The youngsters at the Middle Distance Runners club were always going to surpass the adults once maturity kicked in, and that was evident at the Fidelity Fun Run on Saturday.
The 2-mile race from John Gray High School was won by a schoolboy, Dominic Dyer, 16. Closely behind him in second place was Will Edwards, also 16, and like Dyer he is coached by Race Caribbean’s Derek Larner and champion triathlete Marius Acker.
Lawyer Andrew Keast was third and Delano Callender, another MDR club youngster, was fourth.
Edwards is just coming off a long summer break and not as fit as he intends to get. “I was fine placing second to Dominic knowing he’s in a lot better shape then I am,” he said.
“I really had no strategy, but I wanted to run a personal best and I did. I was pleased with my time and wanted to run a bit faster, but I just died off towards the end.”
Edwards ran 10 minutes, 57 seconds, which was 22 seconds behind Dyer. The gap is wide, but there is no telling at this age how youngsters will develop when all factors are considered – like training, physicality, dedication and avoiding injuries.
Larner has built up a friendly, supportive group of youngsters in the few years he has been coaching them at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The older teenagers are already role models to the next wave coming in.
“I’d say I’m close with all of the senior guys and some of the younger ones, but I’m still getting to know the newer members,” said Edwards of his clubmates.
Fully focused on realizing his running potential, he said that his goal is to qualify for CARIFTA at Easter “and hopefully medal in the 1,500 meters and 3,000m.” Dyer winning 3,000m bronze at this year’s CARIFTA is an incentive for Edwards.
He loves playing pretty much all sports at Cayman Prep school, but running is his favorite. What he has learned most from Larner is “that you must work on your form and that the long training run is key.”
His sporting dreams involve being a Usain Bolt-type sprint champ, but realistically if he could reach the pinnacle, it would be as a 5K or 10K king.
Sport is such a passion, that was where Edwards sees his future. “I’d love to be a professional athlete or to do something with sports medicine,” he said, adding that competing in triathlons like his still competitive father Bill is a possibility.
“I’ve never really been that eager to be a triathlete, but my dad inspires me quite a bit just listening to his achievements when he was younger.”
In the meantime, Edwards will continue pounding the roads. The next assignment is Saturday in the second of three Fidelity Fun Runs.
“I like how organized the event is and I just really like to race,” he said.