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Jena’s prize is 13-mile run!

Jenavieve Van den Bergh with some of her pupils

Jenavieve Van den Bergh will be running her first ever half-marathon on Sunday, Dec. 3 and is busy training for the long run with a lot of support along the way from members of Cayman’s health and fitness community.

Jenavieve Van den Bergh is one month into her preparations

Van den Bergh is the winner of the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon’s Nominate a Friend competition, an initiative that was created to encourage people to give friends or family members the extra boost they need to get moving. Nominations took place in June via Facebook and Instagram posts using the hashtag #RunCaymanNom. Five finalists were chosen and ultimately Van den Bergh’s story received the most likes on social media.

To help her prepare for the 13.1 mile run, several people and companies in the community have offered their support and expertise free of charge, to ensure that the high school math teacher crosses the finish line in December.

CrossFit 7 Mile gave Van den Bergh a registration for Scott Ruby’s marathon training class which started in August and continues until Race Day while Cayman Physiotherapy has offered a physical screen, bio-mechanical analysis and injury prevention advice, as well as monthly massages and additional discounted physiotherapy sessions leading up to the race. She is also receiving nutritional counselling and bi-weekly support from Chad Collins at Cayman Nutrition, and enjoys a weekly ‘Stretching for Runners’ class at Bliss Yoga.

Van den Bergh said the experience thus far has been an enlightening one. “I have learned so many interesting techniques and skills. It’s amazing how changing just the slightest thing, whether it’s nutritionally or with training, can really improve your running,” she said. “I am only one month in, and I have improved so much from working with this team of experts. I’m excited to see how much more I can achieve, and ultimately hope to reach my goal time when I cross that finish line.”

“Jena has wholeheartedly embraced this experience; she has been enthusiastic and committed to the process, which was the purpose of this promotion,” said Rhonda Kelly, marathon co-director. “Jena’s husband, who nominated her, told us that Jena always gives of her whole self to others, leaving very little time and effort to be spent on herself, and that she has had a lifelong dream of completing a half marathon. We are so happy that she has this opportunity to invest in herself, and we thank everyone who has partnered with us to help her accomplish her goal. We can’t wait to cheer her on as she crosses the finish line on Dec. 3.”

Registration for the event can be done online at caymanislandsmarathon.com.

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