One of the fastest female runners in Cayman is Julia Storrer who tends to combine her travels with entering races wherever she goes.
Road running has become a way of life for the nomadic Storrer. She started as a teenager when a friend invited her to join her for a tryout for a local track and field club. Storrer tried out a few sports, including soccer, hockey, track and field, but running appealed the most.
That was 11 years ago and she’s been pounding the roads and track ever since.
“Running gives me time to think about stuff,” Storrer said. “It frees my mind and I find pretty good new ideas for my job and life. Also, it’s about trying to get better every time, improve and overcome limits.”
She ran the Credit Union 5K a couple of weeks ago and was the second-fastest female behind Joanna Mansi. Storrer was 14th overall in 22 minutes, 03 seconds.
It was a rare appearance by the 24-year-old German who works as a pre-school teacher with toddlers. “I have been on and off island a bit for the last three years so rarely had the chance to participate in races between August and Christmas.”
Storrer first came here as an intern working for Little Trotters Farm and Nursery School, then had to go back to finish college in Berlin. After she graduated she came back to Cayman to work for the same school.
On a work break she hiked about 2,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S. this year before returning here.
Whenever Storrer is on vacation she tries to fit in a 5K run. In America it’s usually in New York or Miami. “This year I did the Bridge of the Gods 10K in Cascade Locks, Oregon while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.”
The local races she mainly enters besides the Credit Union 5K are the Pirates Week 5K, Fidelity Fun Run Series and marathon, mainly for fun. “If I do too many races I get too competitive.”
She has always wanted to play football seriously, “but there doesn’t seem to be a women’s team training near where I live.” She likes hiking too, off island.
Storrer’s main sporting ambition is to eventually be an ultra-marathon runner “and maybe one day qualify for the Boston Marathon.”
She started competing in 800 meter races on the track. There was a brief distraction into football, hockey and other team sports before returning to her first sporting love.
“I finished my first half-marathon aged 16 and never stopped running long distance, fun runs and other races after that.”
It’s not surprising then that her sporting hero is Haile Gebrselassie, the legendary Ethiopian runner. “He started as a 5-10K runner then went over to marathon running and held the world record for a real long time.”
She loves the friendliness of the Cayman sporting scene. “It is a real small sporting scene that more or less is like a family. Everyone seems to know everyone.”
How Cayman could improve its sporting scene, in Storrer’s view, is to “maybe promote it a bit more, especially when it comes to big events like the triathlon or marathon. And maybe have major events in different sports too, skating for example.”
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon on Dec. 6 is her next big event. “Last year I tried way too hard to finish the full marathon under four hours so this year I’ll just participate and have fun.”
She would love to run the Berlin Marathon next year, but it’s always hard to take time off work in September, because of school term. “But some day I wanna run it again. The Berlin Marathon was my first marathon ever in 2009.”
She tackles marathons “because it’s fun, not because I’m particularly fast. My personal best is 4 hours, 27 minutes, 27 seconds, last year in Cayman.”
This year in the full 26.2 mile distance she will be part of a relay team.
At least in Cayman Storrer will not be distracted by naked racers, which is what she saw in Berlin a few years ago.
“A few runners raced naked to celebrate World Naked Day. And no, I did not participate!”