The Healthy Body Healthy Mind 5K Walk Run was another well organised event but could have done with a few more participants.
Nevertheless, it was a great occasion on Saturday morning and runners who work for the civil service had the extra incentive to finish ahead of Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor when it started at the No. 1 Shoe Shop beside Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town.
That’s because he was giving a $20 donation to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands and the Hy Tech Track and Field Club to anyone finishing ahead of him. Four managed that, so he donated $80.
Governor Taylor was a real trouper as he was still suffering from the flu but dragged himself out to support a worthy event.
The second annual race was organised by the Goddard family who own the No. 1 Shoe Shop and Winners Circle Sports in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Sports and to mark Earth Day. There were plenty of prizes handed out, too.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was first in the 5K walk and he too inspired other civil servants to participate.
Predictably, Jason Saunders was first home in 5K run, followed by Evans Simiyu and then Derek Larner.
In the female race, sixth overall Tiffany Cole had to sprint to beat Leslie Ann Daley.
The Davies family was well represented, as usual, with Roger running and his daughter, Emily, competing. It was good to see the Marias, Leonce and Kennedy supporting this event as well.
Marco Miranda won it last year, but with Saunders in the field was unlikely to repeat. At least he, too, saw the importance of backing this event.
Organisers Merta Day and Chris Goddard admitted they were a little disappointed with the numbers, but appreciate that there were other events on that day to which people were committed.
Day said: “Healthy Body Healthy Mind is really appreciative of Governor Taylor’s generosity in pledging to donate $20 to the beneficiaries of the event for every civil servant who beat him in the race and he paid up his pledged dues right away.”
Enthusiastic runners, Leslie Ann Daley, last year’s winner Emily Davies and Evelin Ritch were first, second and third in the competitive age group 28 to 37.
Coach Derek Larner, still sore from the Boston marathon, swore he would only jog leisurely with his athletes. Prior to race he demonstrated he could not even touch his toes. Yet he still managed to win his age group and come third overall.
“I believe this was primarily due to his athlete Tahj Lewis, 15, just back from CARIFTA Games hot on his heels,” said Day. “It’s great to see this type of effort.”
Day is the sports coordinator at the Department of Sports. She added: “We believe a good time was had by all. I thoroughly enjoy assisting these types of wholesome events that benefit the community. The sports department will certainly be happy to remain involved again next year.”
Chris Goddard said: “The No. 1 Shoe Shop and Winners Circle Sports is very happy to give back to the community and look forward to continuing with the event next year.
“We will look to dropping the adult registration fees to make it more affordable for all.” Entire proceeds collected from registration fees each year go toward the charity selected.
Day added: “We thank all participants and volunteers who came out for their support, including those who signed up even though unable to participate.
“Thanks also to David Goddard Photography, ASICS and World Gym for their generous donation of prizes. Also many thanks to the media for their continued support.”