Samsara Leung

Every year, on the first Sunday of December, athletic people and non-athletic people who are crazy enough to run a marathon (or half of one), get out of bed and run. Fun!

The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon takes to the streets on Dec. 3, starting at 5 a.m. Believe it or not, many have been looking forward to this event all year.

What is it all about?

If you don’t feel up to doing a full marathon (26.2 miles, to be exact), you can just do half of one. If you’d rather do half of the half-marathon, talk three other people into joining you and sign up for the four person relay. There are different categories for the relay teams: Open Male (all male), Open Female (all female), Open Mixed (both male and female), Corporate Division (any mix of genders from one company/business) and the CUC High School Challenge (open to students 12-19 years old). Medals will be given to the first three teams to cross the finish line in each category.

For the full and half-marathon there are prizes for first three males and the first three females. There are also prizes for the top three males and females in each age category. Additionally, a Kids Fun Run is taking place at 10:30 a.m.

This is the 15th year for the marathon. It started in 2002 but Intertrust didn’t get involved until 2003. This year, organizers are expecting 1,400 people to participate, of which around 150 are visiting international competitors, along with their friends and family.

The swag bag given to competitors contains gifts such as water bottles, reflectors and towels. You get a T-shirt for entering and a medal upon completion, even if you’re dead last.

The course is open for six hours before closing, which gives everyone a good amount of time to complete it.

Why should I get out of my nice warm bed to run?

For the exercise? To have fun with friends? Because we’re holding your family hostage until you do? All excellent reasons! Another excellent reason is running for charity. The marathon is often joined by participants raising money for overseas charities such as: Team Diabetes, Joints in Motion, Run ‘N’ Fun, RunTheSol and others. It also supports local causes, the main three being the Red Cross, Cayman Island Cadet Corps and Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

The Cadet Corps teaches children aged 11-19 discipline, leadership, responsibility and other life skills. The organization, cadets and commandants help set up the event, run the 1K relay and clean up afterwards. Even the parents join in, making up most of the volunteers.

The Cancer Society is a non-profit organization that raises awareness, supports cancer patients and their families.

The Red Cross provides volunteers for the water stands and First Aid at the start, finish and every other water stop.

Other charities include: Cayman HospiceCare, Special Needs Foundation Cayman, YMAC Cayman Islands, Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation, Feed Our Future and Youth Anti-Crime Trust.

What is the route?

Held in Grand Cayman, where the land is flatter than a pancake with a lovely seafront view, the route is a great one for running. It starts and ends on Harbour Drive, with the outward journey taking runners through South Sound all the way to Prospect Point, with a return journey through South Sound and along Walkers Road to the finish line.

The marathon is scheduled during the cooler months and early in the day. The temperature usually starts out at a low 70 degrees and ends in the high 70s.

How to Register

Although online registration closed on Nov. 28, you can still register in person at the Westin on Saturday from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. Entry fees are $96 for the full marathon, $60 for the half-marathon and $200 per team for the relay.

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