Ramos sprints to duathlon title

Pedro Lopez Ramos achieved his ambition of a first major title as a multisport athlete in winning the Genesis Trust Duathlon and marked the changing of the guard in the process. 

The 24-year-old Caymanian has only been in serious training since the start of the year after making the transition from bodybuilding, and it looks like he will need that weight lifting ability to pick up all the trophies as he improves  

He said his time was 56 minutes, 9 seconds on Sunday which was still way off the 54:10 course record set by Marius Acker six years ago.  

The event is one of the most taxing on the local sporting calendar, organized by the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association. It started from Hurley’s in Grand Harbour and consisted of a 2-mile run, followed by a 12-mile bike, finishing with another 2-mile run.  

Acker was undisputed duathlon champ, having won it in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and was also half of the winning team in 2007 and 2010.  

This time, though, he had to settle for second place, although his time of 57:05 was only five seconds slower than last year. Considering that illness had hampered the 42-year-old South African’s preparations, he did well to complete so quickly.  

Third was Bill Elliott who is not generally known for his prowess on the bike.  

Fastest female was Arwen Lawson, who lives in America and loves coming here to compete. She won the women’s category in the Cayman Triathlon last November.  

Ramos said, “I had a little bike problem but managed to get through well and managed to do what I had to do.  

“Once on the bike, I knew I was going to open up the gap, and on the last run I just concentrated on maintaining that gap.” 

A cycling specialist, Ramos now turns his attention to the sport’s May Classics series which starts Sunday with a 5K time trial from Paradise Bay. Ramos expects to finish in the top three. 

Then he goes for the Cayman national championship road races in June. After the cycling season wraps up, he wants to improve his swimming to become a rounded triathlete.  

Before Christmas, Ramos was still bodybuilding and weighed 230 pounds. He has come down to 188 just by sensible nutrition and concentrating on the cardio that cycling and running demand.  

A gracious Acker said, “I’m happy being only five seconds off last year’s time. Considering I trained on the bike only four times, I’m happy that I was beaten by a guy who was better than me on the day.” 

Cyclist Jerome Ameline won the team event, with Miriam Juarez, a physician from Puebla, Mexico, who specializes in sports medicine. She was on vacation and runs marathons to keep fit. She intends to compete in the Cayman Marathon in December.  

She ran the Los Angeles Marathon last month in 3 hours, 28 minutes, so Ameline was assured she was capable of fast times.  

They finished in just under 52 minutes. Ameline started the bike faster than he normally does but slowed in the second half. Nevertheless, with Juarez’s blistering pace, they stayed well ahead of second-place team Jason Saunders and Risa Golberg. No wonder Juarez finished with the brightest smile of the day. 

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Pedro Lopez Ramos got the victory he craved.

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The Genesis Trust Duathlon had another great turnout on Sunday morning. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD