Plenty of chances to stay fit

Flowers Sea Swim Cayman Islands 2013

Weekend warriors have a feast of events to compete in soon, starting with the Flowers Sea Swim

Frank Flowers launches a powerhouse combination of 5K/10K sea swims on 17 June, two days after the celebrated and internationally renowned 1 Mile Sea Swim, 

The 5K/10K competition is flush with prizes and awards. One in every five competitors will win a prize. Prizes include plane tickets, golf outings, and dinner at notable local restaurants. 

The events will attract a host of internationally-recognised swimmers, including world record holders and multiple gold medal Olympians, as well as Cayman Islands-based Olympians. 

It relies exclusively on the private funding of the Flowers organisation and other donors. One hundred per cent of the entrance fees of competitors will be handed to the Feed Our Future Cayman programme that provides students at least one good meal each school day. 

At the other end of the endurance exercise spectrum, 17 June will also see the return of the “Try This Tri”, sponsored by Solomon Harris, and organised by the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association. The directors are Sara Superfine and Claire Griffin. 

In its fifth year, the event targets beginner and intermediate triathletes, to include teenagers and adolescent participants as young as 5. It is a family event. Registration is free, although donations are accepted. It is a delight to watch the youngsters finishing the run portion of the triathlon in the grassy field at Camana Bay International School. Since its inception, Try This Tri was billed as a training or triathlon educational experience with safety uppermost in mind. 

All swim, cycle and run phases of the race – for participants 17 and under – are conducted at the safe and scenic Camana Bay Centre, under the close supervision of adult organisers and parents. The older participants cycle, at least in part, on the open roads where the Traffic Law in the Cayman Islands applies. 

Mercuryman Triathlon  

The Cayman Islands Triathlon Association under the capable direction of Johan Heath, Justine Plenkiewicz and Trevor Murphy featured the inaugural Mercuryman Triathlon, with an aquabike, a swim-cycle combination for those with recovering knees, as a bonus, in January.  

This half-ironman distance race, the so called 70.3K, took full advantage of the open space and elbow room in East End with The Reef serving as transition area and race headquarters. It was the longest triathlon in memory in Cayman and was superbly organised to the benefit of the competitors.  

A fundamental ingredient in the success of these events are volunteers to prepare for the day, provide food and drink and act as course marshals. It can be extremely rewarding – either cheering a 5 year old to run or walk the last 10 yards, or the distance swimmer the last 1K of a total of 10Ks. 

In order to compete, or volunteer for any of the 17 June events, contact Jodi Reineking at [email protected] or Clare Griffin at [email protected] 

Visitor reaction  

In years past, off-shore Olympian swimmers have competed in the Flowers 1 Mile Sea Swim. When asked about the experience in Cayman, invariably they describe the water, beaches, and temperature on Seven Mile Beach as fantastic, superior to any in which they have competed. 

Seasoned triathlete Larry Walters said: “There are significant health costs related to inactivity. The Caymanian Compass reported last month that the Cayman Islands suffers a 36 per cent obesity rate and that 70 per cent of those surveyed are overweight.  

“The answer to the health issues, at least in significant part, rests just out the door, over at the pool, or down to the beach. Cayman is blessed with health opportunities. Take full advantage of them.” 


The Flowers Sea Swim is the world’s richest event.– PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD

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