The first road race for Cayman’s national festival crowned a pair of new champions.
Dominic Dyer and Joanna Mansi were the top male and female finishers at the 2014 Pirates Week 5K Run. The pair topped a field of about 145 runners with Dyer, 15, being the overall winner by a large margin – he crossed the finish line in about 20 minutes; easily some two minutes faster than runner-up Tahj Lewis.
Dyer, who attends Cayman Prep, says he is not entirely satisfied with his performance. “I guess I’m pleased,” Dyer said. “I mean, I won by quite a large margin but for me the big aim this year is CARIFTA in St. Kitts and Nevis. I’ve been running for two years now.”
Coached by local running legends Marius Acker and Derek Larner, Dyer is one of many strong, young talents in the sport. The 5K run showcased that fact, with the likes of Delano Callender and Will Edwards enjoying top-ten finishes. Dyer is also no stranger to the international stage, representing Cayman at this year’s CARIFTA Championships in Martinique and finishing fourth in the Under-18 3,000 meter event.
Mansi, 44, is at the other end of the spectrum – being a relative newcomer. The New Zealand native, who has done well in other local races recently, has some way to go to rival the reputations built up by Dominic Corbin and Tiffany Cole – last year’s 5K winners. Mansi says her success stems from an unconventional regimen.
“I’m very, very excited. There is a lot of strong competition out there like Kim Bailey and Julia Storrer,” Mansi said. “I just wanted to see if I could do better. I thought they were right behind me so I was trying really hard. There are a lot of good runners on the island and some of the younger guys are amazing. I just really enjoy it, it’s such a good community of runners and people in Cayman, so it’s good to be part of it, come out and support some of these community events.
“Unlike a lot of runners, I don’t really run that much. I do CrossFit and cross-training and I find that’s really good for strengthening you. It’s a whole range of exercises so each day is different and it’s good for all-around fitness. I do one long run on Sundays, I’m on a half-marathon course at the moment. I did the Halloween 5K run a couple of weeks ago and I was the first lady (to finish). I was happy just to be able to finish it, I was pretty sore by the end of it.”