There will be lots of excitement this weekend when the annual Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half-Marathon and 4-Person Relay happens on Sunday, 6 December starting at 4:30am on the waterfront. A portion of the registration fees from this great charity event goes to the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society while other organisations such as Jasmine, Crisis Centre, Inclusion Cayman and Red Cross benefit from funds raised through the race by participants themselves.
At the time of writing, organisers confirm 58 full marathoners, 682 half marathon entrants and 76 teams entered for the relay, as well as 83 people who will participate in the full or half marathon virtually.
“We are thrilled with the numbers this year, especially because we are in the middle of a pandemic. Even though Cayman is currently not under very tight restrictions compared to other countries, we weren’t sure if people would be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared to participate after what has been a very challenging year so far. However, I think maybe as we count down to the end of 2020, this event is just what many people need,” said Rhonda Kelly, Race Director. “This race has always been so inspirational and at times so emotional, and I believe this year will be even more significant. We are just thrilled to be a part of the triumphs and powerful moments that a lot of our participants will experience this Sunday. We count it an honour to be a part of their stories.”
• His Excellency the Governor Mr. Martyn Roper will be lacing up with four-person relay teammates Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee, Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood and Robert Powell to run for Jasmine. Governor Roper will run the last leg of the marathon relay.
• Champion fundraiser Derek Haines will also be running the half marathon to raise funds for Jasmine.
• Delia Slater has been injured and out of proper training and physical activities for over four years. She’s had three surgeries for ACL tear and toe issues but the half marathon has given her a goal to focus on even though she says in her 50s it has not been easy to regain fitness after such a long break.
• BOB FM morning talk show host Taylor Vaughn is returning to the start line to do her second half marathon. She was bitten by the running bug when she completed her first half marathon in 2019 after a very eventful year which included losing 129 pounds! She’s now down 150+ pounds total and hoping to improve on her time this weekend. Her dietician Jessica Watterworth decided to join in the fun too since she’s been helping Taylor prepare for Sunday.
• A group of local friends will be lacing up their running shoes to raise funds for Hannah’s Heroes, a hero fund of the St Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research in the world. The team have dubbed themselves Hannah’s Hares. The team ‘tortoise’, Eugene Nolan, is running the full marathon distance and will attempt to beat the Hares, Nikki Callender, Sam Dawson, Kim Short and Nicola Gillespie Smith, who are running the marathon as a relay team.
This will be Eugene’s second marathon raising funds for St Baldrick’s. He took part in the Dublin marathon in October 2019 and since 2013 has raised over $80,000 for childhood cancer research. Following the marathon there will be a mini ‘Big Shave’ event where Eugene will have his head shaved and will be rocking the bald in honour of all children suffering with cancer.
“It has been an honour to be a small part of the Hannah’s Heroes efforts to raise awareness of and funds for childhood cancer research because kids like Hannah are worth fighting for," said Mr. Nolan.
He said he hopes to get around the course in under four and a half hours, beating the “Hares” comfortably. The “Hares” have other ideas. As of this writing, the team has raised $14,000. (www.stbaldricks.org/teams/hannahshares).
• “Injury has prevented me from running this year, but the fact that we are able to host a live event pushed me to get my walking shoes out and register anyway. Wouldn't miss it!”, said Janet Gardner who is doing the half.
• Sacha Rodgers is running her first full marathon this year. She has raised around USD5,000 for the UK charity Breast Cancer Now, and was inspired by her mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer but has now been in remission for almost five years.
• Wendy Johnston said she started 2020 on a high by getting married in January, after which the year progressively deteriorated – not due to the marriage, of course! She decided she wanted to end it on a high so starting training for the half marathon. “I started running during lockdown (doing a couch to 5k programme) and I had never run more than two miles in my life, so it’s a huge achievement to take part in the half,” said Ms. Johnston.
• Ava Hider of the 345 Girls Team said that she and her teammates are running strong again this year for their favourite relay race, and for their amazing coach Derek Larner.
• Jenni Huys is part of Team COIK which stands for Channelling Our Inner Kevin. “During quarantine, my husband, Kevin set a personal goal to run every day. He has stuck to his goal through injury and illness, no matter the weather or lockdown conditions. He is the inspiration for this relay team.”
• Cayman resident Karen Griffiths will be running the virtual half marathon. 23rd August was 28 years since she was diagnosed with a medical condition known as Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder. She said it’s been a nightmare, but she always had a desire to do the half marathon.
• “I have not missed a year running in the CI Marathon since my mother passed away from having cancer on 29 April 2011. I was hoping and praying the CI Marathon would happen this year, and it seems my guardian angel mother has answered my prayers. See everyone 'on da road',” said Tara Thompson who will be participating in the half marathon.
• All my life I've been overweight, feeling depressed all the time. Two years ago, I decided that it was time to take control of my health and so I did,” said Xiomara Moore. “I have lost 40 pounds so far. My dream is to run, walk or crawl but finish the half marathon no matter what. One of my best friends passed away in May due to COVID-19 and it made me realise that life is too short. Tomorrow is not promised.”
• What started out as a personal challenge and a way to get herself outside more has turned into a fundraising endeavour for Thais Rodriguez. Her friend, Regina Ecclefield, was diagnosed with breast cancer so she will be running to bring awareness to breast cancer and donate funds to the Breast Cancer Foundation. She will join Carina Ecclefield, Rares Danes, Richard Johnson, Todd Shipster, Yvonne Kulmer, Simon Ecclefield and Regina herself (who is participating virtually) as they do the half under the name 2020TwentyForTwenty (https://www.gofundme.com/f/2020-twenty-for-twenty). To date, over $8000 has been raised for the cause.
• “Whilst eating a plate of fried food my friend informed me that she was running the half and I decided it was probably best, on account of all the fried pickles I eat,” said Evelyn Denton.
• Patricia Smith is on a mission. The Cayman Islands half marathon was her very first half marathon in 2018. In 2019 she went on to complete six half marathons. To date, she has done one triathlon, eight half marathons, 28 10k runs and 84 5k events. She said she is well on her way to meeting her target of 12 half marathons, 52 10ks and 102 5ks. “Running is not cancelled in 2020!” said Smith.
• Stephen Tanugraha started running three years ago and said it has changed his life. “Running taught me to become a disciplined, persistent, humble and grateful human being. This will be my third half and I am looking forward to breaking my personal record.”
• This will be Laura Young’s third year running the half marathon and each year she’s improved her time. She is now 50 and wants to add the half to her memoirs of turning 50.
• Danny Fitzgerald ran a half marathon for charity while in quarantine at the Holiday Inn and said he is ready to run outside this time.
• “I started my journey of running to get healthy and to lose weight. It has since become a way of life and something I love to do,” said Carol McKenzie. “I train with amazing people, have raised funds for Jasmine Cayman and run for and in memory of my sister.”
• Fernando Soler is determined to have a better run this year. 2019 was his first half marathon and he admits he really wasn't prepared for it. This year he’s ready and he’s dedicating the race to his father-in-law and his godfather who both passed away earlier this year and motivated him to train for the race.
Before they line up at the start line, participants will get their own dose of motivation. Packet Pick Up will take place on Saturday between 9am and 3pm at the Westin Resort. Beside collecting their race packets, this will be an opportunity for them to make sure they are properly prepared for the next day. Sponsor Health City will be conducting information sessions throughout the morning. At 9:30am Dr Niranjan Nagaraja, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Health City will present "Injuries Are the Best Teachers but Why Take Chance?” which will give an overview of marathon-related injuries and their prevention. At 11:30am Health City registered dieticians Kay-lee Bright and Stellerie Noyons will speak on the topic of nutrition with “On Your Mark, Get Set, Eat!”.
"It's important for runners training for and participating in marathons to focus on injury prevention. We always say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is certainly true with regard to sports related injuries. It is far easier to prevent damage than to repair it once it has happened,” said Dr Nagaraja.
Those participants who are doing the race for the first time will also benefit from "All About Race Day", a presentation by Rhonda Kelly about what to expect on race day as well as a question and answer session.
Late registration for the 2020 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, Half Marathon, 4-Person Relay, CUC High School Challenge and Kids Fun Run can only be done at the Westin Resort’s Galleon Ballroom on Saturday, 5 December during Packet Pick Up from 9am to 3pm.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon is also sponsored by the Ministry of Sports, CG BritCay, Health City Cayman Islands, Gatorade, Milo, Flowers Bottled Water, Department of Tourism, Bank of China Grand Cayman Branch, FastSigns, Hurley’s Media, Netclues, Wata, Doctors Hospital, Massive, CUC, Quaker, Cayman Physiotherapy, Kelly Holding Events & Communications, Cost-U-Less, CayLight, Smoothie King, Bliss Living Yoga, Hopscotch Productions, Marshall’s Rent-A-Car, McAlpine and GNC.