More than 2,000 people took to West Bay Road Sunday morning for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s Annual Nationwide Stride Against Cancer, the largest-ever showing for the fundraising event. Participants, including Governor Martyn Roper, lined up at 6am on Seven Mile Beach to take part.

Even babies took a stride.

The governor thanked everyone for taking part, saying, “For this to be the biggest Stride walk/run [ever] is a fantastic achievement. It shows just how much all of you care and want to contribute to the community. I just want to say thank you to all of you for turning out today. It’s wonderful to see such a large crowd and I’ll be beating all of you when we start.”

Runners could choose to complete either a quarter- or half-marathon, with both races starting and ending at Seven Mile Beach. Jason Trautman crossed the finish line in 1:17:18 for the best overall time for the half-marathon, while Olivia Shanks was the fastest woman, clocking 1:29:44.

“We dreamed of 1,801 people and hoped that we would get there … not only did we get there, we exceeded all expectations.”

Cancer Society Operations Manager Jennifer Weber said the turnout was beyond expectations. “This is the 25th anniversary of the Cancer Society and we really wanted this to be the biggest Stride ever. We couldn’t be any happier; this is a day that we didn’t even dream of,” she said. “We dreamed of 1,801 people and hoped that we would get there … not only did we get there, we exceeded all expectations.”

Families paid tribute to loved ones during the Stride Against Cancer walk/run.

She added that while the money earned from the event was welcome, the fundraising was far from over.

“The great thing is we raised about $50,000 from this,” she said.

“That $50,000 will go to our patient financial aid. $50,000 is a lot of money, and we are grateful, but the reality is every year we are spending $350,000 on just the direct patient financial aid alone. So, our work is never done.

“We are grateful for this but when you see us out in the community, still doing more fundraising, it’s because we just need more, and everybody helps us [to] help others.”

Related events also held over the weekend were a Mini Stride in North Side, a Little Stride on Little Cayman and a Brac Stride for runners on Cayman Brac.

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