Dyer and Mansi complete sweep of Pirates Week races

Dominic Dyer and Joanna Mansi claimed plenty of bragging rights during Cayman’s national festival. 

The running tandem won both road races during Pirates Week, with their latest triumph being the “To Hell and Back” 10K run last Sunday. Dyer, 15, was once again the overall winner as he completed the 10-kilometer course in roughly 40 minutes. 

Dyer says the victory was not easy and his success in both the 5K and 10K runs does not amount to much. 

“I made a wrong turn by the four-way stop at Centennial Towers,” Dyer said. “I went right and my dad, who was following me in a car, told me to turn around. Luckily, I caught back to the group. Yeah, it was tough, I was pushing quite hard. I was racing hard, I wasn’t going easy that’s for sure. 

“It’s great, but these races aren’t the main goal. As I said before, it’s things like CARIFTA and the Island Games in the summer – that’s my big focus this season.” 

This year’s 10K race took on a different and more challenging route than previous editions. More than 100 runners started at Indies Suites in Raleigh Quay off West Bay Road and traveled into West Bay, turning around at Devil’s Hangout before finishing at Calico Jacks. 

Mansi, 44, was the first female home, in approximately 42 minutes. The New Zealand native said her result was a surprise. 

“It was good. I did much better than I thought I would,” Mansi said. “I pushed myself hard and hoped I’d be able to maintain the pace. I definitely found the heat a challenge and in the last stretch, we were running into the wind – which I didn’t expect – which made it harder and more fatiguing. But I had to keep on going, thinking the end would not be too far around the corner, hopefully.” 

In addition to Dyer and Mansi’s finishes, there were other notable results. Tahj Lewis bettered his third place 5K result by finishing second overall, in about 41 minutes. Local legend Derek Larner was a tad slower than his 2013 10K effort, when he placed third, as he ended up fourth overall. Tom Gammage was fifth, and Will Edwards was seventh. As is the norm with many races, athletes from other sports took part, such as watercraft rider and budding triathlete Jordan “JJ” McLean, footballer Judy Rivers and basketball player Davion Foster. 

Joanna-Mansi

Joanna Mansi, center, pushed herself hard from the start.

Dominic-Dyer

Dominic Dyer dominated the Pirates Week races. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES