Off the Beaten Track runners raise thousands for charities

More than 450 participants raised thousands of dollars for two charities in last month’s Off The Beaten Track ultramarathon, organizers said.

Race director and marketing manager at sponsor KRyS Global, Anna Keating, said the total raised is expected to be around $19,000, but the amount is still being tallied. The 50K run on Feb. 21 took participants through back roads, dirt tracks, beaches and off-road bush areas.

Ms. Keating described this year’s course as “definitely the toughest yet as we dug the trail deeper into the bush than ever before, making the course a challenge like no other for the athletes.”

Andrew Keast took first place in the solo male category in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 12 seconds – four minutes faster than last year’s winner and 12 minutes faster than Keast’s 2015 finish.

Dan Kelley, a visitor from Boston, Massachusetts, was second (4:38:53), and Amilkar Torres was third (5:02:17).

In the solo women’s category, Helki Weber took first place for the second year in a row, with a time of 5:25:32, just a little over her 2015 time of 5:03:44. Jalene Cruz was second (5:37:27), shaving nearly 15 minutes off her 2015 time of 5:52:02. Pat McCallum was third in 6:00:50.

In the male relay, Mourant Ozannes 1 made it a double whammy, taking the top spot for the second year in a row, with a time of 3:40:12. Hayden Isbister, partner at Mourant Ozannes, said, “Congratulations to all of the runners that completed what was certainly a challenging course this year. Mourant Ozannes is proud to have been involved with Off the Beaten Track once again and to have assisted with the very important fundraising for two worthwhile causes, Meals on Wheels and Facing Africa.

“We are also very happy to have defended the win for the male relay category.”

The female relay team Sole Sisters took first place in their category, with a time of 4:23:03, followed by Girls in Limbo with 4:50:11 and My Mom Can Run Faster Than Your Dad with 5:03:31.

The corporate relay winners were the PwC Six Pack team.

In the mixed relay category, Solomon Harris MDR Speedsters (the youngest team to ever compete in this event) took the top spot.

“The Solomon Harris MDR Speedsters did brilliantly well to enter OTBT as the youngest team ever and the fact they won the mixed relay competition just shows the fantastic achievements of which the young people of Cayman are capable,” said Laura Hatfield, partner with Solomon Harris.

Ms. Keating, said this year’s event showcased an impressive number of superb athletes, who also helped to raise money to give back to the community.

“This was our seventh year of Off the Beaten Track, which attracted a staggering 71 teams and 30 solo runners. The increasing number of participants each year and the excitement that surrounds this event is a testament to the adventurous spirit of Cayman’s runners and the uniqueness of this race,” Ms. Keating said.

“Off The Beaten Track supports local charity Meals on Wheels, who provide a critical service in the community, ensuring that no senior goes hungry, and the international charity Facing Africa, dedicated to helping children in Nigeria and Ethiopia affected by NOMA, a deadly infection that affects the face.

“We are tremendously grateful to all those who supported this event and especially all of the participants, sponsors and volunteers who helped to make this event happen,” she said.

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