This weekend sees the return of the
popular Reefathlon cycling series with a new format that promises to be a hit
with all participants.
The event, which will start and
finish at the Reef Resort in East End, takes cyclists away from the hustle and
bustle of George Town and out onto the quiet roads of East End, making it the
perfect cycling experience for those who do not feel comfortable with cars and
trucks all around them.
Cyclists will take on the famed
19-mile Reefathlon circuit, which takes participants over varied terrain and
provides ever changing scenery, from inland forests to the windswept coastline
past Blowholes. The first loop of the circuit will be a ‘no man, woman or child
left behind’ ride, with all participants sticking together. This is the perfect
opportunity to experience riding with other cyclists as well as chatting to the
more experienced cyclists on the Island, who are otherwise only glimpsed as a
blur. The group will wind its way from the Reef Resort along the Queen’s
Highway before turning left onto Frank Sound Road. From there the cyclists will
go past the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park before turning left
at the junction with Sea View Road towards East End. The group will pass
through East End before finishing the first lap at the Reef Resort. Although subsequent
laps are open to all participants, the brakes will come off as the serious
racers start fighting it out for the victory. The same loop will be completed,
this time at speed, with the ladies and juniors sprinting it out for positions
at the end of the second lap. All those with energy left in the tank can take
on a third lap, with the open men and masters sprinting it out for the win at
the end of 57 miles of racing.
The field for the event will be
very open this time, with a number of regular competitors taking part in
triathlons and bike races in the United States over the weekend.
A number of triathletes, including
Johan Heath and Ray Welds, who took the top two steps in the recent Cayman Road
Race Championships, will be in Augusta, Georgia for a half Ironman triathlon,
while Steve Abbott and Marius Deysel will be taking part in the Six Gap
Century, also in Georgia.
However, with the current depth of
talent in local cycling, there will be no shortage of challengers for the title
and the event is certain to deliver another worthy champion.
The success of the event can be
ascribed to its social nature, before, during and after the ride. Many regular
participants spend the Saturday night before the ride at the Reef Resort, with
the resort offer special room and race packages which includes a beachfront
studio room for two as well as one race entry for CI$99. A breakfast on the
patio is also included in the race entry fee, as is an event t-shirt, a Reef
‘green’ water bottle and a donation to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
Pre race entries on the
www.reefathlon.com website will be accepted until 5pm on Saturday for $15,
while race entry will also be available on race morning from 6.10am to 6.40am.
Cyclists who have entered online will also have to collect their race numbers
during the morning’s registration session. The group will set off at 7am to
make the best use of the cooler weather in the morning.
* For more information on the
event, visit reefathlon.com.