The tension and excitement will reach crescendo level next week when the Cayman Islands Triathlon, sponsored by Scott’s Equipment is staged.
Sunday witnessed the final build up race at Public Beach and although none of the expected front runners competed, there was another good turnout of over 60.
The triathlon is on 29 November and organizers are hoping for 150-plus entrants. Teams and individuals will compete in the sprint and Olympic length distances.
The Olympic distance is a swim of 1,500 metres, 40k bike and 10k bike with the sprint distance half that.
Scott’s Equipment boosted the triathlon committee’s coffers with $10,000 sponsorship and even have a team competing. Only Scott’s team runner Suzanne Tatum was in Sunday’s third and final build up race. Cyclist Paula Scott was in Cayman Brac and swimmer Sean was worse the wear from enjoying a Pirates’ Week party.
Ray Wells won the sprint event of 500 metres swim, 15k bike and and 3.75k run.
Wendy Buckner’s brother Brent is a keen runner and triathlete in Cayman. Wendy came down from Ottawa for the Pirates’ Week 5k swim but it was postponed because of choppy waters.
She hopes to make it third time lucky because last year the passing of Hurricane Palermo prevented that.
At least on Sunday Wendy could enjoy the build up race. She loved the atmosphere.
‘I think the triathlon will be going just great,’ Wendy said. ‘All the build ups have been remarkably well attended and all the people seem to be having a good time.
‘Brent is running a marathon the thanksgiving weekend so that’s where his focus is right now, but I think you’ll see him doing more triathlon stuff in the season ahead.
‘I am going to try, third time lucky, for a Pirates’ Week 5k swim next year. Last year it was cancelled by Palermo and this time the seas were a bit high and it was cancelled, so I’m going to try again. I’m looking forward to coming back.’
Celine Macken is one of the triathlon organisers and hopes this year’s staging lives up to expectations.
‘It’s been great to see so many new faces in these build ups,’ she said. ‘We know the hardcore are going to come so they’ve been sort of training in the closet intending to give each a hard time on the day.
‘To see so many new faces at the build ups is great. It is so encouraging and a great confidence builder for them.
‘We’ve been blessed with the weather too. The sea has been a bit dodgy but it calmed down today. It’ll be great to see everybody in two weeks’ time, all the teams and individuals.
‘We’re hoping for a record turnout. We’ve had a lot of participation in the Stroke and Strides, the duathlon and the build ups.’
Macken had an unfortunate accident two months ago, breaking her right arm in two places whilst competing in a cycle race.
Thankfully, she’s on the mend and still her usual bubbly self. ‘I’ll be back and swimming by Christmas. As it is, I’m on the team for the triathlon, on the bike. They’re not getting me off the bike! We should be a keen ladies team.’
Of course, not everyone in the triathlon expects to be a champ. Loads of casual weekend warriors will be in the mix, including Thomas Jackson, a 23-year-old veterinary student at St Matthew’s College. He’s doing the individual sprint next week.
‘This is my second triathlon after doing one last year,’ he said. ‘I’m just hoping to finish alive! Someday I’ll do an Ironman, but that’s somewhere five or ten years down the road.’
So what drew him into triathlons? ‘It gets you over a hangover really quick!
‘I’m very much hungover today. Pirates’ Week is the third best holiday in the world after Christmas and Halloween. If I’m not hungover next week I hope to be amongst the winners.’