Fundraiser Haines completes Havana Marathon

Derek Haines, left, with Brian Hurley, visiting two Bolivian children who made a full recoveries following heart surgery at Health City.

Marathon runner Derek Haines continued his journey to help raise $1 million for charity Have a Heart Cayman on Sunday, Nov. 20, in Havana, finishing the Havana Marathon at 4 hours and 3 minutes and placing third in his age group.

“It is a fun race and interesting, although the spectators were nowhere near as involved as in Cayman; surprisingly quiet, in fact,” said Mr. Haines, who is taking part in the “Mountains & Marathons Challenge,” in a press release.

He said the course was a challenge because of its three steep hills, each of which he had to scale twice, since the marathon goes around the course two times.

The frustration was compounded by a train blocking the race route at the 11-mile mark, forcing the runners to a stop as they waited for the locomotive to pass. At another point, police allowed a bus to block the route.

Chris and Kym Bailey, who are also taking part in the Mountains & Marathons Challenge, completed the half-marathon race in Havana. Mr. Bailey finished the race at 2:13, and Mrs. Bailey finished joint third in her age group at 1:41.

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The next race for Mr. Haines as part of this year’s Marathons & Mountains Challenge will be next month’s Cayman Islands Marathon.

Other challenges completed this year by the local fundraising team were the 50K “Off the Beaten Track” run in Cayman, the ascent of three Bolivian mountain peaks by Mr. Haines and fellow Rotarians Vico Testori and Barry Yetton, and Iron Man races by Shane Delaney and Mr. Bailey.

In 2014, Mr. Haines, former president of Rotary Club Grand Cayman, raised $1 million for Cayman HospiceCare by running six marathons at various locations around the world.

This year, his goal is to raise $1 million for Have a Heart Cayman Islands. The charity has provided for 130 children from around the Caribbean and the world to receive life-saving heart surgery at Health City.

‘Inspiring Performance’ session

On Monday, the day after running the Havana marathon, Mr. Haines and fellow runner Cynthia Hew appeared at the Westin to share their wisdom as part of the Intertrust Marathon’s “Inspiring Performance” series.

Having run 44 marathons, Mr. Haines urged would-be runners to go at their own pace and “run their own race” rather than try to catch other runners. He also cited his work for charity as a big factor in keeping him motivated.

“Yet again, the Cayman community has proved how generous they are in assisting with a worthy cause and I am most grateful for that” said Mr. Haines.

All travel expenses and fees are paid by the participants, and 100 percent of the money raised goes to Have a Heart Cayman Islands.

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