Many reasons to join the running club

Running has always been popular here, but it seems that more and more people are joining the club. Some 40 run/walk events are now in the year-round calendar – and more are likely to be added.

Coach Jerry Harper – a 2012 recipient of the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honor – is the heart and soul of many of these events, and his motto is “everyone is welcome.” That’s why you’ll see people of all ages, abilities and walks of life taking part alongside the more elite athletes.

Coach Jerry is the founder of the Phoenix Athletic Club, which organizes many of the running events throughout the island. He also assists with the much-anticipated annual marathon, among other major sporting events. There’s even a run named after him: the Pirates Week To Hell and Back Jerry Harper 10K Run, in November.

Cayman’s running events are about fun, fitness and friendship. Dashing Through the Sand, held on Boxing Day, is a shining example. This annual work-off-the-turkey run brings out residents and visitors alike, with many renewing old acquaintances, or forging new ones.

And, for added motivation, there are often great random prize draws at the end of the run.

Here is a roundup of running events through the end of the year:

Brenda Tibbetts Lund Memorial 5K Run/Walk

Oct. 12 and 13

Brenda Tibbetts Lund was an activist for breast cancer awareness. She lost her battle with the illness in 1998, and the Lions Club of Grand Cayman established an annual walk in her honor. The event has now expanded to include two runs – one in North Side and one in George Town.

The North Side run/walk is on Oct. 12, and starts and ends at Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill. The George Town run/walk on Oct. 13 starts and ends from the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman.

Walkers start at 6 a.m. and runners at 6:30 a.m. for both events. The registration fee is $20.

Money raised supports the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Download a registration from the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens website at: www.lctgbreastcancerawareness.com.

World Run Day 5K

Oct. 20

This colorful event encourages participants to wear clothing or a symbol that reflects their home country.

It starts at 7 a.m. at Harbor Place in George Town. The entry fee is $15.

There will be random prize draws and an award for best national costume.

World Run Day was conceived by New Yorker Bill McDermott in 1999 to promote friendship and fitness worldwide, and Cayman has participated each year. It is also held to honor the memory of his brother, who died in an auto accident on Nov. 8, 1983.

Traditionally, it is held on the Sunday closest to that date. However, organizers moved it up so as not to conflict with Pirates Week activities in November.

Contact the Phoenix Athletic Club at 928-2537 or email [email protected]

Halloween 10-10-10 Relay/30K Solo/5K Fun Run/Walk

Oct. 27

These events take place on the far side of the island – all start and end at the Reef resort in East End.

Participants can choose to team up for the 10-10-10 road relay, take on the 30K foot race or join the 5K fun run.

The relay consists of three legs of 10K, starting at 6 a.m. Entry fee is $60 per team.

The 30K Solo Run starts at 6 a.m. Entry fee is $20. Participants must be 18 years and older.

The 5K Fun Run/Walk kicks off at 7 a.m. Entry fee is $15; free for children 16 and under.

Pre-registration is on Oct. 26 at Camana Bay and at the Reef resort from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants mayalso register online at www.CaymanActive.com.

The races are organized by Race Caribbean, under the leadership of Derek Larner. The organization supports a variety of local charities.

Breeze Fusion 2 Mile Walk/Run

Nov. 2

Now in its seventh year, the Breeze Fusion 2 Mile Walk/Run is organized by Breeze FM and the Phoenix Athletic Club.

Funds support local charitable causes, including the National Council of Voluntary Organizations.

Registration fee is $15 for adults and $10 for students 16 and under, and includes a T-shirt and random prize draws. Walkers start at 6:30 a.m. and runners hit the pavement at 6:45 a.m. The route starts and ends at Smith Cove.

Contact the Phoenix Athletic Club at 928-2537 or email [email protected] Register online at www.CaymanActive.com.

Pirates Week 5K Run

Nov. 8

The first sporting event of Pirates Week kicks off with the ever-popular 5K Run. The loop run starts at 5 p.m.in front of the South Terminal on Harbor Drive downtown.

Runners may register early at the Pirates Week Office on Nov. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on race day between 3:45 and 4:45 p.m. at Bayshore Mall. Entry fee is $20. Call the festival office at 949-5078.

Under-12 Circuit Race

Nov. 16

This Pirates Week event is geared for the younger set, with participants doing laps at Elizabethan Square downtown.

There are five categories: boys under 6; girls under 6; boys under 12; girls under 12; and a relay.

There is no entry fee, and the winners of the relay race receive $500 for their school. All entrants get a T-shirt and medal, and the top three finishers in each category receive a plaque.

The event starts at 8:30 a.m., and concludes with an awards ceremony and refreshments in the shaded courtyard.

Pre-register at the Pirates Week office Nov. 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or sign up on the day at 8 a.m. Call the festival office at 949-5078.

Ena Merren Memorial 5K Walk/Run

Nov. 16

This fun run is a new event in honor of Ena Merren,one of the founders of Triple C School. It starts at 7:30 a.m. at the school and features refreshments, prize drawing and a T-shirt for the first 100 participants. Money raised goes to a scholarship fund in Ms Merren’s memory.

Pre-register by downloading a form from the school’s website at www.triplecschool.org or by calling 949-6062. The registration fee is $20. Event day registration is $25, and starts at 7a.m.

Pirates Week To Hell and Back Jerry Harper 10K

Nov. 17

This annual run, organized by the Phoenix Athletic Club and named after its founder, coach Jerry Harper,

starts at 7 a.m. . Entry fee is $25. This race is also open to joggers, walkers and baby carriages.

The Jerry Harper 10K traditionally takes runners into West Bay, with the island’s famous Devil’s Hangout as the turnaround point. However, with the recent changes to West Bay Road, there will be a new route this year as yet to be determined.

Contact the Phoenix Athletic Club at 928-2537 or email [email protected]

Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon

Dec. 1

This highly anticipated event on the running calendar begins at 5 a.m., starting and ending in front of Breezes by the Bay downtown.

The event consists of a full marathon, half marathon, 4-person relay and a fun run for kids, and draws elite and social runners alike.

Last year around 1,200 runners, including many overseas guests, participated.

The marathon benefits the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

To register visit: www.caymanislandsmarathon.com.

Jingle Bell Walk/Run

Dec. 8

This long-standing favorite benefits the Cayman Islands Crisis Center.

The Jingle Bell run is a family-friendly event that draws a spectrum of people, from little ones in strollers to runners joined by their four-legged friends. Many participants get into the Christmas spirit by donning festive apparel.

This year’s run starts at 7 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman. Participants can choose either a 5K or 10K route.

Registration is $20, which includes a T-shirt, breakfast with Santa and raffle prizes. Register online at www.CaymanActive.com.

Dashing through the Sand

Dec. 26

Another highly anticipated
running event is this Boxing Day run on Seven Mile Beach. The fun run/walk starts from the beach near Hemingway’s Restaurant and ends at Surfside Beach Restaurant and Bar. The course is 1.5 miles.

Registration is $25, and includes a T-shirt designed by artist John Broad.

It’s organized by the Phoenix Athletic Club. Call 928-2537 or email [email protected]

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