Dominic Corbin is locally respected as a short road race specialist and was not a serious threat over the longer distances. Not anymore.
Even though Corbin turned up seven minutes late for the Halloween 30k Solo’s start in East End on Sunday, the 23-year-old Brit finished far enough ahead of second-place Jens Pankalla that he could have polished off a full English breakfast and cup of tea before his rival finished. At 6 feet, 6 inches, Corbin’s long legs ate up the distance between them.
Although Corbin’s time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 52 seconds was three minutes slower than the team winners, Phoenix Athletic Club, when his late start is factored in, he was even faster than Phoenix’s Pablo Brito, Kevin Connoly and Leon Barracks.
It was the third staging of the Halloween 10-10-10 road relay, the 30k Solo run and the 5k fun run/walk from the Reef Resort, organized by Race Caribbean’s Derek Larner, an accomplished runner himself and coach of some of Cayman’s best youngsters, including Tahj Lewis, Sherlock Brooks, Delano Callender and Tiffany Cole.
Fastest female was Julie-Ann Pearson (2:37:36) in her penultimate race here. She was fifth overall and is in the Cayman Triathlon this weekend before heading for Brisbane, Australia, for new challenges.
Justine Plenkiewicz (21:42:27) was the second female home, 12th overall, just ahead of the third female finisher, Helki Weber 2:43:44.
Paul Williams won the 5k race and Stuart Bray was second. Apart from experiencing an event in another part of Grand Cayman, many used it as preparation for this Sunday’s Cayman Triathlon and the Cayman Islands Marathon on Dec. 1.
Last year’s champ, Chadwick Webster, did not enter. His course record of 2:06:58 would have been under threat had Corbin timed his arrival correctly.
Larner said: “All the numbers are up from last year, and I’m very pleased. It was better than the previous two years. Obviously, there were a couple of little niggles, like running out of cups at a water stop and a girl getting her ankles nipped by a dog whilst running, but overall it all went smoothly.
“The support from the Reef Resort was fantastic and everybody liked their award of a miniature running shoe in lieu of a medal.
“There was a new ladies’ champ in Julie-Ann, who said a sort of goodbye. It was a good run from her.”
Larner added that he was especially pleased with the increased number of corporate teams. “The more that get involved increases the profile and fun. Even my dentist at Smiles put a corporate team in.”
Corbin had a great weekend because his beloved Manchester United recorded a rare Premiership win, coming from behind to beat lowly Stoke City, 3-2.
Speedy on foot but not so swift on four wheels, Corbin simply misjudged the distance from the capital. “It’s a long way from George Town to East End, and I forgot how long it takes to drive to the other end of the island,” he said.
When setting off, Corbin had to temper his anxiety to catch the leaders. “I knew I was seven minutes behind everyone else, but I needed to remember that it’s a 30k and I couldn’t sprint to try and catch everyone.
“That was the furthest I’ve run recently and it was one of the hardest. It was humid at the start and unbelievably windy on the second half of the course. I’m just glad I finished.”
The high point for him was crossing the line and realizing he was first, since starting late he had no idea who was ahead. He genuinely thought he was fourth or fifth. For him, the low point was the amount of wind on the last seven miles.
All 30k runners appreciated their metal running shoe award and he received a trophy.
“Derek Larner executed it all well,” Corbin said. “The cadets at water stops and route corners were well coordinated, too.”
Corbin is focused on triumphing in the Cayman half-marathon and may have to oust perennial champ Marius Acker to do so. “I feel more confident about it now, as I know my body can handle the longer distances, but it all depends on the day.”
In the meantime, he runs the 2-mile Breeze FM Radio event this Saturday and the Pirates Week races.
It was the third staging of the Halloween 10-10-10 road relay, the 30k Solo run and the 5k fun run/walk from the Reef Resort, organized by Race Caribbean’s Derek Larner, an accomplished runner himself and coach of some of Cayman’s best youngsters.