Derek Haines has his sights set on another pot of gold. Thirty thousand dollars, at least. Not for himself, mind, the champion charity fundraiser is running the Intertrust Cayman Maraton on Dec. 1 and wants to raise that amount to add to the hundreds of thousands he has contributed to worthy causes over the years.
Haines may now be officially a senior citizen but he tackles the 26.2 miles of the Intertrust Cayman Marathon on Dec. 1, like an excited teenager in his signature lop-sided gait.
The Cayman Islands Cancer Society received a check for just over $79,800 in July, collected for last year’s run and Haines is doing his bit for Feed Our Future charity this time.
A former rugby player and now president of the Cayman Islands Rugby Club in South Sound, picking Feed Our Future which provides children in need with school meals, was an easy choice considering he is a father of two. He wants $5,000 donations from businesses and from individuals a pledge of $25 to guess his finishing time. A little short of his target figure, Haines is asking generous donators to dig a little deeper.
There will be a first prize of six bottles of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin for the closest guess. His fastest time is 2 hours, 59 minutes – although that was 27 years ago and not likely to be repeated – and he finished in slightly more than four hours last year.
“Sponsorship is a tad slower this year but I am closing in on target,” Haines said. “With a couple of weeks still to go I am confident that the Feed our Future will get its summer program funding. I still welcome any donations though. Checks to the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman.”
Haines runs four and a half miles each way to and from work at Camana Bay and does longer runs at weekends. Twenty-three miles is the furthest he has gone in training.
He has no special diet but tries to keep his weight about 165 pounds.
“My long-time running partner is Cindy Hew. She gives me great encouragement and is fun to run with. No mercy though.
“I also run with the Hash House Harriers on Monday evenings. Lots of the time I am solo though but enjoy the shouts from passing traffic.”
Now receiving his state pension from the UK, he is still coming to terms with recently turning 65.
“It’s strange being officially an old age pensioner but I don’t feel any different and my connection with the rugby union keeps me young at heart. Not broken just bent and can learn to run again as the song almost goes.”
Although he has no expectations with a four hour time of being a fastest finisher, not so long ago Haines was amongst the leaders near the end.
“I was second overall at 24 miles in the post Ivan marathon (2005) which was interesting although I got captured after that and came sixth with a police motor cycle escort (in my cop days).”
The beauty of the course is always what people most admire about this marathon. Haines has mixed feelings about living on the route.
“South Sound is beautiful, of course, but going past my front door four times is harsh. The finish tape is always good to see and go past.”