It’s marathon time again, and runners have been in training for months, leading up to the big day on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the blistering time of 5 a.m. Even those who aren’t running are preparing to go along to man water stands, and lend their support. It’s a great community sport that brings more and more people together each year.
The Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon began as a small event in 2002 and featured just over 160 total participants. In the last twelve years, the event has grown into arguably the islands’ biggest sports tourism event. The 2013 race featured 1350 participants, 250 children in the kids’ fun run, and over 200 volunteers. 350 of the participants in 2013 were visitors to the island.
Co-race director Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Events & Communications attributes this growth to reputation. “The Cayman Islands is a great place to visit, and that, paired with our race’s reputation as friendly and well organized, creates the impetus for continued growth,” she explains.
Runners speak the same language, keep in contact by phone and social media, and they spread the word about which races they want to participate in. Kelly knows this is important, not only to continue to increase the number of visitors at the event, but to maintain its local support. “I always say if the local running community is not participating in our event we have a problem,” she says. “We truly value the support of the local runners and also their continuous feedback about our event.”
Something for Everyone
Whether you decide to take on the full or half marathon, or even just a leg of the four-person team relay event, there are lots of ways to be part of the marathon.
The half marathon has seen tremendous growth, with nearly 800 participants last year. This is because the event is great for both runners and walkers. Due to the looped course, the half marathon is open for the entire six hours that the full is open. Therefore, no matter what your pace, you have sufficient time to finish this event.
The other event that has grown tremendously is the four-person team relay, as it allows runners who do not feel up to the longer distances to get a group together and split the course into four parts. There are several divisions to the team event, including all male, all female, mixed, and even corporate teams, consisting of any combination of men and women working for the same company.
They have also added a high school category this year, sponsored by CUC. This category is specifically for kids ages 12 to 19.
2014 Speakers at Packet Pick-up Event
The event this year will feature a talk at the packet pick-up the day before the race from running guru Bart Yasso. Yasso is the chief running officer for Runner’s World Magazine and a highly sought after speaker by runners all over the world. He started running in 1977 and currently attends about 60 running events a year to speak and participate. This will truly be a not-to-miss element of this year’s race.
Local runner Scott Ruby who has an amazing story of being transformed from a 300 pound, cigarette-smoking couch potato to an ultra-marathon runner will also speak at the packet pick-up, as will Kelly about the race itself. A full schedule of talks and all other details for the event can be found on the marathon website.
The easiest way to register is online at caymanislandsmarathon.com, or in person at Kelly Holding’s office in Selkirk Plaza on West Bay Road. Online registration is open until noon on Thursday, Dec. 4, and late registrations can be completed on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Westin Resort during the packet pick-up from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. To find out more about getting involved with the marathon, you can email info@CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.
Marathon website: caymanislandsmarathon.com