Davies bounces back to running after cancer scare

Roger Davies has been around the Cayman running scene for decades, but because of serious illness he has been almost absent in recent years. 

Thankfully, Davies made a welcome return at the Fidelity Fun Run on Saturday. It was only 2 miles and his time of 16 minutes, 27 seconds was modest, but he enjoyed stretching his legs competitively again and was warmly received. 

It was his first race in more than a year and only his second in two years. 

Prior to Sept. 2013, Davies raced every month, but then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and his prostate was removed the following month. 

Early last year, he underwent three months of radiation treatment as the cancer had spread outside the prostate. He is now undergoing hormone therapy. 

Davies returned to his regular training runs two months ago and will be entering all three Fidelity Fun Runs. He hopes to continue with 5K events after that. He turned 70 at the beginning of February and since retiring from banking a few years ago, he has spent a lot of time in Devon, England, where he has a house on the north coast. 

Davies has a long tradition of relay races here, running his first Cross Island Relay in 1977 and most of them since. 

His first Fun Run was in 1978. He was also on the Cayman Rum Runners Relay team when they competed for three successive years in the Jasper-Banff Relay in the Canadian Rockies from 2001. 

It was a grueling course of 185 miles, involving 17 legs over 24 hours. Davies also competed in the Cabot Trail Relay in Nova Scotia for three years after that in a similar format and distance. He also took part in the first Cayman half-marathon as part of Pirates Week in Nov. 1978. 

“Before that I played a lot of soccer here, playing for Scotia, and was on the Scotia team when we won the very first Cayman Islands Football Association Challenge Cup Final in 1971, defeating By-Rite Stars,” said Davies. 

He was also a founding member of the Hash House Harriers and took part in the first run in March 1978. Not surprisingly, his Hash tag is “Jurassic Jogger.” 

They meet at various locations every Monday evening for a run of about 3 miles, as do all Hash House Harriers clubs worldwide. Davies hosted a Hash 30th anniversary party at his house in 2008 and has seen membership grow significantly since its formation. 

“I retired from my job with Scotia in 2004 but have no intention of retiring from running for many years yet,” he said. 

Roger Davies is a pioneer of Cayman
Roger Davies is a pioneer of Cayman’s running scene. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD