Sam Young cleaned up at the Pirates Trail Mud Run on Saturday, breaking the course record to win his third championship since the fundraiser for Pirates Week started in 2014.
Young finished the 5K in 22:24, ahead of Gregg Mica (22:30) and Dan Bryer (24:53). Judy Rivers was the first female finisher, in 29:38.
“It feels goods to be the champ for the third year in a row,” Young said, adding he was happy to have not faced any injuries prior to the mud run and afterwards.
“There were some new challenges this year, including hurdles,” his favorite obstacle. “My spring action isn’t too bad, so I enjoyed them.”
The 26-year-old accountant found the mucky event to be a good test of fitness, “especially, the final set of hurdles before the tire wall.”
The tire wall was just one of many obstacles, in addition to the mud.
Young’s ability to get out in front served him well as he navigated the rugged terrain, which required participants to jump, run and crawl, plus swim across a canal.
“I took the lead early and held it,” he said. “I was told my lead progressively built to a full minute. I looked back and didn’t see anyone at certain points. I knew I had more fuel in the tank throughout the race as well.
“However, my lead time was dampened a bit in the later part of the race because I had to make adjustments through the wetlands, and I also stopped briefly to ask questions on where to go to mitigate the risk of penalties. Better safe than sorry. I did enjoy it, and I felt dominant.”
He did not get lost, which was a plus. “However, I did cover some extra ground in the wetlands and just before the final obstacle.
“The swim across the canal was the toughest. Sneakers and swimming isn’t something I’ve mastered as yet. I enjoyed the contradiction though,” he said.
Young, who has trained as a bodybuilder, found the course as challenging as last year’s, but then, he clearly loves a challenge. “My mindset was to have fun and trust in my abilities as usual.”
Changing course later in the year, Young aims to run the InterTrust Cayman Islands half-marathon.
More than 300 people, including children and teams, enjoyed the action at the Mud Run, which was held at the end of Sparkys Drive at the Industrial Park, with the help of some 60 volunteers.
The event “is easily becoming one of the most popular sporting events on Cayman’s calendar,” said Melanie McField, executive director of the Pirates Week Festival, who thanked all the sponsors and volunteers.
“Next year, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Pirates Week Festival, and we promise the Mud Run will be even bigger and better,” she said.