Nearly 2,000 walkers and runners took to the streets in George Town Sunday for the fourth annual Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson’s fitness and fundraising event is held annually to benefit worthy organizations in the community.

“It’s one of the proudest days of my life to see so many people come and help be a part of the solution to challenges we face in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Manderson said in a press release. “It’s easy to criticise, but much more productive to come together and help make a change. The YMCA is doing a fantastic job with our young people and I am very pleased to support them in their work.”

The 1,800 participants helped raise money for this year’s chosen charity, the YMCA of the Cayman Islands.

With the focus on youth, cash raised by the DG’s 5K Challenge will used by the YMCA to build a ropes challenge course, which provides an alternative to classroom-style learning.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of everybody who has taken part in this event to help us build the course,” said YMCA Chairman Andrew Johnson in the release. “The facility will benefit all the young people of the Cayman Islands, as well as the wider community. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Manderson and the DG’s 5K Challenge team, as well as all who participated.”

The overall fastest male runner was defending champion Dominic Dyer, who completed the course in a time of 17:18, beating his time last year by two seconds.

The overall fastest female runner was Tiffany Cole in a time of 19:51.

The fastest civil servant runners were Sophia Williams and Marco Miranda.

The inaugural event in 2014 raised $12,500 for Cayman HospiceCare and the 2015 walk/run raised $50,000 for Special Olympics Cayman Islands to help send athletes to the Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Last year, $60,000 was raised for the Cayman Heart fund to buy a new ambulance that was gifted to the people of the Cayman Islands.

Money is raised from corporate sponsorship and participants’ registration fees.

“This year’s Challenge, both in Cayman Brac last weekend and in Grand Cayman this weekend, has shown what we can achieve when we all come together as one,” said Mr. Manderson. “Thank you to everyone who sponsored the event, helped organise it, and to everyone who has come out to take part. I am already looking forward to next year.”

Group trophy winners, along with the final fundraising total, will be announced at a later date.

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