Poland’s Wojciech Kopeć and Maryland’s Yvonne Carter topped a record year Sunday (2 December) at the 2018 Cayman Islands Marathon.
Men’s Full Marathon
Kopeć, 32, blazed to a new course record in the first lap of the full distance, clocking in at 1:17:28. With four-time winner and defending champion Steve Speirs trailing behind, the day would belong to the Olsztyn native, winning with a time of 2:46:40.0.
“I was trying for a course record,” said Kopeć . “I knew I was not in the best shape, because I am on vacation. I didn’t prepare for this marathon, I just came to run and vacation. This is my third marathon in the Caribbean in the last three weeks. It was good weather, the part near the sea was a little windy, but I enjoyed it.”
Kopec set a new course record in November’s Curacao Marathon with a time of 2:43:50, while placing third in the Havana Marathon (2:39.28) just a few weeks ago. Kopec also placed 13th in October’s Jakarta Marathon (2:46.08).
Speirs, who was running in his tenth Cayman Islands Marathon, placed second overall for the sixth time. After claiming his fourth title last year, the Virginia Beach resident said the Pole could not be caught.
“Tough day. I went out with my usual pace. I was little fast to start, and I paid the price. I just ran my own race, I knew I wouldn’t stay with Wojciech.”
Women’s Full Marathon
Yvonne Carter repeated as female champion of Cayman’s full distance course with a time 3:32:48.0, just four minutes slower than her winning time in 2017 (3:28:31.7). With her mother and sister greeting her at the finish line, Carter said the race was a battle.
“The second leg was absolute torture,” said Carter. “I needed to go to the bathroom from mile fifteen and on, but the cyclist wouldn’t let me stop. The crowd was great, the people are so pleasant here. I loved it.”
Men’s Half Marathon
A familiar face emerged from the darkness as Cayman’s Patrick Harfield won the men’s half distance clocking in at 1:24.49 minutes. The win gave Harfield four of Cayman’s major race titles in 2018, having won both the Mercuryman and Cayman Islands Triathlon along with the Cayman Duathlon.
“So far, the year has gone to plan,” said Harfield. “This wasn’t necessarily part of the calendar or any race in mind. I did my first Ironman back in September, that was my focus. I’ve been taking it easy since then, so I haven’t got the running distance in my legs but something paid off today. Grit, willpower and determination.”
Women’s Half Marathon
Cayman Islands women’s 800-meter national record holder Tiffany Cole took the women’s half distance with a time of 01:38:20.0. After collapsing at the finish line, Cole was treated for exhaustion. She said the race pushed her beyond her limits.
“As I got halfway through, I felt good,” said Cole. “I was calm and everything. My mind was focused, breathing good. It didn’t hit me until Walkers Road with two miles to go. That was the killer, but I pushed myself to keep going.”
By the numbers
Organizers Kelly Holding Ltd. celebrated as the race saw a record 1375 registrants.
“We had record registrations, as well as record challenges,” said Rhonda Kelly. “However, all of that fades to the background really when you watch people cross that finish line and you know the reasons for their run. We are so proud of everyone who ran Cayman this year, no matter if, or how, they finished.”
According to Sportstats.ca the race saw records in both the Half Marathon Finishers (811) and Overall Finishers (1267, 2nd all-time), as well as a course record in the first leg of the Full Distance (1:17.28, Wojciech Kopec).