The summer break is over for Cayman athletes as vacations come to an end and schools reopen. The weekend warriors are primed for another epic series of races up to December.
For those who put on too much weight during the layoff, got lazy in the past two months or simply want to find something sporty to get into, there are plenty of options.
The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants stage their annual 5K and 10K runs Saturday morning in SafeHaven, around the North Sound Golf Club.
Triathlon champion Marius Acker said, “I will be doing that. Dave Walker outsprinted me at the end to win it last year, so I’m going to try again.”
The first of three triathlon build-up sessions is Sunday at Public Beach from noon. Participants can practice their swim, bike and run and the transitions they entail in preparation for the Cayman Islands Triathlon on Nov. 1.
The second triathlon build-up is on Sept. 20.
Every Tuesday for a couple of years now, there has been the Night Running Boot Camp from the playing field at Camana Bay. Started by ultra-runner James Murray, it has built up from a handful of people to a large crowd of varying abilities.
The Wednesday Night Running Club is also well established. They meet at World Gym, behind Queensgate, at 6 p.m. Club members are preparing for the upcoming handicap series and all the other big races. Ronan O’Keeffe is a regular WNRC member who may enter the handicap series again.
The Fidelity Fun Run Series begins on Sept. 5 opposite John Gray High School on Walkers Road at 7:30 a.m. It takes place the following two Saturdays at the same time. Strollers and dogs on leashes are a feature of what has become more of a community event than a flat-out race, although the elite runners immensely enjoy the 2-mile event organized by Fidelity.
Players from team sports are often in the Fidelity runs to help their pre-season training regime.
Cyclists pit themselves against the clock for the 10 Mile Individual Time Trial on Sept. 6. It starts at Paradise restaurant from 7 a.m.
The Foster’s Food Fair 800-meter sea swim is on Sept. 12.
Runners have another option on Sept. 26 with the ADACI Annual 5K Memory Run/Walk.
53//11 Crankers Cycling Club stages the World Heart Day Beatman Ebanks Memorial event on Sept. 27.
The Brenda Tibbetts-Lund Memorial 5K Walk/Run is Oct. 3, the same date as the Credit Union 5K.
Acker usually goes abroad to compete in a big meet in the fall, but this year he is staying home as he has family visiting from South Africa.
“I might do one of the Fidelity runs and probably the Foster’s swim,” he said.
Tobias Muchene has emerged as one of the fastest road runners in the past couple of years. He was fifth in the half-marathon last year and wants to better his time. He has enjoyed his summer break and is itching to resume weekly competitions, starting with the accountants’ race this weekend, and will be doing all three Fidelity Fun Runs, then the Credit Union 5K before tackling the Halloween 10-10-10.
Muchene sees these races as perfect preparation for being in a team at the Cayman Islands Triathlon and to get in top shape to set a personal best in the half-marathon on Dec. 6.
“I had a quiet summer and started training a week ago,” he said. “Last year I did the half-marathon in 1 hour, 30 minutes and I want to improve on that this time.”
Cyclist Ceretta Harvey is looking forward to the time trial and road race. Having trained with the Flashy Nation Sports Club triathletes, running is now becoming part of her life.
“The Flashy Nation guys have been on my back to get into swimming,” she said. “I used to do it in high school and was OK. I think they will eventually try to push me into doing a triathlon and I’m stupid enough to fall for it.”