The upcoming Off The Beaten Track ultra-marathon offers a double opportunity for Cayman’s corporate community to be involved in this unique 50-kilometre endurance race.
Being held in Cayman for the third time, the annual event, set for 26 February, takes participants on a challenging and truly off-the-beaten-track course incorporating the beach, dyke roads and back streets. This year’s race is expected to be even more demanding with the addition of water crossings and trekking through bush.
Organisers hope to build on last year’s success, in which 22 teams took part. In addition, four individual participants finished the gruelling course.
While the physical demands of the race are significantly more challenging than the typical road race, team relay members need only run just more than five miles each and will have the unique experience of encountering parts of Cayman they may never have seen before. For those corporations whose employees are not quite ready to tackle the physical demands of the race, they can still contribute in a meaningful way in support of the charities that benefit from the proceeds, which topped $20,000 in 2011.
Last year, many of Cayman’s professional services’ firms stepped up as sponsors. Sponsors for 2012 includes KRyS Global, Tower Marketing, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Ritch & Conolly, dms Organization Ltd., PwC Cayman, Mourant Ozannes, Solomon Harris, Bateman Financial, Endeavour Mining, Governors Square, Level5, MaplesFS, Silver Wheaton, and SteppingStones. In addition, race organisers would like to recognise support from Calico Jack’s, Cayman Airways, Cayman Free Press, Cayman Islands Red Cross, Cayman News Service, eCayOnline, Foster’s Food Fair IGA, GNC, Hammerhead Construction, MCS, Phoenix Athletic Club, Sunshine Suites Resorts, Vision Marketing | Signs of Paradise and WestJet.
Half of the amount raised will be donated to Facing Africa; a charity dedicated to helping children in Nigeria and Ethiopia who suffer from the face-ravaging disease NOMA. The remainder will benefit two Cayman organisations, Cayman’s ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) and the School of Fitness.
Members of ARK, which engage in a variety of community activities, are dedicated to helping people in crisis and demonstrating kindness through acts of service to those in need. The School of Fitness is a programme designed to help public schools administer their physical education curriculum and assists in expanding access for young people to local fitness opportunities.
Ken Krys, founder and CEO of KRyS Global, continues to be the driving force behind the race, both as a participant and a major corporate sponsor. The experienced ultra runner competed in both previous years’ races and will participate again this year as part of the KRyS Global corporate team.
He is calling on the corporate community to come out in support of the worthwhile charities that are targeted to benefit from the proceeds.
“Off The Beaten Track offers a great opportunity for companies in Cayman to become a meaningful part of an extraordinary event,” Krys said. “As the race becomes more popular each year, it gives us the chance to raise even more money for some very worthwhile causes. At the same time, the event attracts increasing international attention, adding to Cayman’s profile as a sports tourism destination.
“I look forward to welcoming new sponsors each year to help us raise funds for our targeted charities. With their support, we can truly make a difference on both a local and international scale.”
As one who has competed in some of the world’s most difficult races, including the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and the Amazon Jungle Run, Krys is also perfectly placed to encourage Cayman’s running community to take part in this unique challenge and help some very worthwhile causes.
He was inspired to create Off The Beaten Track based on his experiences participating in the Marathon des Sables. While the terrain is obviously different in Cayman, the race philosophy was similar. “We wanted to give runners here an opportunity to do something never before done in Cayman and challenge them in unique ways. By taking part in Off The Beaten Track, participants can test themselves physically in a unique new way while enjoying the satisfaction of contributing to some important charities,” Krys said.
Entrants from around the world are expected to take part. Runners can register online at www.caymanactive.com and use the Off The Beaten Track Facebook page as a forum to stay up-to-date on race news, as well as find potential teammates. Relay teams can register between two and six people each.
Companies interested in sponsoring the race should contact Lori Halldorson at KRyS Global on 815-8410, or visit the website www.offthebeatentrack.ky for more information.