In the course of running 26.2 miles, a runner will take approximately 50,000 steps. Local marathoner Derek Haines tries to make every one of those steps count by raising money for causes that are important to him. In 2017, he ended his ‘Volcanoes and Marathons’ challenge with another 50,000 steps at the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon to raise CI $50,000 in support of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and the new education
programme, Reefs Go Live.
Haines loves supporting education about the oceans and coral reefs, and he feels CCMI’s Reefs Go Live will provide a unique opportunity to engage the students in the research being done in Little Cayman. Reefs Go Live, which is set to launch in 2018, will take students on a virtual dive on a coral reef, showing real-time footage of coral reefs and the researchers working at the coral nursery, tagging fish and more as an innovative way to teach students about the ocean. Students can ask questions during the live broadcast, and the scientists can reply as they are underwater through high-tech face masks and streaming equipment.
The 69-year old Haines may say he is slowing down a bit, but with running three marathons and climbing two volcanoes in 2017 as part of his challenge, he must have a different definition of slowing down than most people. In addition to the Cayman Islands Marathon, Haines has run marathons in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (April), and San Francisco (July). In June, he completed the volcanoes portion of his challenge, travelling to Guatemala to climb the volcanoes Pacaya (8,373 feet) and Acatenango (13,044 feet). Haines admits it’s not easy to finish 26.2 miles.
“At the end of a marathon, I’m usually elated to be still alive. But seriously it can be quite emotional especially when so many folks turn out to cheer you home and support around the course. And to be able to raise money for causes that are important, well the trust that has been put in me by the donors/sponsors is remarkable and the generosity year after year is incredible. Seeing all of that come together certainly builds a huge sense of purpose.” At CCMI, Director, President and Director of Research & Conservation, Dr Carrie Manfrino, is very appreciative of Mr Haines’ efforts, as well as Mr Chris Bailey and the members of the Rotary Club Grand Cayman.
“Derek has achieved the most remarkable feats this year. His physical efforts and his vision to help launch the Reefs Go live project demonstrate his incredible commitment to the local community and to the world. Derek helped raise the profile of Reefs Go Live and will forever be remembered for helping establish this important programme. CCMI would also like to thank Butterfield Bank and in particular Mike McWatt, for coming on board as the headline sponsor. Her Excellency the Governor has continuously supported CCMI and we thank her for her patronage of Derek’s
efforts this year. We have begun testing the Reefs Go Live equipment and will be running a pilot live to schools beginning in January, 2018. Being able to communicate our work from the ocean, directly to the classrooms is a stunning advancement in teaching methodology and we will being to impact local students so that every child can be ocean literate.”
Haines was joined in his fundraising and athletic challenge by fellow Rotarian Chris Bailey, who completed the Ironman Florida in November. Headline sponsor, Butterfield Bank, was first to contribute to the effort with a CI $15,000 donation. Additional support has come in from Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Dart Enterprises, Jacques Scott, PwC and through the pledges of members of Rotary and the public. All money raised by Haines and Bailey for this challenge go directly to CCMI’s Reefs Go Live programme. Travel, race and training costs are covered by the athletes
The official launch of Reefs Go Live is scheduled for January 2018, as a part of kick- off celebrations for International Year of the Reef. CCMI is planning a number of educational awareness efforts and citizen scientist opportunities to help those in the Cayman Islands to learn more about the importance of coral reefs to our island home. While Reefs Go Live will initially be launched in the Cayman Islands, future plans include sharing this experience with teachers and students around the world. The programme allows for those who many never see a coral reef otherwise to have
the chance to see it live during Reefs Go Live broadcasts in their classrooms or at a museum or science centre.
For those wondering how he did, Haines finished the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon in 4 hours 44 min and 30 seconds. Haines has thus far raised CI $40,000 towards his goal. There’s still time to help him reach the CI $50,000 target! Anyone wishing to contribute to his fundraising can send a cheque to the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. Indicate ‘CCMI’ in the memo line.
-Copper Beach Communications