(CMR) The 2022 Walkers Cayman Islands Marathon will take place this weekend on Sunday, 4 December, with a return to some semblance of normalcy after two challenging years.
The event is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and organizers are excited to welcome back just over 100 visitors and their supporters and also revert back to pre-COVID procedures.
“We cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cayman Islands Marathon than to go back to the way things were before COVID-19 took over the world. Over the past two years, like everyone else, we had to make adjustments and changes to the way we did things, but this year it’s back to the way it used to be, which worked well, and we are so looking forward to that,” said Co-Race Director Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Events & Communications.
She added, “We want to thank our runners who have been so supportive over the past couple years as we’ve navigated putting on a race during a pandemic and also our suppliers, sponsors, runners, and volunteers who have been a part of our race family over the past 20 years. We appreciate them so much and fully recognize that this event would not happen without them.”
This year, the race will start at 5 am for all participants in the full marathon, half marathon and team relay events, doing away with the staggered starts and corralled spaces that were instituted in 2020 and 2021. There are no gathering restrictions in place, so spectators can come out to the start/finish line to cheer their family and friends on, and participants can hang around after crossing the finish line to enjoy the fun post-race atmosphere. The Cayman Physiotherapy recovery tent also makes its return, offering post-race massages and physio for runners.
At the time of writing, organizers confirm over 1000 participants, consisting of 70 full marathoners, 650 half marathon entrants, and 81 teams entered for the four-person relay, and there are usually more than 100 last-minute deciders who sign up the day before the race.
Late registration and Packet Pick Up for registered participants will take place at the Westin Resort on Saturday, 3 December, between 9 am and 5 pm. This is an opportunity for participants to ask the Race Directors any questions they may have about race day. Representatives from CCMI, KidsAbility, Health City, Guardians Alive, Cancer Society and the Addison Kelly Butterfly 5k will also have display tables at the event and sports apparel supplier Sportista will be selling merchandise.
The Kids Fun Run, sponsored by MILO, the Ministry of Youth & Sports and KidsAbility, will start at 10:30 am at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue and end at Hard Rock Cafe. This event is free for students between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and over 200 kids have already registered.
Each year thousands of dollars are raised for various charities and non-profit organizations via the Cayman Islands Marathon as many participants choose to run for a cause and solicit online donations from friends and family members while others simply add a donation while registering. The 2021 event raised almost USD18,000 with the bulk of funds being donated to the Alex Panton Foundation (almost $6000) and Jasmine (about $4000). Other benefiting entities included Meals On Wheels, CCMI, Cancer Society, Inclusion Cayman, Crisis Centre, Jubilate and the Cadet Corps and Cancer Society which are the event’s official charities.
This year over US$28,000 has been raised to date, with the majority of those funds going to the Crisis Centre and generated by assault survivor Oddy Grullon, who earlier this year decided to run four marathons as a form of therapy after she was attacked while jogging in January. She has completed the Utah, New York and Chicago marathons and will complete her mission here in her home race.
Mrs. Kelly said many of the runners, like Oddy, have deeply personal reasons for signing on to do a full marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles) or a team relay (approx. 6.5 miles each) and are hoping to attain personal goals and/or help inspire others.
Organizers are asking for the public’s cooperation during the race by keeping traffic along the race route to a minimum, and in particular those people who live along the route are being asked to secure their dogs in their yards and turn on their Christmas lights (if they have any) from 4:00 am on the morning of 4 December.
The race starts on the George Town Waterfront in front of Hard Rock Café and goes through South Church Street, South Sound and Old Prospect Road, after which runners turn around and go back through South Sound and then onto Walkers and Hospital Roads, Elgin Avenue, Edward and Fort Streets and back to Hard Rock Café.
Registration for the 2022 Walkers Cayman Islands Marathon, half marathon, four-person relay, and Milo Kids Fun Run is open online at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com until midnight on Wednesday, 30 November. Late registration takes place at the Westin Resort on Saturday, 3 December from 9 am to 5 pm.
The Walkers Cayman Islands Marathon is also sponsored by the Ministry of Youth & Sports, CG BritCay, Mykonos by LXL, Department of Tourism, Health City Cayman Islands, Flowers Bottled Water, Cayman Airways, Cayman National, Tag Heuer, Compass Media, Logic, Kirk Freeport, FastSigns, Wata, Gatorade, Massive, KidsAbility, Mike’s Ice, Netclues, What’s On Cayman, CUC, Milo, Quaker, Cayman Physiotherapy, Cost-U-Less, Kelly Holding Events & Communications, Hopscotch Productions, Smoothie King, McAlpine, CayLight and Marshall’s Rent-A-Car.
For more information about the race, call 623.8823, email [email protected] or visit CaymanIslandsMarathon.com. Follow @CaymanMarathon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for news and updates.