Samuel Young is a former bodybuilder, now budding triathlete, who wore a Superman top in the New Day Flashy Nation run on Sunday.
The day before he won the inaugural Pirates Trail Mud Run 5K, so the Superman imagery was appropriate.
A busy weekend’s activity and Young would have it no other way, with ambitions of being a world class triathlete firmly in sights.
Young’s only concern was that the Mud Run marshals could have been more knowledgable on directing the runners.
“The Mud Run was new to me and being in the lead, it kept me guessing what obstacle was next,” Young said. “The actual course was entertaining.
“After crossing the finish line I had respect for the actual course. I would do it again for the fun of it as well as to defend my title.”
He was pleased with the turnout for Flashy Nation’s event considering it was over the public holiday weekend and there were many distractions.
“I’m happy to see Flashy Nation enhancing our community,” he said. “Running as Superman made me feel at certain points like the Man of Steel. I enjoyed seeing my mother Cleta Bodington run too. I love her.
“She’s always there to support me. No matter what, she deserves a mention.”
For him the highlight on the Mud Run was stepping onto the pathway of floaters connected by ropes. “Whilst trying to balance the competitors were stepping on the floaters. We had to jump in and swim for a few strokes. Thank god for triathlon training.”
Young is training under coach William Baldaramos for the PASO Triathlon in Mexico in September.
“Not even five minutes pass without my mind on the PASO Triathlon and the Cayman Islands Triathlon in November. With that said, I’m ready to love cycling. Running is organic for me. Now I find myself hungry to evolve as a swimmer, cyclist and runner.”
From an early age he has been sporty. “My mom made sure I had a touch of everything, including golf and tennis.
“As a pre-teen, I spent a lot of time on the couch at the gym waiting for my dad (Samuel senior) after school.
“I was curious as to why he liked bodybuilding so much. At 16, I started to join him and he taught me the basics and after the soreness and the pain I started to see results.
“Bodybuilding taught me that no matter the distance discipline will get you there. I fell out of love with it after resetting and reaching all my goals.”
Then Young got seriously into basketball but tore all the ligaments in an ankle.
At the tail end of the recovery phase he started to jog and as basketball seemed too hazardous, running became a new passion.
Around the same time, Young got friendly with triathlete DJ Evans who invited him to a few races.
“I was undecided and didn’t go. Then one day I was flirting with the idea and went. I came third in my division and haven’t looked back since. It’s funny how an innocent jog can evolve into something much larger. That was over a year ago.”
Young, like other members of the Flashy Nation group, wants to be a champ in all the established running and triathlon events in Cayman, particularly the local half marathon and Off The Beaten Track, the ultra marathon through rough Cayman bush.
At the last Off The Beaten Track, Young ran the first two five mile legs in a relay team then continued as an individual for the other 21 miles.
“The hardest part was definitely running on the beach where I could see the finish line in the distance. My hamstring was cramping pretty bad. I had hit the runner’s wall. My body wasn’t used to working for over four hours and counting.”
If he wants to be a triathlon champ, four hours will have to become a routine training session.
A fund accountant at Advanced Fund Administration, he turns 26 in a couple of weeks.
He has been enjoying the World Cup. “My money was on Bodden Town but it doesn’t look like we made it. Costa Rica was one my favorites because they were the underdogs.
“Having traveled there, I found the people the be kind and hospitable and their vanity was amusing as well. It’s hard not to root for them.”
He was hoping Brazil would win the tournament, until the disastrous game against the Germans quashed that.
Young’s inspiration in sports is unusual, the schoolboy Jordan Crooks. “He’s my younger cousin and an elite swimmer in his age group. After learning that he swam a 5K and did it at a competitive pace gave me some instant encouragement for longer swims.”