Triathlon first timer Tony Watts hopes not to disgrace himself when he competes in the Turtle Triathlon in a couple of weeks. Finishing it will be good enough and he hopes not to be last.
The annual Turtle Triathlon is one of the most popular fixtures on Cayman’s sporting calendar. The swim, cycle and run is the ultimate test of any athlete’s all round fitness. Triathlon began in America in the early Eighties and exploded in popularity so fast that it became an Olympic sport in 2000.
Cycling is Watts’ main sport and he bizarrely set a personal record in July by riding for 24 hours without stopping. (Well only to answer calls of nature). He cycled a total of 325 miles. It might have been some sort of international record but Watts did it on the spur of the moment so didn’t think of getting it ratified, sponsored, covered by the media… Who says Englishmen don’t go mad in the midday sun?
The 43-year-old government surveyor entered the first triathlon build up race last month and did well and has improved his swimming – his weakest stage – by taking regular classes. He will compete in the last triathlon build up race on Sunday and then hone himself for the big one on 25 November in the Olympic length of 1,500 metre swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
‘I’ve been hampered by a calf injury so haven’t been able to do much running,’ he said. ‘But today I did a short run and the calf was okay. It’s my swimming that lets me down. In the first build up race I was second last coming out of the water but I managed to pass a lot in the cycling.’
Watts will line up against former triple world champion Spencer Smith, the Turtle Triathlon’s guest pro. Will he beat Smith? ‘Maybe at tying up my shoelaces, but no, I don’t think so.’
* Information about the last build up race and registering for the Cayman Islands Turtle Triathlon are on www.turtletricayman.com.