Walkers and runners taking to the roads of the Cayman Islands for Stride Against Cancer’s first nationwide run next week can dedicate their efforts to someone special this year.
Stride Against Cancer, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s main annual fundraiser, which is going nationwide for the first time this year, is offering participants a chance to run for a specific person or group of people.
Jennifer Weber, operations manager of the Cancer Society, said, “This year, one of the things that we added is a line on the back of everyone’s T-shirts that says ‘I Stride for … ’ and people can fill in that blank line by writing on it with a marker. They can say ‘I Stride for my friend,’ ‘I Stride for my mom,”… ‘I Stride for children with cancer.’
“We know people come out and do this to help the fight against cancer, but this is the first opportunity for them to really show why they are there and who they are there to support.”
This year’s Stride is being held on Sunday, Jan. 26, at four locations across all three islands, with simultaneous runs of various lengths at Seven Mile Beach, North Side, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Proceeds from the event will go toward the ongoing construction of a new chemotherapy unit. Having a chemo unit on island means that fewer patients will need to go overseas for treatment.
“It’s a fact that people recover better at home and so if we are able to accommodate their treatment here in Cayman, when they are done with chemo, they can go home and sleep in their own beds and eat their own food and have their loved ones stop by,” Ms Weber said.
This year, organizers say there will be a new “festival atmosphere” to the event, which will include music, food, drummers, and even a strolling magician to add a little bit of magic to the proceedings.
Other charitable organizations participating this year include the Red Cross, Cayman HospiceCare, and the YMCA.
Runners and walkers of all ages who want to take part can register and pay online and then collect their iconic purple and yellow Nationwide Stride T-shirt at the Cayman Islands Cancer Society office at 114 Maple Road, beside the George Town Hospital. Registration booths will also be available on select days at supermarkets this week and next week, including at Hurley’s, Foster’s, Cost-U-Less, and Kirk’s, and also at the Cayman Islands Hospital, Cafe del Sol in Fort Street, and Sunset House.
Participants, as well as their family and friends, are being offered a $10 Lions Club breakfast at the Seven Mile Beach location. There will be refreshments and a sport prize draw after the event, at 9:30 a.m. at every location.
The Seven Mile Beach half marathon begins at 6 a.m. This will be an out-and-back course starting and ending at Public Beach on West Bay Road. The course goes along West Bay Road, through George Town and along South Church Street paralleling the coastline. Caribbean Paradise on South Sound Road is the turnaround point.
There will also be a quarter marathon walk/run of 6.5 miles starting at 7 a.m. at Public Beach on Seven Mile. The course goes along West Bay Road with The Wharf Restaurant as the turnaround point.
At North Side, Stride begins at 7 a.m. from the boat launch next to Over the Edge restaurant and ends at Kaibo. Transport back to the boat launch will be provided.
On Little Cayman, there will be a 7 a.m. start from the Southern Cross Club on Guy Banks Road. To register, email Jen Mills at [email protected] or call 948-1099, or contact Camille at [email protected] or call 916-4266.
The Cayman Brac Stride begins at 7 a.m. and the course goes from The Alexander Hotel to the Brac Reef Beach Resort.
Last year, nearly 1,000 people took part in the 2013 Stride Against Cancer.
Registration costs $30, or $40 including breakfast. To register online, visit https://www.active.com/donate/stridecayman.