After 24 miles, 345 Athletics Club ‘A’ crossed the finish line first at the 2018 Cross Island Relay Sunday 4th February with a time of 2:26:39.24. The race began at Public Beach just past Gun Bay and finished at Smith Barcadere.
Here’s a recap of the six-leg race courtesy of Race Caribbean:
LEG 1 – The first leg of a relay race is just like any other race as everyone sets off at the same time and after the initial jostling for position runners settle into their rhythm. The first few minutes had Chadwick Webster (Mourant) taking the lead as he headed into the darkness at quite a pace and not far behind him was Will Edwards (345AC – MDR A). After a mile or so they were running together but into the second half of the leg the youthful Will pressed the accelerator and started putting some distance between himself and Chadwick who continued to push hard himself to ensure the gap did not get too large. By the end Will reached in a time of 23:03 and Chadwick was just over 30 seconds behind in 23:37. Meanwhile, marathon runner Phil Reed (CML Nova Breaking2 Project) was also running at an impressive pace and moved ahead of the chasing pack to finish in 24:36. The next runner crossing the line was Abraham Whittaker from another 345AC team (345AC Experience) in 25:07 with DJ Evansclipping his heels in 25:21. The fastest female Leg 1 runner was Marlie Du Toit (KPMG Getting Busy) in 28:31 with Catherine Hayward-Hughes (Ogiers Oracles 1) second quickest in 29:02. Kirstie Krypner (Walkers Running V2.0) third in 29:27.
LEG 2 – from this leg the teams are already spread out and for many runners there is no-one to run and keep company with and therefore it is more about pace judgment; do you start easy and try get quicker towards the end, or perhaps start faster and maintain the pace for as long as possible until you got little left and have to hang on for grim death over the last mile, or perhaps try running even paced through the 4 miles and hope to hit that sweet-spot for a personal best performance! There is no right answer as it depends on who is in front of you and whether you believe you can catch them, or perhaps someone is starting just after you and you don’t want to be overtaken by that dude. Back to the race – Will handed the baton to Tommy Kehoe who tried the ‘Go hard for as Long as you can’ tactic to put some distance between him and the guy chasing (Patrick Harfield) who had taken over from Chadwick. Patrick is one of the best distance runners in Cayman at the moment and used his experience to close the gap, which he achieved just before the water stop around half-way and went on to complete the fastest run of the day in a very impressive 22:29 giving Mourant a clear advantage by 4+ minutes from Tommy who completed in 27:12. The next fast time on this leg was achieved by Conrad Proud (FN Sports Club) moving his team into contention with William Peake (The HufflePuffs) third quickest leg 3 running in 26:53, and 4th was Andrew McLaughlin in 26:53. Fastest female was Gill Gordon (345AC – Gurls) 29:44 giving this team the lead in the ladies race. Gill’s time was a mere three seconds ahead of Elaine Anderson (Walkers Running V2.0) 29:14 and Amy Dyer not far away in 29:22.
LEG 3 – very little decided the front two teams as both Andrew Keast (Mourant) and Victor Magalhaes (345AC MDR A) both ran 23:40 and the gap remained around 4 minutes at the sharp end. A great performance from last week’s ‘Stride’ half-marathon joint winner Esmond Brown who completed in 23:55 moving WNRC Smells Like Team Spirit through the ranks. This leg seemed to be a favourite with the ladies as Tiffany Cole (345AC Gurls) was not only the quickest leg 3 female in 25:32 but the fastest female of the day. Last week’s ladies Stride champ Olivia Shanks was next quickest female in 25:52 keeping F45 Trailblaizer maintaining the status Quo between the two top all female teams with 345AC edging it at this stage.
LEG 4 – The gap between the top teams was narrowed over this leg by two minutes as Levi Supervillepulled out a 24:23 against Hayden Isbister’s 26:49, which certainly makes the race more interesting when teams are closely matched and fight it out for the top spot. The Stride Half-Mara seems to be the training ground for this race as the fastest leg 4 runner was the other joint winner Gregley Gayle who completed in 23:47. Fresh from a quick leg 3 Esmond Brown just had time to get his breath back change the bib number and was running leg 4 for his second team Appleby Slow Pacers and completed this leg in a very impressive 25:39. The quickest female was Carly Young (Red Sail Sport) in 29:40, Breda Meehan second in 30:02 and Isabella McGeough close behind in 30:23
LEG 5 – fresh from running a personal best 1,500 meters on the track on Saturday night (as were many of the teenagers running today) Juan Pablo Valerio grabbed the baton from Levi and having watched Marius Acker take the baton 1 minute and 35 seconds ahead of him, Pabbers must surely must have felt he had a huge mountain to climb as he saw Marius turn on to Shamrock Road – I can say from personal experience that once Marius goes past you at full speed there is very little you can do about it and you normally settle for second place. Fortunately (and not so much for Marius) Marius has been nursing injuries and is no-where near his best but wanted to help out his team as even and unfit Marius is better than most mere mortals when fully fit. I don’t know at what stage of the run Pabbers realised that he was closing the gap but he certainly performed out of his socks and completed as the fastest leg runner in 23:58, whilst Marius completed in 25:04 (second quickest leg 5 run) and the gap at the end was now just 39 seconds. Will Edwards is another who was running a second leg this time for Red Sail Sports and the third quickest 25:23. The top three ladies were Michelle Vinton (Harmonic 1) in 26:47, Brigette Shine (PWC Crafting a Dream) in 29:59 and Gill Gordon (F45 Cayman) running a second leg in 30:00 and this team ahead of her other team – hedging your bets eh!
LEG 6 – I appreciate there were lots of mini-battles between teams during each leg especially between the corporate teams, and watching the day’s activities it seems that you all enjoyed the tussles between teams and individuals, with the odd bit of banter. After just over 2 hours of racing Mourants were leading as Greg Meaker took the baton from Marius and off he went down South Sound. Juan Pablo was sprinting towards the changeover point and thrust the baton to Derek Larner who set off to chase and try close the gap – similar to last year’s relay except the gap was bigger and Derek failed to close it. For those of you who have been the chaser you know what I’m saying when it is much easier to chase someone if you can actually see them as it gives you a bit of hope if you see that gap shrinking. Conversely, if you are the one being chased… now we go back to the earlier tactics. Do you go hard as possible to kill the “hope” the chaser might have of catching you, or perhaps start slowly and let the chaser run hard to catch you and when they reach you, you pick up speed and see if they can maintain it, or perhaps just ignore everything around you, switch off and run your own pace and what will be will be! Greg may not have realised that the gap between the top two was so close as he did not attempt to go out hard as he might have otherwise done. Derek decided to chase quite hard in the hope of closing the gap and then it was a matter of hanging on for dear life. To his surprise he could see the gap closing with every stride and two sub 6 minute miles the gap was just a few seconds with 2 miles to go. When you catch a runner, it is tempting to slow down and try catch your breath but the problem is when you try to speed back up and your legs are having none of it. Derek has ran the leg 6 of the Cross Island Relay at least 10 times and has tried every approach and today decided the best tactic was not to slow down but go past hard as possible and hold the pace for as long as possible and try put some daylight between the teams, which paid off. The last mile was very hard but Greg was unable to respond and in the end to gap was just over 2 minutes.
In the Corporate division there was battle for 3rd and 4th place as Daniel Cargill (Harmonic 1) put in a decent effort of 27:31 but is was not enough to take third place from KPMG Getting Busy (Marlie du Toit, Heath Hellenberg, Kevin Gibney, Roman Dagesh, Adam McSharry-Downie and Richard Kerr) as Richard hung on over leg 6 doing enough to secure the podium finish. Mark Tilley also had a decent run in 27:13 to secure second corporate team for Red Sail Sports (Chase Young, Bill Edwards, Doug Anderson, Carly Young, Will Edwards and Mark Tilley) but the winners of this years corporate team went to Walkers Running (Andrew Barker, Hugh Anderson, Chris Brett Young, James Murrie, Theo Lefkos and Peter Kendall) with Peter Kendall running a quick leg in 25:37.
In the ladies race it was WNRC Miles to Martinis who came in third thanks to the combined efforts of Nicola Freeth, Jasmine Brown, Carole Sttewart, Jalene Cruz, Marion Pandohie and Anya Park). The ladies top two had swapped a number of times but by the end is was 345AC Gurls in second place with Kiara McLaughlin, Gill Gordon, Tiffany Cole, Mikaeyla Dacres, Charlotte Kerr and Ava Hider, and the winner this year was F45 Trailblazer with Leanne Thorne, Amy Dyer, Olivia Shanks, Breeda Meehan, Gill Gordon and Evelin Ritch.
There trophies for the top five teams – in fifth place was 345AC Jams with Josh Weaver, Adam Godfrey, Oisin McGeough, James Crooks, Pierre Sokohl and Charles Sokohl. Fourth place was 345AC Experience with Abraham Whitakker, Rowan Mclean, Sherlock Brooks, Fabian McCallum, Donjae Blake and Okeeve Hamilton.
Third place was WNRC with Ben Strageway, Jason Deamer, Esmond Brown, Tom Cowling, Toby Bowles and Matt Volkwyn. Second was Mourant with Chadwick Webster, Patrick Harfield, Andrew Keast, Levi Superville, Juan Pablo Valerio and Derek Larner