No, I didn’t run the Cayman Island Marathon. But I certainly applaud those who did, as the marathon started at 5 AM. That’s why it looks so dark in the photo — in the Caymans, the sun doesn’t rise this time of year until almost 7 AM. The reason why the race starts so early is because it gets so hot later on in the day, and it did indeed get very hot last Sunday, Dec. 6. It’s not even that cool in the mornings.
So while it was already a tad humid when the race began, at least this marathon is known to have one of the world’s flattest courses. Now, I’m no marathon expert, but the whole island of Grand Cayman is extremely flat so it would be hard to imagine a flatter run anywhere else.
The course is actually only around 13 miles long. Most people (390) on Sunday were running it as a half marathon. The 71 people who were running it as a full marathon did the course twice. Also, there were 42 teams who divided up the run relay-style. In all, 629 people participated.
Steve Speirs won the race, coming in at 2:59:05. He’s from the US, as was the third place winner. (The second place winner was Caymanian.) Now, I know that people come from all over the world to run the great New York City Marathon, but I was surprised to see how many people traveled for this less famous race. Most runners came from the US, but they also hailed from the UK, Canada, Germany, Finland and Italy. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised, as I have friends who have traveled to Dublin and Chicago with the plan of running the marathon and then sightseeing.
For those who like to engage in marathon tourism (not me!), I think that the Cayman Islands Marathon would be a good one because not only is it nice and flat, but it ends early enough that you could look forward to a long day of recuperating on the beach.