When December arrives, I always look forward to the biggest sporting event on the island ; The Cayman Islands Marathon. This event was recently nominated as one of the 30-best Marathons in the world. (http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-marathons-in-the-world – see number 14) Not bad for our “little” event. Many large Marathons have thousands or runners. Ours has +-1,300 so it’s quite an honor for the event!
The “packet pickup” this year was the day before at the Westin. It was a gorgeous day so ventured out towards the beach. Such a nice view.
At the packet pickup, there was this guy who gave a really interesting talk about running, where it can take you and the impact it has had on his life. His name is Bart Yasso and in the running community is very well known. He is also the CRO (“Chief Running Officer”) at Running World magazine. He has run all over the world and through his running has met many interesting people and overcome some extremely challenging courses. Really interesting!
So after the packet pickup was the traditional “pasta loading”. All runners know that you need to eat pasta the day before a long run. Well, I ate plenty of it! 🙂
I then drove home via a most of the race path where I would be running less than 12-hours later. The mileage signs were already there. They were all different and colorful. Very nice.
Here is the track. The green line is as per I ran it via my GPS watch. The path does not change at all each year due to its certification. If they would change it, they would need to have it re-certified. My understanding of the certification is that once they have it, runners can use their times to qualify for other races around the world which require runners who are able to make a certain time (e.g: the Boston Marathon)
So once the race is over, plenty of snacks, fruit, drinks, etc for the runners. Lovely!
In the middle of all this excitement, there was one local gentleman that was running for an awesome cause and was doing … awesome! His name is Derek Haines and is Cayman’s former chief of Police. His challenge, “6 marathon challenge” was to raise 1M$ for the Cayman Hospice. The Cayman Hospice is a non-profit organisation that provides care to individuals who are terminally ill with cancer and the likes. Mr. Haines is 65 years-old and the Cayman Marathon is the 6th and last Marathon in his fund raiser. In the picture below he is completing his journey. Right after, it was announced that his objective was met and even exceeded. Well done! To boot, he finished in under 4h was1st in his age category. A great way to finish 🙂
Ok, so how did I do? I am pleased to say that this year I did really well and am extremely proud. I came in 16th out of just under 700 participants in the half-Marathon. The best part is that I won my age group (Men 40-49) coming in 1st 🙂 I also beat my previous years time by +-5 minutes coming in at 1h36min. I’m pleased!
Here I am at the podium getting my trophy! The guy next to me came in second.
This picture is with my office colleague and friend Beth. Beth is a force of nature! She won 1st place for overall for the women in the full Marathon. She has won it 5 times in the last 6 years. Last year she did not run due to having a baby! 10 months after the baby she is right back where she left off. Impressive!
A close up of my trophy! All-in-all, it was a great day. Last year we went to the beach after the event. This year, with all the excitement, it was home and a long nap 🙂
By the way, walkers are welcome for the 1/2 Marathon, so if you are in Cayman and are fit enough to walk in the cool December early-morning weather, there is no excuse not to join in! 🙂