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Marathon: A runaway hit!
02 December, 2013

Source: Ron Shillingford, Cayman Compass

Tag yourself in our photos from the Marathon....

More than 1,300 participated in total, the most in the 11 stagings of the event. Team Diabetes from Canada had a huge presence again, pulling in 89 runners as well as a dozen supporters. There were 250 children in the kids fun race.  

The 26.2 mile marathon was won by former champ Justin Grunewald, 27, an American from Minneapolis who smashed the course record in 2 hours 36 minutes 24 seconds two years ago.  

Grunewald dropped out due to injury after 18 miles last year, but this time he was better prepared and far fitter. Although he did not improve his own record, his time of 2:42:38 was almost 14 minutes faster than that of second-place Steve Speirs (2:56:18). 

Speirs, 47, won the race in 2009 and 2010, but once he knew Grunewald had entered, he was resigned to finishing second to an athlete 20 years younger.  

It was a double celebration for the Grunewalds as Justin’s wife Gabriele was the fastest female in the half-marathon (1:21:12). She, too, is a world-class athlete, specializing in the 1500 meters on track. She actually treated this run as her usual Sunday long training run.  

Fastest woman in the marathon was Doan Pham from Houston in 3:42:51, who was seventh overall.  

In the half-marathon, Dominic Corbin (1:21:06) overcame niggling knee problems to beat perennial champ Marius Acker. They were split by Gabriele Grunewald, who was second-fastest overall in the half, finished only six seconds behind Corbin and 26 ahead of Acker. 

Race director Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding Ltd. said: “It was fantastic. The feedback from the runners is that it was great and that is what we live for. The water stops were fantastic; we’re hearing great things about them. 

“Justin Grunewald said it’s the best place he has run for water stops and I’m so pleased. They are all volunteers and they are amazing and put a lot of effort into it and deserve that praise.  

“Having our course record holder come back is really cool. His wife ran and almost beat Dominic. When you have runners like that, it’s exciting for everybody and it’s great to have both of them in the race.” 

From 5 a.m on Sunday outside Breezes by the Bay on the Waterfront, hundreds ran, walked or even pushed their strollers along South Sound up to Prospect Point and back in the marathon, half marathon or four-person team relay, plus there was Paralympian Brian Siemann in the 13.1 mile half marathon in his wheelchair.