How time flies.  It seems like yesterday I decided to run in the Cayman Islands Half-Marathon after starting to run only a few months earlier.  That was in 2011! So this is the 6th time I run it and its always a great event.

In the days before the race, we were expecting rain so I had prepared accordingly. A garbage bag to use as a jacket pre-race (to stay dry as long as possible), a baseball cap so I can see if it comes down hard and also Vaseline for areas subject to chafing if wet.  Thankfully it did not rain which is great – it was however quite humid. In recent days, I had I noted +-22 degrees while driving to work.  This morning it was already 27 degrees at 3:30am.   The race starts at 5AM – hence the early morning temperature read.

So the race started at 5AM exactly, as always. Its fabulous running in the dark for the first +-1h15 or so.  The pictures below were all taken by me after I had finished my run, went back to my office to shower and made my way back to the start/finish line area.

The RCIPS (Royal Cayman Islands Police Service) was out in force, making sure motorists stayed off the route as much as possible.  I saw many of them throughout the morning. Great to have them around as well as the many volunteers.

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The water stops are all very animated.  Lots of them have motivational music going (think “Eye of the Tiger”)  and often people are dressed up like at this Pokemon themed one.

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I stood around the start/finish line for a while. I enjoy seeing people finishing and the satisfaction on their faces of having completed their run.

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The entire post-race area becomes alive with people discussing their races, what went well, what was tough – everyone congratulating each other.  Lets face it; whatever time a person got, they were out running at 5AM on a Sunday while most people were asleep in their beds.

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The fresh fruit, granola bars and water/Gatorade are very popular after a long run.

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I was quite privileged. The main sponsor of the event, Intertrust, had a “VIP” breakfast for their staff and various guests such as business partners.  Lucky for me I am in that second group.  I was treated to a lovely breakfast, fruits, coffee, etc.  They even had mimosas’ and the likes for those that wanted some.  The bacon really hit the spot after a long run!

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So how did I do?  Not bad at all.  Results below.   26th out of almost around 750 runners.  5th in the men’s 40-49 y/o category.  Considering my training did not go really well over the summer, it’s a very good result. The winner, a local guy, got his 1st win.  From what I heard, he is only 17 years old.  I guess he may win quite a few of these in years to come!

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This is the medal all the finishers got.  The middle part spins and the outer rim is like a million little diamonds; nicely done.

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The rest of the day I took it really easy. I also enjoyed the swimming pool of a close friend.   This 6ft high waterfall is awesome. The volume of water that falls is such that its “heavy” and provides a pretty good shoulder massage.

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So that’s it till next years Half-Marathon. Another year for the history books – as always a superbly organized event. Thanks again to all the volunteers who are there to give us water, keep us safe and cheer us on.

In November, the latest and greatest of Hotels in Grand Cayman opened.

For those of you who have been coming to Cayman for a long time, this new property, called the Kimpton Seafire, is located on the spot of the old Courtyard Marriott (called Holiday Inn before that in the 1990’s).  That is adjacent to the Public beach section of Seven Mile beach.  This new hotel has been in construction for around 2-years now. From what I can see, the hotel part (below picture – right) is completed.  The residences/condos (below picture -left) I think are “almost” ready but not sure. It looked to me as if they were still outfitting the inside parts. Outside looked done.  The hotel part is in an “L” shape going towards the beach.  The condo building is a rectangle.

Anyway, here is the place.  Its big – definitely the biggest structures in the Cayman Islands.  This is the view from the road – beach is other side of the buildings.

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Of course walked around – all is very nicely done.  The landscaping is very pretty and everything (obviously) feels very new.

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Apart from the main buildings, here are the “Beachfront Bungalows” – very nice, intimate and super close to the beach.

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And of course the beach.  West Bay road was moved east a few years ago to make this possible.  Where I am standing here, used to be a busy road. Much better now 🙂

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Pretty neat little “mini cabanas” for beach-goers.

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Clearly very recent – note the stilts on the palms.  Since they were only planted a few weeks/months ago, they need to be propped up until they can form proper roots.

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I looked down and noted that the paving stones were somewhat different.  I looks like the builders decided to add broken glass to the them.  Assuming they were made in Cayman, this is awesome since there is currently very little local recycling of glass. It makes for pretty blocks and probably reflect some light at night.

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A final view back toward the hotel from the beach.

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We are having our office Christmas party here next, so will be nice to see this in the evening!  Very much looking forward to it.

Cayman Islands Marathon is tomorrow – Race review coming soon of course 🙂

Once again, end of October means Halloween and of  course the 10-10-10 relay race in the east end. What started as a very small race six years ago, is not a very popular event. Its the last “real” race before the marathon in early December, so it attracts a number of very strong runners.

It was a lovely Sunday morning to run ; as always, very few cars and quite sunny.

Here I am around East End village (the last leg) chugging along.

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At the finish line with my teammates. Craig, left is from South Africa and Dan in the middle from Windsor, Canada.

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We did quite well – finishing first in the corporate teams category!  yay 🙂

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On my way back from the East End, I stopped at the East End lighthouse – had seen the sign a million times, but never stopped.

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There are a number of informational plaques explaining the history of the lighthouse.  Today there is just an automated navigational light.  Anyway, an interesting historical (and short) stop if you are driving around the area.

Finally, in my 10-10-10 race report for 2015, I posted a picture of a big house being built in Bodden Town.  Its so big, that although the project is quite advanced, its still not complete. What a house it is! Its starting to look really nice.

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The weather in Cayman is quite amazing right now – not too hot, fabulous evenings. Hope this stays the case for the weekend of the marathon. Hurricane season is almost over – another year with nothing.  Great! 🙂

PS: I recently changed Web hosting company. Please let me know if something is not working or if you notice something weird with this blog.  You can leave a comment or click on “email me” top right.

I got invited by a friend for a day out on a boat.  The ocean was calm and very few clouds, so all was in place for a fabulous day out in the North Sound.  The North Sound being the big “U” shaped bay that “eats” up 1/3 of  Grand Cayman.

Off we go! You may have guessed, my friend is from the USA!

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First stop: Stingray City.  Here I got as chance to play with my new GoPro underwater camera.  I should have got one of these a long time ago ; they take amazing underwater pictures and videos. 

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Lots of stingrays around.  We were lucky; there was only one other boat where we were there. 

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Next stop, Starfish point to see the starfish.  There were so many of them; we must have see 100 of them.  Nice to see that the population is doing well, even though many tourists come to see them. 

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One of the final stops was the barrier reef – as always, plenty of fish and colors.  Always spectacular. 

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When coming back to the boat decided to do an “artsy” picture of the boat propeller! 🙂 

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About 5h on the boat and having fun!  Good thing I brought a full bottle of sunscreen lotion ; I really needed it. 

The ocean was so calm, that I was told it is only like that 2-3x per year. I guess we got lucky. What an awesome day it was.

So, I get a “social budget” for my team each year to go do something fun.  Great idea, excellent for team bonding.  Two years ago, I checked with my guys and they wanted to go deep-sea fishing. Last year, I was told that we had to go deep-sea fishing again.  This year – guess what?  Fishing it was a 3rd time.  I see a pattern here! 🙂

Ok so here is our ride for the day!  We took a whole day expedition, starting at 7:30am and back around 3:30pm.

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It was not too long before the fish started to bite!  Here is Marlon who looks like he is fighting a 2000lbs whale – at the end of it all it was a small Barracuda.  We got a good laugh out of it 🙂

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Petri happy like a kid with candy after reeling in his first catch – a nice tuna!

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Paul, our resident joker with two tuna’s! As you can see, we have a great time.   Amazingly, not a drop of alcohol was consumed on the boat.

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Probably the biggest fish of the day – unfortunately a Barracuda. These just get tossed back as most people do not eat them.  It is possible to get VERY sick eating barracuda.   Apparently, if you give a piece of the Barracuda to ants and they eat it, you are good to go.  If not, no-g0.  Personally, I am not going to risk my health on the opinion of some ants!

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Group shot – Marlon had to bolt to pick up his boy as soon as the boat got back.  Oh well!

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… and the haul! A bunch of tuna’s and a “strawberry grouper”.  All very tasty.  I had some tuna sashimi that very night and the grouper the next day.

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This was pretty much our path on this day – out from the North Sound, then West to 12-Mile Banks where we spent most of the day.  Then back towards Grand Cayman, but to outside of Seven-Mile Beach (maybe 1-mile offshore) and the back to base.

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As for charter company, this year we went with Cayman Offshore Adventures.  Same captain as last year who now has his own company/boat. Great guy and lots of fun. Also highly recommended.

His website is:

http://www.caymanfishingcharters.com/

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