Marathon marked by heat, humidity

About 1,300 runners hit the streets before dawn Sunday for the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, fighting the heat and humidity in the full and half-marathons, described as the hottest weather conditions since 2009.

Five people had to be taken off the course and treated by medical personnel, according to organizers. Two people had to be taken to the hospital, including Cayman’s most high-profile marathoner Derek Haines, and treated for dehydration.

“Our medical people were really busy,” race director Rhonda Kelly said. “As hot as it normally is here, that was a hot day.”

Pawel Kaszyca from Poland won the full race in 2:51:14, about 17 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Steve Speirs of Virginia. The announcers for the marathon, greeting the winner at the finish line, asked Mr. Kaszyka how the race went. “Tough, tough, tough,” he said, once he had caught his breath.

Marius Acker, who won the half-marathon in 1:21:21, has run the race 10 years in a row. This was his eighth year coming in first for the 13.1-mile half distance. “It was a very hot day,” he said.

Mr. Acker said he runs the course route every week in his normal training, and last week he did the route a full minute faster “and felt a lot better.” As a result of the heat and humidity Sunday, he said, “It was one of the worst runs I’ve done.”

But, he noted, “Given the conditions, I’ll take the time.”

Mr. Acker commended the team who put together the annual run. “Every year it’s better organized,” he said. “The water stops keep growing and growing, and the cheering is great.” He also thanked the volunteers, “They have to sit out there three to four hours in the heat.”

Ms. Kelly said 300 people volunteered to work the race at the water stops, finish line and everything else needed to pull off Cayman’s biggest sporting event of the year.

The half-marathon had 829 runners, and the full distance had 112. The relay had 92 teams of four. Most finished the race despite the heat – 91 in the full marathon and 720 in the half, according to the official results.

At the front of the pack, Mr. Acker said the eventual winner of the full marathon, Mr. Kaszyca, set the pace from the beginning.

“The race started very quickly,” he said. At the halfway point, Mr. Acker upped his pace and came in a full seven minutes before the second-place half-marathon runner.

The MDR Boat Builders were the first-place relay team. Annick Jackman, left, with the Department of Tourism, joins relay winners Dominic Dyer, William Edwards, Delano Callender and Victor Magalhaes.

The MDR Boat Builders were the first-place relay team. Annick Jackman, left, with the Department of Tourism, joins relay winners Dominic Dyer, William Edwards, Delano Callender and Victor Magalhaes.

Kids Run participant Ethan Bodden with his mother Tiffany Ebanks and grandmother Marlene Moore.

Kids Run participant Ethan Bodden with his mother Tiffany Ebanks and grandmother Marlene Moore.
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