportunity to show their prowess.
The second annual Valentine’s Mile was run Sunday, 17 February, around downtown George Town this time, finishing on Cardinall Avenue.
Last year it was run at Grand Harbour, but this year’s more central location was deemed more popular – although it presented some logistical challenges for organiser Derek Larner, of Race Caribbean.
More than 260 people participated, as well as more than 70 dogs, in an event where all proceeds went to the Cayman Islands Humane Society.
Dominic Corbin, the 6 feet, 6 inch newcomer, powered around the course to win in 4 minutes, 42 seconds. Jason Saunders finished 12 seconds behind Corbin, followed by Marius Acker, who clocked in at 4:59.
The fastest three women were Claire Critchley (5:28), Leslie Daley (5:55) and Vanessa Dyer (6.00).
Larner said: “The president of the Humane Society was over the moon. We raised almost $4,300 for them, which is similar to last year’s amount so we are pleased. No one was injured. Everyone involved had a great time and there were no problems that I am aware of.
“There were too many prizes to mention and some excellent raffle prizes by the many brands in Kirk Freeport and Cartier, who were our sponsors,” he added. “On behalf of Race Caribbean, I would like to thank Kirk Freeport and Cartier for once again sponsoring this event.
“I have had dozens of e-mails and everyone was positive. It is hard work organising events like this, so when we receive positive feedback it makes it all worth while.
“We believe the town centre is an excellent venue and the route was well received,” he said. “But no decision has been made for 2014 at this time.”
Race Caribbean assisted the Krys Global team in Sunday’s Off The Beaten Track with race timing, results and changeover points.
The next Race Caribbean event will be the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps team 10 kilometre and 5 kilometre fun run/walk on 7 April.
Larner, who also coaches some of the island’s top middle-distance teenagers, is grateful to the cadets who assisted at the Valentine’s Mile.
“The cadets did a good job with traffic control and race marshalling, so well done to them,” Larner said.
Corbin was the pre-race favourite but he did not take victory for granted because Saunders and Acker, although not as gifted over short distances, were capable of springing a surprise.
“I felt confident in this race as Craig Noble (Anytime Fitness) helped me with a training plan towards running a 4:40 mile,” Corbin said. “So I knew I should be able to run faster than last year’s winning time. Plus, James Murray and Derek Larner have both helped with my training, so tapping into their knowledge of running, I knew I should be able to win.
“At the start line, I knew I had to run at full tilt from the off,” Corbin said. “As soon as I psyched myself up, Derek had a few problems with the gun and so I relaxed a lot. But after he shouted: ‘Go!’ I knew I wanted to take the lead and lead the whole way.
“The course had so many turns, so before and after each turn I felt my speed reduce as I didn’t want to slip on the bends.
“It was a windy day and on a couple of the straights the wind was strong and I felt like I was running really slowly.
“When I did look back about half way I could only see Jason Saunders but I was trying to run a sub 4:40 mile, so I put my head down and tried to run harder into the wind.
“Running down the final straight on Cardinall Avenue I glanced at the clock and saw 4:39 and knew I couldn’t beat my goal,” Corbin said. “I did feel disappointed when finishing, but I won, so that feeling didn’t last for long.
“Now looking back on my time I’m pleased, but I’ll be looking to run a lot quicker than that in upcoming races.”
Corbin admits he entered both for props and the prize. “I’m really competitive and wanted to see if I could win the mile race and the prize from Kirk Freeport ($500 gift voucher) was the icing on the cake.
“I thought the whole Valentine’s Mile organisation with dogs and kids running separately was a great idea as there were a lot of winners,” Corbin said. “Some of the dog runners ran really well and watching the young children run is great. It would have been good to see some of Derek’s kids run with us, but it’s a great morale booster for them to place high in the race.
“I only jogged last year’s mile so it’s hard to comment on the different courses. They both had their ups and downs. Last year’s track had less turns but this year’s location was better. If this year’s course had less turns it would be better, other than that it was really well organised.”