The participants of the 9th annual Off the Beaten Track 50-kilometer ultramarathon and relay took on and conquered the toughest course to date on Feb. 28.
This year’s race started at Tiki Beach and finished at Smith Cove. The route took runners down parts of Seven Mile Beach, over ironshore, and through the backroads, thick bush and fields of Cayman.
“We were so impressed by the resilience and adaptability of the runners,” race founder and CEO of main sponsor KRyS Global, Kenneth Krys said. “Each year the new course puts their training to the test and this year was no different.”
Of participants that were brave enough to take on the entire 50-km race by themselves, Phil Reed and Dan Kelley ran the race side-by-side from the beginning, leading to a close finish for the two friends.
Reed crossed the finish line in a time of 5 hours and 36 minutes. He claimed the male solo runner first place trophy while Kelley finished just over 4 minutes later for second place. Geoff Cornwall placed third.
The female solo runners also did extremely well, with Natalie Mallinson taking first place, finishing in 7 hours and 18 minutes, followed by Karina McDermot and Kerri Kanuga in second and third place, respectively.
“Anyone who took on the entirety of the race by themselves deserves a massive round of applause,” Krys said. “Even the strongest marathon runner can be thrown off by the tricky navigation on this course.”
The Mourant Ozannes male relay team, comprised of Neal Ainscow, Chadwick Webster, Hayden Isbister, Matt Volkwyn, Marius Acker and Patrick Harfield, were the first to cross the finish line with a total time of 4 hours and 28 minutes, followed by “Flashy Nation Sprint Team” and “WNRC None Starters” for second and third place, respectively.
In the all-female division, it was “345AC Tower Rangers,” made up of Tiffany Cole, Molly Kehoe, Ava Hider, Kiara McLaughlin, Mikaeyla Dacres and Kira Rabess, that picked up the winning title in just over 5 hours and 34 minutes. They were followed closely by the “F45 Trailblaizer” in second place and “WNRC Miles to Martinis” in third.
“InterTrust,” comprised of Jaco Smit, Vikram Dookhy, Brian Eden, Warren Keens, Charlotte Cloete and Ben White, took home first place in the mixed team category, while “MUFG NAV Ninjas” took home the title in the corporate team with members Kevin Huys, James Murray, Alan Kenedy, Jason Windsor, Paul Skinner and Leo Kassam.
Major sponsors were able to choose one charity in the Cayman Islands that aligns with their community values to promote at their designated leg’s water station.
The Cayman National Cultural Foundation, nominated by Island Heritage, and Academy Sports Club, nominated by Tower, were chosen to receive the proceeds from the race along with Facing Africa, an international charity dedicated to helping children in Nigeria and Ethiopia affected by noma, a deadly infection that affects the face.
“We are thrilled to be able to support such amazing local and international charities who work so diligently to improve the lives of children,” Krys said. “It is important to us to ensure that we not only present team building and self-improvement opportunities, through the race, but also take the opportunity to develop both our local and global communities.”