When some people think about running, it occasionally comes with thoughts of procrastination and the anguish of exercise.
For mother and daughter duo Jessamine and Jasmina Gilpin, running is a labor of love that is made easier by the fact that they are doing it together.
The two have been training hard and are ready to take on the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon on Dec. 6.
Jasmina is a serial long-distance runner, having completed many cross-country races and a few half-marathons, and is looking forward to lacing up and running beside her mother on her first attempt at the local 26.2 mile haul.
Jessamine, at age 75, has completed 12 London Marathons and one half-marathon in Jersey.
Running is something she picked up later in life, inspired by her older daughter Jartua’s first London Marathon. She decided, at the age of 60, that she would like to try it and entered with Jartua and completed the 2000 London run. From then on, Jessamine was hooked.
She was blown away by the sense of achievement, camaraderie and inspiration of the other runners.
For Jessamine, running is not just a sport. “It’s an addiction” she declares. “When I run in Holland Park in London [where she lives], I sometimes go for over two hours.”
Though she has run a 5K in Cayman before, this is her first long-distance run on the island, and the senior Gilpin is looking forward to sharing the experience with her younger daughter.
Even though she has been running for well over a decade, Jessamine says there are still challenges.
“The hardest part of the race is when I start to think I have a long way to go to get to the finish line, when I hit that wall. At that point, it becomes a mental challenge to complete what I started.”
Jasmina, who has never run a full marathon before, has a different take on what is most difficult for her. “The hardest part for me is getting up at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to get the distance in, it is so early!”
Jasmina is familiar with the course and thinks it’s a beautiful route but admits she is not looking forward to some parts of the race.
“I have done the half-marathon every year since we arrived in 2011 so I know the course.
“The Walkers Road stretch feels like that road goes on forever, and this year I have to do it twice!”
She is referring to the looped marathon course. Half-marathoners only complete the 13.1 mile loop course once. Despite the challenge of the course, Jasmina says she enjoys the race every year.
“I love the Cayman Marathon for so many reasons,” Jasmina said. “I love running beside the sea, the beautiful island scenery and the camaraderie among the runners.”
She also likes the weeks leading up to the race.
“As we train, we see other runners and greet and encourage them en route. Then at packet pick up where we collect our bags and race tags, the anticipation is exciting and on race day the atmosphere is electric, starting in the dark, the realization that we have to finish all those miles, wishing for a bicycle to finish sooner.”
Training and running together is an experience that the pair cherish.
“It’s a good time to have a difference in opinion because you can run away from each other and then catch up and laugh,” jokes Jessamine.
A more reflective Jasmina says she values the training time because they use it to talk. “We share memories of my brother who recently passed away. I feel amazingly blessed and thankful that I can share these moments with my mom.”