Running road races in the blazing heat is not something the deputy governor Franz Manderson was known for a few years ago, but since adopting a healthier fitness and diet regime, the pounds have dropped off and to encourage others, he has gone as far as organizing his own event.
The Deputy Governor’s 5k Challenge starts and finishes at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on May 25. The inaugural event starts at 6:30 a.m. for walkers and half an hour later for runners.
All proceeds will go to Derek Haines towards his campaign to raise $1 million for a new Cayman HospiceCare building. The main sponsors are the Cayman Islands Government, Dart and CINICO.
Haines is running six marathons this year to raise funds and public awareness of the work of the HospiceCare and has completed two so far.
Haines appreciates Manderson’s gesture. “In more ways than one, everyone benefits,” he said. “Not only is it great that Franz is helping me meet my $1m challenge, but with his deputy Eric Bush, they are getting themselves fitter and their workforce too. It lessens the impact on the workforce and health service resources.”
Manderson’s initiatives include a regular post-work Monday afternoon training session from the government building on Elgin Avenue.
Haines added that his marathon challenge reached more than $400,000 in donations and pledges over the weekend thanks to an exciting Friday when the HospiceCare operations officer Jennifer Grant-McCarthy informed him that three checks had been received.
One was for $500, another from the McIntosh business family for $1,000 which was received by Chris Johnson, who is handling the accounts for the HospiceCare challenge and another for $25,000 from Pestkill.
“All these contributions showed how much a community effort this is becoming,” Haines said. “It is fantastic to receive big donations of $100,000 but just as pleasing to get the smaller ones, including $10, $20 and $50 contributions.
“This is partly because of the tremendous backing we’ve received from the media. I am really grateful. I can’t walk down the street now without people stopping me and showing support. Hopefully Frank’s run will raise a few thousand more.”