The annual Valentine’s Mile had another excellent turnout and this year raised funds for Cayman HospiceCare.
It started and finished at Bayshore Mall, George Town on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Derek Larner of Race Caribbean said: “A huge thanks to the long-time sponsors Kirk Freeport and affiliated companies, to Scott Harrington and his team for all the work they put in each year to ensure the success of this race.”
After last year’s last minute rush of on-the-day entrants, this year the organisers switched from timing the race using ankle straps to having race bib numbers with electronic chip. This proved to be beneficial as they were able to hand them out much quicker and a change in the way they uploaded data meant they were able to start the race on time and more importantly to the impatient ones, we were able to provide the results very quickly.
It is no surprise that the track and field athletes do very well in this short race, which probably felt like a sprint for many of the long distance runners. With times similar to last year’s race it was the deadly duo of Will Edwards and Dominic Dyer who led the field together for half the distance before Dyer pulled away from his training partner.
In 2016 Dyer won in a new course record but was unable to repeat the same time this year but still won in a very respectable time of 4 minutes 40.9 seconds, with Edwards second again in 4:52.4
Marius Acker was enjoying the short distance and earned third spot by holding off the challenge of Matt “Sticks” Volkwyn who was only three seconds adrift in fourth. Sherlock Brooks improved his time from last year but had to do so in order to stay ahead of the two 13-year-old boys not far behind him, Levi SuperMario and Juan-Pablo Valerio.
Tommy Kehoe, 14, was just behind them and with these young guns, distance running in Cayman has a very good future.
In the women’s race defending champion Tiffany Cole has been running well but a slight hamstring pull kept her on the sidelines to observe from the volunteer’s perspective. Former champion Claire Critchley was in the field as were Kym Bailey and Gill Comins who are usually running half and full marathons so would probably have only just got into their strides before this race was over.
As in the men’s race, Critchley would feel the strongest threat coming from the track stars of 345 Athletic Club and it came from the experience of Kiara McLaughlin and up and coming star Molly Kehoe.
McLaughlin, who placed third in 2015 and missed this race last year because of illness, was the sharpest and won in a time of 5:38.9, with Critchley second in 5:48.6 but had to work really hard to hold off the challenge from 12-year-old Kehoe. Comins, Michelle Lamont, Bailey and another up and coming youngster, Ava Hider, were not that far behind.
Larner said: “Looking through the list it is very pleasing to see the first nine placings came from 345 Athletic Club with many of the club’s youngsters in the top 20 placings. Thanks again to all volunteers. We have had some good feedback and it seems we made very few mistakes.”