Derek Haines second in challenging Guatemala marathon

Cayman athlete Derek Haines, 68, took second place in his age group in Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan marathon, considered one of the most difficult races in the world.

With a time of 5 hours and 10 minutes, he called the April 30 race, his 46th marathon, one of his toughest yet.

“I would not argue with the fact that it is billed as being in the top 10 most challenging marathon races in the world. It starts at 5,000 feet and contains some very steep slopes up and down the mountainous terrain. The winner came in around 3:30 so that is a good indication [of] how hard it was,” Mr. Haines said.

Donations raised through the marathon, including $15,000 from Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited, will benefit the Central Caribbean Marine Institute teaching project “Reefs Go Live.”

Additional contributions have been made by Dart Enterprises, Jacques Scott and Governor Helen Kilpatrick.

The campaign aims to raise $50,000 for the teaching campaign. CCMI Director of Advancement Kate Holden said the project will need to invest in high-tech equipment to stream lessons directly from Little Cayman’s waters to students across the rest of the country.

“By teaching science lessons from the ocean, particularly underwater, we know we can help break down barriers and engage students into becoming better stewards of the ocean,” she said.

“CCMI is extremely grateful to Derek and the massive commitment he has undertaken on our behalf. We hope people will support him and CCMI for the rest of his races this year. The effort it took to complete the race in Guatemala last weekend is awe inspiring and we can’t thank him enough.”

Mr. Haines has several other races planned this year to benefit CCMI. In June, he will return to Guatemala to climb the volcanoes Agua, reaching 12,336 feet, and Acatenango, reaching 13,044 feet.

He will then run marathons in San Francisco on July 23 and in Cayman on Dec. 3.

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