Virginia Beach’s Steve Speirs cemented his status in Cayman’s distance running history with his fourth victory at the 15th Cayman Islands Marathon on Sunday 3rd December, crossing the finish line in 2:59:54.5. Afterwards, Speirs said it was not easy.
“I was struggling early on, mile ten, eleven with a bit of cramp. Even at the half way, I was thinking maybe I should pull out and save myself for another day, but I managed to get things together in the second half and stay strong.”
Throughout the race, Speirs said the speed of Cayman’s Chadwick Webster (6th, 3:36:32.1) made for an interesting start.
“First lap we had a good pack going, Chadwick was about four minutes ahead of me on the way out, in the second loop. I didn’t think I was going to catch him, but mile twenty-three I could see him in the distance.”
Speirs previously won the Cayman Islands Marathon in 2009 (2:59:05) and 2010 (2:52:18). Since his first win in 2009, Speirs has placed either 1st or 2nd in the race, a humbling accomplishment by his standards.
“It’s just amazing. I didn’t think I’ve ever win a marathon. To win four is just a dream, and I’m not getting any younger so it doesn’t get any easier.”
Recovering from a torn calf muscle suffered at the 2017 Boston Marathon, Maryland’s Yvonne Carter was the first women to cross the finish line in the full marathon at 3:28:31.7. This was Carter’s 3rd marathon of the year. Right behind her in 2nd place was Elizabeth Haines at 3:28:46.6.
“I felt great the first half of the race, but was not prepared for the strong winds during the second half. I definitely didn’t have enough training under my belt to maintain my planned 7:20-7:45 pace against the winds. I felt like I was being pushed backwards, and by mile twenty or so felt like my legs were not going forward. While I wasn’t happy with my time, the Cayman Islands experience made up for my time in Boston.”
Winning the half marathon was Ireland’s Mark Hoey at 1:17:27.0. The Cork native said it was a challenging race.
“It’s great to win. I would have liked to have run a bit quicker but it was tough out there. It was very warm for me, but I was happy.
Women’s half marathon winner was Colorado’s Maggie Callahan in 1:27:28.1. After winning a trip to Cayman, Callahan says she wasn’t necessarily focused on time.
“It’s a little slower than my fastest half marathon but it’s hot here, and I wanted to be able to enjoy the trip and I’m very happy with it.”
According to sportsstats.ca 98 full marathoners, 615 half marathoners and 82 relay teams completing the race.