The organisers of the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon have introduced a virtual option for the 2020 edition of the race which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 6 December. The event has also partnered with the Department of Tourism to offer a free trip to the Cayman Islands for the 2021 race for one lucky 2020 virtual participant.
Virtual running events have become quite popular over the last few months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prohibit large gatherings. These races allow participants to run, jog or walk from any location they choose, such as the road, on the treadmill, at the gym, or on a track. They run their own race whenever they want and time it themselves. Local runners have taken advantage of these options for international races that they have not been able to attend due to travel restrictions and border closings. One of those people is regular Cayman marathon participant Oddy Grullon, who completed the virtual Boston Marathon on 13 September in a time of 4 hours 16 minutes.
“Even though Cayman is managing and suppressing the spread of COVID-19 better than many other countries around the world, we understand that people may still be apprehensive about gathering in groups to run a race,” said Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Events & Communications, organiser of the race. “As organisers we are committed to ensuring a safe event that adheres to any/all Cayman Islands Public Health regulations that may be in place on Sunday, 6 December. However, we wanted to give people the opportunity to run Cayman on their own terms, hence the virtual full and half marathon categories.”
Virtual race participants must run their registered distance between Monday, 30 November and Monday, 7 December, explained Kelly. They will then receive a medal, official race shirt/tank and a personalised bib in the mail a few weeks after the live event takes place. Cayman residents who opt to do the virtual run can collect their bibs and shirt/tank at Packet Pick Up if they’d like, and their medals the week after the race at the Kelly Holding office.
All overseas runners or walkers who register for and complete the Cayman Marathon virtual run will be automatically entered in a draw to win a trip to the Cayman Islands which includes airfare for two, a five-night stay at the race’s official hotel and registration for the 2021 race.
Kelly said that many of the overseas runners who come for the race every year have opted to miss the race this year for a number of reasons, including being unable to do the 14-day self-isolation requirement currently in place for people travelling to the Cayman Islands. However, she is confident that they will return in 2021, and says she believes the Department of Tourism prize will be a big incentive to sign up for the virtual event this year.
Steve and Ally Speirs from Virginia Beach, Virginia will be missing the Cayman Marathon for the first time since 2009.
“Naturally I’m really disappointed we won't be able to make it this year. Unfortunately, with the current COVID-19 situation, it is pretty much impossible to make the trip and run the race,” said Mr. Speirs who has won the full marathon four times. “Some people will say "it's just a race", but the marathon is now an annual tradition for both of us and something we look forward to immensely. We'll really miss seeing the many friends we've made over the years.”
Mr. Speirs will be participating in the virtual full marathon. He said it will not be the same as being in Cayman in person, but at least he will feel like he’s not missing out completely, and he looks forward to adding the 2020 medal to his Cayman marathon collection.
For more information or to register for the 2020 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half Marathon, 4-Person Relay or Kids Fun Run, visit www.caymanislandsmarathon.com or email info@CaymanIslandsMarathon.com. Follow @CaymanMarathon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for news and updates. A portion of registrations from the event go to the race’s charities: Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society.
The 2020 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by BritCay, Ministry of Sports, Flowers Bottled Water, Hurley’s Media, CUC, NetClues!, Bank of China Grand Cayman Branch, Gatorade, Caybrew, FastSigns, Milo, Massive Group, Quaker, Cayman Physiotherapy, Smoothie King, Bliss Living Yoga, Marshall’s Rent-A-Car, Hopscotch Productions, Cost-U-Less, GNC and Kelly Holding Events & Communications.