Memorial bike race to raise cash for heart fund

| 25/10/2013

(531CCC): This weekend will see the return of the most intense race on the Cayman Islands cycling calendar, The Beatman Ebanks Memorial Velo Festival.  First held in 2011, the event comprises three races over two days starting this Saturday morning at 6:30am with a 10 mile Individual time trial starting at Frank Sound Junction followed by a criterium in central George Town at 4:30pm. The event culminates with a 65 mile road race at 6:30am on Sunday starting and ending at West Shore Centre. The late Phillip ‘Beatman’ Ebanks was a well-known and loved businessman and cyclist/sportsman throughout the Cayman Islands.

He assisted many of Cayman top cyclists, some of whom became Olympians. He was a unique, funny, kind gregarious and generous individual.  Despite being physically fit however, he was diagnosed and eventually died of ‘Heart Disease’ on 26 October 2006. This year’s race weekend also coincides the anniversary of his death.

Heart and circulatory disease, known as cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the #1 health problem in the Cayman Islands/world which causes early deaths, long-term disabilities and widespread suffering. To help bring awareness to this disease we have once again teamed up with the Heart Health Centre, founded by Beatman’s son Phillip, to put on a cycling event in his memory, which we aim to make it an annual event.

"Seven years ago, my father died at a very young age due to heart disease, this despite being an avid cyclistand long distance walker who exercised regularly, until his first heart attack,” said Phillip. “He was not a smoker or a drinker, either.  This event in his memory, which The Heart Health Centre, and our sister companies, is pleased to support is particularly fitting considering his long standing involvement in cycling over the years. I hope that more than just an event in his memory, however, that it may also be a reminder for people to be proactive about their own heart health – by eating a healthy diet, exercising daily and being screened regularly for heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol."

The  event organizer Barry Jones added:  “It is really a pleasure to put on this event because Beatman was well know to me and was instrumental in my development as a cyclist and many of Cayman’s Olympic cyclist including the likes of CICA President Craig Merren. The first staging of the event was highly successful and we are once again adding an international flare by inviting some of Jamaica’s top male and female cyclist including Marloe Rodman who finished 4th in the road race at last weekend Caribbean Championship and who is respected on the international cycling scene. We expect to have 3 males 2 females from Jamaica to be part of the event.

“As with the first event we will also have fun activities for the kids at the criterium in George Town. The criterium or ‘crit’ as it is known is fast, fun and spectator friendly so we invite the public to come out and be entertained”

You can register online at Cayman Active which closes at 6pm on Friday 25th or offline at The Heart Health Centre, West Shore Centre on Thursday 24. Net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Cayman Heart Fund.


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