Anyone entering one of the many categories at the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon this weekend will be intrigued by the fact that they are involved in one of the world’s best road running events. According to the Daily Burn’s “life” blog, the Cayman event is among the 30 best globally. Considering there are 1,100 marathons in the U.S. alone (according to Running USA’s Annual Marathon Report) and thousands more worldwide, that is an impressive rating.
The list of best marathons includes Switzerland’s Jungfrau, which runs to the top of the Alps, Marathon du Medoc in France, the Patagonian International Marathon in Chile, and the BMW Berlin Marathon in Germany.
The list also includes the Niagara Falls International, and races in Tokyo, Boston, London and China.
Cayman is listed so high because of its natural beauty, friendly atmosphere and the exceptional attention to detail that organizer Kelly Holding puts into it, to the point of even greeting participants at the airport.
Its success always depends on public support and cooperation, which in its previous 11 stagings has always been good.
Besides the full marathon on Sunday, there is the half-marathon, four-person relay and kids fun run.
The race starts at 5 a.m. at Breezes By The Bay restaurant on the waterfront and takes runners along South Church Street into South Sound, onto Old Prospect Road, where they turn around and go back onto South Sound and then up Walkers Road and Hospital Road into central George Town, crossing the finish line back at Breezes.
One of the greatest challenges is the traffic, which has posed a safety risk to the runners and the volunteers in the past.
Race director Rhonda Kelly is imploring the public to avoid driving on the route if possible and to take extra precautions if they have to use those particular roads between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
The police department will block some of the roads, and she said she is grateful for that and to the Special Constabulary for their traffic support every year.
“We have more runners and a few hundred visiting runners who are here for the first time and do not know our roads or our traffic laws, so we’re asking our drivers to please be kind to our runners,” Kelly said. “We want them to have a safe, memorable race experience.”
Kelly is also asking residents along the course to secure their dogs in their yards, turn on their Christmas lights, and go out and cheer the runners as they pass by.
“The community is slowly embracing the marathon, with some people actually looking forward to this event and coming out to support the race, and we would like to see this continue and increase,” said Kelly. “The Cayman marathon will never be as big as a Boston or New York marathon, but as it continues to grow, we would like to see the Cayman community own this event as one that brings visitors to our beautiful shores, stimulates our economy in terms of money spent here by the tourists, and another way to promote the warmth and hospitality for which we are known, Caymankind.”
She added that they are asking for the public’s cooperation and spirit of goodwill.
Registration for the 2014 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is still open online at www.caymanislandsmarathon.com and at the Kelly Holding office at #2 Selkirk Plaza, West Bay Road, until midnight Wednesday. After that, all registration must be done at the Westin on Saturday, Dec. 6, during packet pick-up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, email: [email protected] or call Bev Sinclair on 623-8822.
***Editor’s Note: This story was updated 4 p.m. Dec. 2 to include corrections reflecting that the list of top 30 marathons, compiled by Daily Burn, does not rank the individual races.***