Marathon Special: Going the distance

Runners in Sunday’s Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon and relay praised volunteers and others along the course who cheered them on, and delighted in the weather. It was a cool morning, at least for Cayman, and clouds kept the heat of the sun off the runners.

Race director Rhonda Kelly, speaking the day after the race, said, “We’ve had some great feedback from runners.”

The highlights for her, she said, were to see Steve Speirs win the marathon for the third time. “He’s a really good ambassador for the island,” she said.

Mr. Speirs, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, won in 2009 and 2010. He came in second every year since, but this year he won the marathon – in 2 hours, 58 minutes and 48 seconds.

Another highlight, she said, was to see 17-year-old Dominic Dyer of George Town win the half-marathon. He won in 1:21:41, almost seven minutes ahead of defending champion Marius Acker, who also won in 2014.

In the women’s division, George Town’s Beth Florek won the half in 1:34:35.

Karen Welwood, visiting from Victoria, British Columbia, was the first woman across the finish line in the full marathon, in 3:42:41.

After the race, Ms. Welwood said, “My sister was, like, ‘Hey, there’s a marathon here, why don’t you come and run it?’”

She said she wore extra layers of clothing while running in Canada, but that did not prepare her for the heat and humidity of Cayman. “The heat was the biggest factor,” she said.

More than 1,100 people completed the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon and relay race Sunday. Another approximately 300 children participated in the kids’s race, bringing the total numbers for this year’s races to more than 1,400.

Ms. Kelly commended the volunteers and the police for helping keep things safe and lively along the route.

Many runners coming off the course Sunday praised the crowd along the route and the water-stop volunteers for keeping their spirits up. Volunteers greeted runners with beer and sandwiches, as well as fruit, water and sports drinks.

Team 345 Athletic Club Cayman Prep, made up of Will Edwards, Alex Logvinov, Dominic Dyer and Victor Magalhaes won the relay race in a time of 3:02:58.

Juan Pablo Valerio, with another 345 Athletic Club relay team, said after the race, “I loved the support on the road.”

Ryan Chalmers and Douglas Rogers finished the hand-cycle race in almost exactly the same time, with .2 of a second separating them, with Mr. Chalmers in the lead with a time of 48 minutes, 47.2 seconds.

Water stops

The runners remained rehydrated along the route with the help of the many volunteers at the water stops.

Runners cast ballots for their favorite water stop, where members of various organizations dress up and decorate the spots to hand water to runners as they pass by. This year, the Red Cross won the water-stop competition with their festive red-and-white display and balloons across the road at miles 5 and 7, just near the turnaround at Prospect Point.

The Red Cross edged out Revolutions, which won the past two years.

 

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