Road races are so popular in the Cayman Islands now that even cruise passengers are hitting the roads.
More than 100 visitors on a running vacation are scheduled to arrive on the Freedom of the Seas liner on Thursday, Feb. 6.
Jenny Hadfield and John Bingham, frequent contributors to Runners World magazine, are the organizers of the tour, which will include stops in Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, as well as Grand Cayman.
The cruisers, aged 20 to over 70, hail from Ontario, Quebec, Turks and Caicos and 23 states in the United States.
A 5k run will be conducted by the Phoenix Athletic Club, along an out-and-back course on South Church Street from Guy Harvey’s Restaurant.
Action will start as close to 9 a.m. as possible, depending on the arrival time of the visitors.
Residents are invited to participate. Entry fee is $10.
Coach Jerry Harper of the Phoenix Athletic Club, said, “This activity could initiate a succession of similar events, if properly publicized and coordinated.”
He added that a small number of runners arrived on a running cruise on Boxing Day, but formally participated in the Dashing Thru’ the Sand run.
Some years ago, the Trinidad Hash arrived on a cruise and conducted a Hash Harriers run through downtown George Town.
Harper would be happy if locals join in. “Since it is a work day, we originally were only looking for people to help as volunteers,” he said. “Potential local participation has grown recently.
Obviously, these are not typical, laze in the sun, eat and drink to excess, passengers. These cruise runners are encouraged to complete the 26.2 miles distance of a marathon, divided over the stops on the cruise.
There are no major sponsors but Cayman mementos, donations and gift certificates will be distributed.
As well as the run, Harper hopes the visitors will have the opportunity to visit as many places as time allows.
Registration forms are at www.caymanactive.com/running/cruise-ship-5k. For further information, email [email protected] or call 928-2537.
More than 100 visitors on a running vacation are scheduled to arrive on the Freedom of the Seas liner on Thursday Feb. 6.