Ben Hart has completed the first of two sporting challenges to raise funds for the Cayman Heart Fund and is now preparing for the half-marathon next month.
Hart finished the Olympic triathlon at Public Beach last week in 2 hours, 57 minutes, and tackles the 13.1 mile run on Dec. 6.
He is motivated to raise as much money as possible by his son Hugo, now 3, who was born with a heart defect and needed surgery in his first few days.
“Shortly after crossing the finish line, I did say to my wife Charlotte that I’m not doing that again,” a relieved Hart said. “The run destroyed me, it was just so hot. However, by the end of the same day, I was already thinking of how I could improve my time next year.”
Hart was happy with his 1,500 meter swim, but he feels there was room for improvement on the 40 kilometer bike. The 10K run was excruciating.
Nevertheless, he is pleased to have a sub-three hour time on his debut triathlon.
“I was keen to hold a good pace on the run, but after two miles the heat just stole all my energy,” he said.
“A lot of people were suffering. Despite my attempts, changing my running tunes did not help. I decided it was wiser to finish in one piece, so had to walk and stretch in some sections.
“For that, I feel like I cheated a little, and certainly lost some time.”
Hart ran a few miles the day after the triathlon and felt “pretty good.”
He enjoyed the swim and the bike, “even when avoiding some inconsiderate drivers on the highway.”
His run started around 8:50 a.m., “when it was good and hot.”
He thought the event was “organized superbly and the volunteers were fantastic, just fantastic.”
He added, “It was also great to have supporters cheering people along. It was a fun atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Other than the run. Did I mention that it was brutal?”
The 38-year-old lawyer is pleased with the response to his fundraising. “We have received fantastic support, donations continue to come in. We’ll have a count of the funds received after the half-marathon.
“People who have been touched by our cause, or our story has resonated with them in some way, have contacted us offering help, whether it be within the administration of the cause itself, or to assist in fundraising initiatives.
“The Cayman Heart Fund has been incredibly supportive and fantastic in reaching out to all the media outlets and enabling us to promote the cause.”
Dr. Sook Yin, director of the Cayman Heart Fund, said, “I turned up on that scorching Sunday morning to cheer Ben on to the finish line, but unfortunately I had to put my doctor’s hat on instead and was put to work immediately, so missed him coming through the finish line.
“There were a few runners suffering from severe overheating and dehydration due to the brutal heat. They needed immediate medical attention so I had to attend to them.
“Ben forgave me and it was really lovely meeting little Hugo who crossed the finish line with him and his mum Charlotte together.”
Dr. Yin added that “Hugo is a picture of health, and to think that two-and-a-half years ago he was fighting for his little life.
“He’s a true inspiration and a symbol of hope to families who have children born with congenital cardiac problems.
“I hope that our community will continue to support Ben in spirit and sponsorship at the marathon.”