Tri intro got kids really trying

Triathletes of all ages met at Camana Bay for the sixth annual Solomon Harris Try-This-Tri.

With more than 40 adults and 100 children taking part in five events, there was something for all the family in this popular Queen’s Birthday holiday tradition.

The adults started the morning off early with a sprint distance triathlon consisting of an 800-meter swim in the Camana Bay pool, a 12-mile bike along the bypass and a 3-mile run through the Camana Bay Paseo.

Designed to encourage newbies to try a triathlon, there were a number of new faces toeing the start line.

The emphasis was on having fun with no requirement to complete the entire distance. Visiting tourists from South Carolina Nathan and Stacy Hughes took advantage of that fact, having to compete on upright touring bikes which they hired for the day.

They gamely took on the bike course and, working for every inch of the loop, they both completed before moving on to the run.

While the event was non-competitive, it appears no-one told David Lim, who was first to complete the event in a very speedy time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 31 seconds.

First female runner home was Gill Comins in 1:18:34. She said, “The event was superbly organized and I want to give a special mention to Sarah Superfine and Claire Griffin ,who executed a magnificent job as race directors. In fact, all of the volunteers were excellent.

“It was great to see so many people experiencing triathlon from the youngsters to retirees both novices and seasoned athletes.

“The event was an absolute credit to the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association and I’m very much looking forward to their next one.”

For Kendall Ebanks of the Flashy Nation training team it was a challenge. “The event was great. I had a lot of fun doing it,” he said.

“It was well organized and the officials did a great job of keeping everyone on track. I had a very good swim in the pool but a tough ride as it was very windy until I reached the run. Overall, the event was a success. We from Flashy Nation had a great time and I’m looking forward to doing it again.”

The super sprint event was next to start. It consisted of a 400m swim in the pool, a 6-mile bike which ran loops around the school and a 1.5-mile run which also coursed around the school.

Adults, children and teams took part in this distance. For Stacey Foster, it was her first attempt at triathlon and she seemed to have caught the bug.

“I really wasn’t sure about doing this,” she said. “But I really enjoyed it. When is the next one?”

For visitor Michelle Mercier, it was about the memory of her late husband. “It was my husband who always did these events,” she said. “Now I want to do it for him. I am recovering from a bike accident so competing on this course felt very safe and comfortable for me. Now I can sit on the beach!”

The junior sprint saw more than 20 children take on a 200m swim, 3-mile bike and one-mile run course. This is a challenging distance for these youngsters and they worked extremely hard for their finishers medals. Lively competition was seen between the teams.

The final triathlon event of the morning was the Kids Tri of a 50m swim, half-mile bike and half-mile run. Kids aged 4 to 9 took part and it was a magnificent spectacle to see more than 50 children pushing themselves around the course with big smiles.

For especially the younger kids on small bikes with stabilizers, it was a tough cycle, but no-one gave up. Medals were proudly awarded as each child crossed the finish line.

The morning’s events finished with the Tyke’s Dash that invited the youngest athletes (4 and under) to race across the football pitch.

Some serious future competitors were spotted in this event and the older kids watched on. One little boy laughed the length of the field, a new breathing method perhaps.

Swimming coach Dominic Ross was there on behalf of the event hosts Camana Bay. “Camana Bay Sport & Recreation congratulates the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association, it’s dedicated volunteers and of course all of the participants for a sixth consecutive successful Try-This-Tri event,” he said.

“It is all too easy at times to get caught up in the glamor of elite level sports and neglect to remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

“These introductory level events are of great benefit and importance to the community. The physical, social, mental and other benefits of participation in sporting activities cannot be overstated. We are pleased to have again been able to support this wonderful event.”

A random prize draw rounded off the morning, with prizes from a number of Camana Bay businesses, plus food from Bay Market and frozen yoghurt from Ginger Lily, all athletes left satisfied.

Griffin said, “Thank you to all the wonderful, reliable volunteers who helped this morning and also to Solomon Harris and Camana Bay.

“Thanks also to TI Swim School for helping in the pool and Phoenix Athletic Club for timing assistance. We are looking forward to next year’s event already. Put the Queen’s Birthday 2015 in your diaries.”

Results for the Sprint distance triathlon can be found on www.triathlon.ky/try-this-tri.

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