Top Story of 2014: Derek Haines makes a million

Derek Haines ran some 2,000 miles in training and six official 26.2-mile marathons to raise $1 million for Cayman HospiceCare

Champion fundraiser and inveterate runner Derek Haines officially launched his bid to raise $1 million to build a new facility for Cayman HospiceCare at a reception at Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s residence on March 12, 2014. His goal was to run six official marathons and raise the $1 million from donations.  

Ten months and 157.2 miles later he surpassed his goal, raising $1,030,200 on Dec. 7. All proceeds went to the HospiceCare project as Mr. Haines paid his own expenses. 

A Rotarian, he had the support of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, whose treasurer Chris Johnson handled the accounts. The Rotary Club donated $2,800 to the British Hospice Society to guarantee him entry into the London Marathon. 

Mr. Haines’s first run took place at the Paris marathon on April 6, and he completed the 26.2 mile course in 4 hours, 3 minutes, 33 seconds. At that stage, more than $250,000 had been pledged or donated. 

A week later, on April 13, he ran the London marathon in 3 hours 57 seconds and 01 second. In an email to the Caymanian Compass, Mr. Haines said, “I was still aching a tad after Paris but the news of another $100,000 pledge put a spring in my step along the way.”  

Mr. Haines completed the Pamplona Marathon in Spain on June 28 but had to overcome the after-effects of a cold to do so. He finished in 4 hours, 12 minutes. “Remnants of my cold played havoc for the first 10 miles, making breathing painful and difficult,” he reported, but banter with his daughter Lizzy and good crowd support kept him going. The total pledged or collected by that time neared $600,000. 

In San Francisco the following month, he finished sixth in his age group and in the top 20 percent overall, with a time of 4 hours, 00 minutes, 42 seconds. By that time, the total was $640,000.  

Mr. Haines’s fifth race was in Dublin on Oct. 27. An infected and swollen ankle earlier in the week hampered his efforts, but he still completed the course in 4 hours, 15 minutes, 42 seconds and reached the $800,000 mark. He observed his 66th birthday just days before. 

He achieved his $1 million Cayman HospiceCare challenge as he crossed the finish line of the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon on Sunday morning, Dec. 7. His time was 3 hours 58 minutes 25 seconds, and as he completed it in front of hundreds of cheering onlookers outside Breezes by the Bay on the waterfront, he was joined by women who contributed to helping him reach the figure – Governor Kilpatrick; his wife Helen; daughter Lizzy, who came over from Australia to run the marathon herself; and training partner Cynthia Hew.  

The exact sum when he finished just before 9 a.m. was $1,030,200 with a little more to come. 

Scores of individuals and businesses had contributed, with organizers of smaller local races also dedicating their proceeds to the cause.  

Mr. Haines, who could be seen running faster than traffic the following week, deflected accolades and focused the spotlight elsewhere. “It is amazing how the Cayman community has got behind this challenge and I am very grateful to all of those who have donated, pledged or offered their services,” he said.  

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Derek Haines runs in the sixth marathon – this one in Cayman – of his 10-month quest. – Photo: Ron Shillingford

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