More than 1,700 runners and walkers of varying skill levels and speeds descended on the streets of George Town on Sunday morning for the annual Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge. Now in its sixth year, the race raises funds for special causes or charities each year.
The runners and walkers, most of whom were dressed in the DG’s 5K signature blue T-shirts, transformed the sidewalks and roadsides into a vibrant sea of blue.
“What a wonderful place that we live in; so many people came out to support some wonderful charities,” said Deputy Governor Franz Manderson. “We have the Alex Panton Foundation, Special Needs Foundation, the Crisis Centre; some excellent charities who do some work for some of the most vulnerable people in our com- munity. To see so much of Cayman out here really makes me feel proud.”
The last five DG’s 5Ks raised a combined total of $236,500. This year, organisers were seeking to raise between $60,000 and $75,000, which would be divided between the three charities. Manderson believes they were successful.
“I think we have definitely achieved that [the target amount],” he said after the run. “Once again, Cayman’s generosity has exceeded our expectations.”
Along with raising funds, the DG’s 5K is also used to increase awareness about health and wellness within the Civil Service. Leading by example, the deputy governor was front and centre at the race, despite suffering from the flu the day before.
“More civil servants are getting involved, more public servants are getting involved and, certainly, the private sector has been fantastic,” said Manderson.
Planning and preparation are already under way for the 7th annual DG’s 5K Chal lenge. While Manderson was keen to give some details about the next round, he remained tight-lipped about what the cause or charities will be for next year’s event.
“We have some great ideas and suggestions coming in, and we will announce that shortly,” he said. “As you know, we are back in schedule come April 2020, so before you know it, we will be back here again.”
As far as road races go, the DG’S 5K has become a main fixture for runners of all pedigrees. Leading the
way from start to finish was Gregley Gayle, 38, who won the race in a time of 17 minutes, 24 seconds.
Gayle finished in third place last year.
He said his determination, along with perfect running conditions and healthy competition, helped him claim first place.
“I said to myself, if I don’t win it this year, I won’t be able to win it again,” Gayle said. “The guys from 345 Athletics always provide robust competition. So, I came out and did my best.”
A few strides behind Gayle was Esmond Brown in second place with a time of 17:28. Not far behind in third place was Abraham Whittaker with a time of 18:01.
Gayle, Brown and Whittaker claimed the men’s overall top three spots as well as the overall first, second and third places.
In the female division was defending champion Tiffany Cole. Cole crossed the line in 19:30. In second place was Helen Green, with a time of 20:25. Ava Hider finished with a time of 21 minutes and 30 seconds to round out the women’s top three.