Forty-eight runners and walkers took part in a three-day event to raise awareness of prostate, testicular and colon cancer and raised $40,000 for local charities.
Participants covered 45 miles over a long public holiday weekend from Saturday, 30 June, to Monday, 2 July, in the Prostate And Colon Cancer Event, known as PACE.
Last week, the organiser, the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, presented cheques from money raised at the event to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and Cayman HospiceCare.
The Delano Hislop Memorial Journey for Life was named in memory of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman’s past president, who succumbed to colon cancer in January 2011. The Lions Club got widespread support from local companies who sponsored the event.
Those taking part were asked to raise a $500 entry fee, which helped spread the message about the types of cancers that mostly affect men.
Alfonso Wright, of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, said the fundraising efforts, as well as the event itself, had helped raise awareness throughout the Cayman Islands about cancer.
“When we set the $500 fee, we asked people to bring that much in as a minimum. It was to encourage people to go out and engage other people to help raise the funds. That process spreads the word rather than just people sticking their hands in their pockets and paying the entrance fee themselves. While that certainly raises funds, it doesn’t do anything for the primary cause, which is to raise awareness,” Mr. Wright said.
The runners and walkers covered 15 miles a day. Some ran as teams of three, with one person covering 15 miles a day. Others covered the entire 45 miles by themselves.
“The event went very well. We had 48 people take part. We’d hoped for more, of course, but this was the inaugural event and it will be an annual event, so we hope to see more people take part next year,” Mr. Wright said.
“We raised $40,000, which is a major achievement,” he said.
“We really want to express our gratitude to the sponsors, to all the people who participated and to the volunteers who helped,” Mr. Wright added.
The event covered several districts of Grand Cayman and it took a small army of volunteers and Lions Club members to cover all the logistics, but everything went smoothly, he said.
“It took about 125 people to run the event and we probably had 75 to 80 volunteers,” Mr. Wright said.
Among the runners was Delano Hislops’s wife Helen, who raised $4,100 for the charity.
The oldest person who took part was 67 and the youngest was 22. While it was not a competitive events, individual times were kept for participant’s own records.
Mr. Wright said the event, which attracted some from Cayman’s active running scene, appeared to appeal to “a different of people than the usual walkers and joggers” one normally sees at such occasions. “A lot were people who had someone affected by cancer and wanted to participate in their memory,” he said.
Prizes were given for the first people to register for the event and to those who ran/walked on all three days and covered the entire 45 miles. About half of those who took part covered the whole distance.
Next year’s PACE event is already scheduled and will be held on the long public holiday weekend for Constitution Day on 29 and 30 June and 1 July.