Derek Haines triumphs in another marathon

Intrepid distance runner Derek Haines took a spill for a good cause last weekend, when the 68-year-old fell and injured his ankle and hip in San Francisco while competing in his 47th marathon.

Mr. Haines, who is running in his Volcanoes and Marathons challenge to raise money for the Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s Reefs-Go-Live project, took his bumps and bruises with a signature blend of humor.

“There’s always someone there to lift up an old fellow who’s been clumsy. I just carried on my way,” said Mr. Haines, who has climbed two volcanoes and run two marathons during his fundraiser. “An erupting volcano, no problem at all. And then you fall over in the bloody street.”

Mr. Haines, who is raising money through the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, previously competed in the arduous Lake Atitlan Marathon in Guatemala, which he said began at a height of 5,000 feet. He also climbed to the top of two Guatemalan volcanoes earlier in July as part of his effort to benefit CCMI.

So far, Mr. Haines and his peers have raised $21,000 and are believed to have received another $9,000 in pledges. Fellow Rotary Club members Chris Bailey and Shane Delaney are set to do triathlons to benefit the cause, and Mr. Haines will run another marathon in Cayman in December. Despite his fall, Mr. Haines finished in four hours and 36 minutes on Sunday, which was good enough to place 11th out of 60 in his age group. In Guatemala, Mr. Haines finished in over five hours because of the elevation.

“I feel good,” he said on Monday. “The conditions, together with the hills, made it a little difficult [Sunday]. But you get used to that kind of thing. I was a lot quicker than my last one when I was in Guatemala. The flatness brought my time down to something half-reasonable. That makes me happy.”

Mr. Haines, who will turn 69 in October, said he did not really get to enjoy the famous San Francisco scenery until about halfway through the race because of the weather conditions. He suffered his fall before the three-mile mark, but carried on stoically through the end of the race.

“It was very cold and foggy,” he said. “In fact, there wasn’t a lot to look at because there was so much fog about. All you could hear was the haunting signal of the fog alarm for ships out in the bay.”

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