Cayman’s most grueling race is approaching, and weekend warriors are again relishing the challenge.
Off the Beaten Track, an off-road 50K relay and ultra-marathon, is set for March 1.
Runners will venture along hidden back roads, bush, dykes and even some beach area.
The fittest participants compete as solo runners, but many join relay teams of six, with each completing about 8K.
Off the Beaten Track has been a perennial favorite for those seeking a different type of race that takes in areas of the island that few even know exist.
The idea for this style of race originated after Kenneth Krys, KRyS Global’s chairman and founder, completed the Marathon Des Sables in Africa’s Sahara Desert and thought Cayman would be the perfect destination for a similarly challenging race.
Anna Keating of KRyS Global said, “We are thrilled to announce this year’s major sponsors: Tower, Brown Rudnick, Mourant Ozannes and CML TV.”
Peter Hayden of Mourant Ozannes said, “It is an amazing race that not only tests the resilience of Cayman’s fittest runners, but more importantly, raises funds and awareness for two worthwhile causes, Meals on Wheels Cayman and Facing Africa.”
Tower’s Lynne Byles said, “We are excited to partner with Off the Beaten Track for the sixth year and see it grow every year. In addition to sponsoring, we also use this opportunity as a team-building exercise, bringing our staff together to run the race as a relay team.”
Champion triathlete Marius Acker is looking forward to the event.
He ran the fastest leg of around 580 runners in last week’s Cross Island Relay, won by his team In It To Win It. Acker covered his leg of 4 miles in 23 minutes, 15 seconds.
He has been undisputed triathlete champion in Cayman for a decade but may soon concede to newcomer Ben Creasey, who ran for KPMG’s Getting Busy team in the Cross Island Relay.
Creasey recently arrived from Guernsey and has clocked a 2 hours, 3 minutes Olympic distance triathlon.
“Ben did great in his first leg with a very competitive and second-fastest leg split time of the day,” Acker said. Creasey recorded 23:30 on leg 1.
In It To Win It started with Michael Ford, then Greg Meaker took over before Acker ran his leg. Hayden Isbister ran the fourth leg, Neal Ainscow the fifth and Andrew West the last stretch. Most of that team is splitting into two corporate teams for the Off the Beaten Track.
Some will be racing for BDO CRI, Acker’s employers, and the others for Mourant, which is Isbister’s employer.
Both teams will be competing in the open division as opposed to the corporate division, depending on race rules.
Isbister, Meaker and Ainscow will be in the Mourant team, while Acker, Andrew West, Conrad Proud and Derek Larner will be the key runners in the BDO CRI team.
“This will probably be the closest finish and most hotly contested in Off the Beaten Track’s history,” Acker said.
Entry costs US$300/CI$246 for a team of six and US$100/CI$82 for individuals. For more information about this event or to register, visit www.offthebeatentrack.ky.