Distance runner Kerri Kanuga says after years of training in Grand Cayman, she hopes to bring a ‘Badwater Ultra Marathon’ to the island.
“I’ve spoken to some of the big race organizers, they think it would be a great idea, not only the competition but also the things people would do outside the competition.”
Kanuga, who placed 32nd overall and 6th among females at the 2017 Badwater 135 event, says the event could even be suitable outside of Grand Cayman.
“I am in talks in a few people about it, but I am not sure if it’s going to be in Grand Cayman or in one of the Sister Islands. It is definitely hot enough, and I think we can attract some good international athletes who would want to be apart of it.”
Kanuga also ran in the 32nd Marathon des Sables in 2017. Considered ‘the most difficult foot race on earth’, Kanuga placed 32nd among females in a course that spans 24 hours and covers the equivalent to six back-to-back marathons. Kanuga says she couldn’t have finished without the training she endures in Cayman.
“Last year I ran in two of the most difficult races, both had mountains and other things, and I trained for them in Cayman so you can appreciate how hard it really is very training in other parts of the world.”
The experience runner did however express safety concerns.
“Safety on the roads is going to be a big thing, and is almost why I am hesitant to set it up in Grand Cayman. I have close calls almost every time every time I’m on the road, and I’m worried about runners who aren’t used to running in traffic.”
Badwater Events holds 7 races per year across the United States, and Kanuga says if there were to be a ‘Badwater Cayman’ it would have to be a diverse course that appeals to all athletes in Cayman’s running country.
“My ideal course is 100 miles or more, but in order to attract the number of people to make it a success we will need to have different events like 50k, 100k and 100 mile. We will have to do a couple laps around Cayman to get to the 100 miles.”