The Off The Beaten Track event has grown every year since it was first introduced in 2010 and nearly 400 were involved in Sunday’s staging.
Winning all-female team was Girls in Limbo consisting of Gill Comins, Claire Lloyd-Hickey, Claire Hughes, Michelle Bailey, Lisa Kehoe and Pat McCallum who completed the 50k course in 4 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds.
They have been involved in it since inception. “The first year had very few teams and many of us hadn’t checked out the routes beforehand so probably ended up doing a good amount of extra mileage,” said Kehoe.
“Half the fun is checking out in the week leading up to the event where you’re supposed to go.” The routes are not released until a day or so beforehand, so for some it is always a last minute rush on the Saturday to get round and familiarize themselves with the course.
The individual winner for the second successive year was newcomer David Lim in 4:43:21, followed by Andrew Keast (4:40:33), Ronan O’Keefe (4:56:14), Jens Penkalla (4:56:39) and Matthew Volkwyn (5:01:28).
Helki Weber was the fastest female in 5:03:44 and sixth overall. Second fastest female was Justine Plenkiewicz (5:50:56) who was tenth overall, just ahead of Jalene Cruz (5:52:02), the third-fastest woman.
Kehoe said that they have won the all-female team prize every time except last year when they lost the lead position by just a few seconds.
Last year Girls in Limbo ran as Appleby and in previous years as another law firm.
In previous years, Off The Beaten Track started and finished at Public Beach. This time it started at the end of Garvin Road (off Batabano Road) near Dolphin Cove and finished at the George Town Yacht Club.
Competitors generally liked the new layout, although it had fewer beach routes. This event was created by Kenneth Krys CEO of Krys Global and proceeds will go to Meals on Wheels locally and Facing Africa internationally.
“The organizers have risen year on year to the challenge of making it different and interesting,” said Kehoe. “No two years have been the same.”
Lloyd-Hickey agrees. “This is the most fun race of the year,” she said. “There’s always many emails flying around about checking out routes and information the week beforehand and lots of laughter about it.”
She added, “We’ve done this race – with slight changes to our team – every year since it started and won the division every time, except for last year when some teenage girls only just beat us to the finish line.”
Kehoe is only back to running a few weeks after having brain surgery three months ago and not yet back to her usual pace. She said, “Two of the girls have gotten way faster from last year – Pat and Claire Hughes. They make up for my slowness.”