About 250 people turned out early Saturday morning to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex to support the Olympic Day 5K Run/Walk.

Gavin Kuhlenbeck, a 17-year-old student from Sussex Hamilton High School in Wisconsin, USA, won first place in the male division with a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds. Kuhlenbeck was in Grand Cayman visiting with his family.

Victor Magalhaes took second place in 17:11 and Esmond Brown third with a time of 17:24.

In the female division, Laura Hicks won first place with a time of 20:04. Ava Hider won second with 21:12 and in third place was Mitchell McCullough with a time of 23:16.

“It was fun running here … I wasn’t used to the intense heat, but I had a great time,” Kuhlenbeck said.

Not that familiar with Cayman streets, Kuhlenbeck said his race strategy was to hang out with the frontrunners.

“I didn’t know what road I was on and had no clue where I was going … I just sat behind one leader and as soon as I knew where I was, I took the lead,” Kuhlenbeck said.

Movers for Life’s Winston Sobers, who clocked a time of 21 minutes, said his group’s agenda for joining the Olympic race was to connect the community freely to these activities to keep them motivated and fit.

“What is missing is that motivational support that is need in the community … if we’re going to be successful we have to work together to achieve healthy outcomes,” Sobers said.

Runners participate in snack time after finishing the 5K walk/run. – Photo: Jewel Levy

Paul Williams, Wind of Hope founder, was OK with his time of 20 minutes. Last year he did the run in 19 minutes. This year, he had fallen a little behind, but he said he knew it takes a lot more training. “It was hot but a good day for everyone,” he said.

West Bay MLA Bernie Bush, who is treasurer for the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, said it was a good turnout from the various nationalities on the island. After the race, there were demonstrations from athletes in a number of Olympic-sanctioned sports, including boxing, karate and taekwondo.

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