Stride Against Cancer dedicated to Derek Larner

This year's Stride Against Cancer is being dedicated to the memory of running coach Derek Larner.

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is dedicating this year’s Stride Against Cancer fundraising run/walk to running coach Derek Larner, who passed away on 6 Jan.

Larner had been battling pancreatic cancer since October last year.

Jennifer Weber, operations manager of the Cancer Society, in an email to the Cayman Compass, said Larner had been “an integral part of the CI Cancer Society Stride Against Cancer walk/run every year, and we can’t imagine Stride without him”.

“Therefore, in an effort to honor all Derek did to help others in Cayman, CICS will dedicate the Stride Against Cancer 2021 to Derek Larner, with the blessing of his wife, Laura,” she said.

This year’s Stride is scheduled for Sunday, 31 Jan.

Larner worked closely with the Cancer Society to help organise the annual event, Weber said.

“Each year we met with Derek at the Cancer Society office as part of our Stride planning,” she said. “Derek always measured and ran the long 13-mile half-marathon course, helped us order the right ‘time chipped’ bibs for the serious runners, and faithfully organized all that was needed to time the race using the Race Caribbean equipment. He would meet with us during his lunch hour and was always so eager to get everything just right because he really loved the sport of running.”

Over the years, Stride participants are encouraged to write the name of a loved one they are ‘Striding for’ on the back of their running shirts. Weber said she expected that many this year will choose to write Larner’s name on their shirts.

She added, “Purple is the awareness ribbon color for pancreatic cancer so we can’t help but think of Derek this year as we look at the purple runner in the Stride logo.”

How to join

Registration for Stride Against Cancer is now open.

This year, there will be four staggered start times, based on first come, first served, as, under COVID-19 regulations, a maximum crowd size of 500 people is allowed. The start times will be at 6am, 6:30am, 7am and 7:30am.

Participants are advised to arrive 15 minutes before their preferred start time, when they will receive a wristband.

Stride offers two distances that walkers and runners can cover: a 6.5 mile quarter-marathon and a 13-mile half-marathon timed race.

There will be no registration on the day of the run/walk, and participants are asked to register before noon on Saturday, 30 Jan.

For more information, visit https://www.cics.ky or register at https://caymanactive.com/stride.

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