The Cross Island Relay, which started near Colliers Beach on Feb. 5, featured 98 teams and included many of Cayman’s top athletes.

Straight off the bat it was Chadwick Webster (Mourant Ozannes 1) who laid down the gauntlet as he set a quick pace, but only a couple of meters behind was a group including Matt Volkwyn (Sweat, Regret and Oxygen Debt), Andrew Keast (Team ASAP) and Will Edwards (345 AC MDR A Team), with many other notable runners breathing down their necks, a press release states.

After a while, Keast dropped off the pack, leaving the other three to battle it out. Webster fought for every yard with all his effort. However, he could never shake off Volkwyn and Edwards, and although this group stayed together for most of the leg, it was the track speed of Edwards who pulled away with a 2-second advantage over Volkwyn, with Webster only two more seconds adrift.

In Leg 2, following the top three were Tommy Kehoe, Phil Thompson and Jason Saunders, respectively, taking over. Kehoe ran a very quick time of 24:33 and lost only around 30 seconds to Saunders. At the end of Leg 2, the order had changed as the Mourant team were now in front with 345 AC team in second place and the Sweaty team over a minute behind in third. Beth Florek ran the fastest female time of the day on this leg.

On to Leg 3, when Hayden Isbister took the baton over from Saunders in first place as Dominic Dyer (345 AC) stood next to him, warming up. Dyer flew past Isbister to take over the lead and completed this leg in style with a “ridiculously fast time” of 20:51, the press release states. The runner with the second fastest time of the leg was Aaron Walker, who realized he had to close the gap if his team was to remain in contention. By the end of this leg, 345 AC was back in the lead, Mourant second and Sweat was third.

In Leg 4, Sherlock Brooks (a 400 meter runner on the track this season) took the baton. While he was churning out the 4 miles, the race behind him was between Mike Ridsdale (Mourant) and Ali King (Sweat), both of whom had to run all out if they were to challenge the young guns. Both Ridsale and King ran under 24 minutes, closing the gap to make the race very interesting. By the end of leg 4 there were just 14 seconds between the three top teams and the lead had changed again. The Sweat team was in the top spot, just 9 seconds ahead of Mourant, and 345 AC was only a further 4 seconds adrift.

Leg 5 saw the ever-present threat of Marius Acker (Mourant) show why he has dominated distance running in the Cayman Islands for much of the past 12 years as he gradually eased past Levi Superville (345 AC) and ran alongside Conrad Proud (Sweat) for a short while before pulling away and creating some distance to give his last runner a head start.

Proud worked hard to keep tabs with Acker, but by the end of the leg Acker (23:13) was able to provide a one-minute advantage for his Mourant teammate. Proud ran 24:20 to keep the Sweat team in with a chance. Superville also ran impressively, completing the leg in 24:44.

In Leg 6, the final battle began. The pace slowed to over 6 minutes for mile 3 and the last mile was more about holding it together rather than trying to get the top spot. Mourant took first place, followed by Sweat and 345 AC.

In the ladies race, the Sole Sisters took control from the first leg and were never challenged, the press release states. The next fastest all-female team was the 345 AC – MDR Gurls, with WNRC Ladies 1 in third spot.

Walkers were fourth overall but won the corporate team, with Red Sail Sports second and PwC 6 Pack third.

The event is hosted by Cayman Hash House Harriers.

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