Derek Haines takes on the fourth of his six marathons as part of a bid to raise $1 million for a new building in Camana Bay for Cayman HospiceCare this weekend.
It is the San Francisco Marathon and so far training has gone well for the 65-year-old Englishman despite the blazing heat.
He has already completed 26.2 mile runs in Paris, London and Pamplona, Spain.
Unlike the first three marathons, Haines managed to do some hill work in Trinidad last week in preparation for this Sunday’s run.
Long distance runners love training up and down hills to build extra strength and endurance.
The topography for the upcoming race shows some hills so the two mile long steep incline Haines was running every morning ought to stand him in good stead.
This will be his 37th marathon with a personal best of 2 hours, 59 minutes, although that was many years ago and he expects to complete this one in about four hours.
Cayman Islands Rotary President Brian Hurley and Rotarian Tim Bradley and family are also making the journey.
Hurley is running the first half marathon and Bradley the second half with Haines.
The San Francisco Marathon is always a popular event and this year is no exception with entry to the marathon and two half marathons now closed.
The course takes a loop through the city, starting from the Ferry Building and hits classic San Francisco spots like Fisherman’s Wharf, The Golden Gate Bridge and Park, Haight Street, The Mission and AT&T Park.
To promote local interest, there will be a 6K race that will start at 7 a.m. on the same day so as to coincide with the start in San Francisco which is 5 a.m. there. Digicel are supplying the refreshments for participants and the start and finish will be close to the Digicel store in Camana Bay.
The course will loop round the Cayman International School and part of Britannia Golf Course. Entry is $20 with proceeds going to the Hospice Challenge.
The Hospice fund is still continuing to grow with $604,000 now donated or pledged. The recent texting partnership between LIME and Digicel was a huge success. The Dublin Marathon will be his fifth event, on Oct. 27 and finally it’s the Cayman one on Dec. 7.
Haines said he was touched by the manner he received from one particular donator. “I was down at Meals on Wheels in School Road when a man rode by on his bike,” he said. “With a head full of dreadlocks, I knew him from years ago and was unsure why he was calling to me until he turned round and said: ‘Mr Haines, I like what you are doing. I know you will do it so I’m going to give you $5.’
“He actually gave me $6 but what a lovely gesture from someone who did not appear to have much money.”
Haines added that the support from the local community remains strong and he is extremely grateful to everyone who has donated so far, both with large and small sums. “Please keep the support coming.”
Further details can be viewed on the Hospice Challenge website www.six4hospice.com.