Cayman joins five-island marathon challenge

Runners take off from the start line in downtown George Town at the December 2018 Cayman Islands Marathon. Cayman is joining forces with four other island marathons for the Five Island Challenge. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The Caribbean now has a marathon of marathons.

Five separate marathon and half-marathon events are banding together to promote the ‘Five Island Challenge’ series, encouraging distance runners to thread their way through the palms and beaches of Cayman and four other neighbouring islands: Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

The CES Corporation, along with the organisers of the Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend; Run Barbados Marathon Weekend; Bermuda International Race Weekend; Cayman Islands Marathon and Half-Marathon; and Jamaica Reggae Marathon & Half Marathon, announced the challenge on Tuesday. It is sponsored by the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

The series is being pitched as an economical and fun ‘runcation.’ The December and January dates of the events will allow runners who live in cold-winter spots to escape to the sun.

To successfully complete the challenge, runners must finish each of the five marathons and/or half-marathons within a six-year period, starting with the December 2019 races, of which Cayman is one. It will take multiple years for runners to complete the circuit as the marathon events are held on overlapping dates. Anyone who has previously completed any of the five races will be given credit for them. Once the series is completed, runners will receive a special finisher’s medal.

Individuals who register for the Challenge at www.fiveislandchallenge.com before 1 July and register for one of the races before 30 Sept., are eligible to win a $100 Visa debit card at each race location in December 2019 and January 2020. They must be present to win.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Five Island Challenge series,” Rhonda Kelly, co-race director of the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, said in a news release. “We are always looking for economical ways to grow our overseas numbers, and runners are always looking for fun and unique opportunities to travel and run.”

She added, “We know that the Cayman Islands has a fantastic product to offer participants in this challenge, both on and off the course, and we look forward to welcoming them in December to experience our special brand of hospitality, our Caymankind.”

The 2019 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is scheduled for 8 Dec. and consists of a full marathon, half-marathon, four-person relay and a Kids Fun Run. The race is in its 17th year and continues to grow. A Boston Marathon qualifier, registration for the event includes bib and timing chip, a commemorative runner tech shirt or tank top and a specially designed 2019 finisher’s medal.

The Barbados and Jamaica marathons are being held on the same weekend as the Cayman Islands marathon, while the Bermuda marathon is scheduled for 17-19 Jan. next year and the Bahamas marathon will be on 19 Jan.

For more information about the Five Island Challenge, visit www.fiveislandchallenge.com or email [email protected] For more information about the Cayman Islands Marathon visit www.caymanislandsmarathon.com or email [email protected]

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