Kendall Ebanks is preparing for his first Cayman Islands Triathlon next month and says his preparations are spot on.
With the rest of the Flashy Nation group – mainly Caymanians who train for triathlons together – Ebanks said they are training on a daily basis to be superfit for the Olympic distance triathlon of 1500 meter swim, 40 kilometer bike and 10k run on Nov. 2.
“We are working hard and consistently,” the 23-year-old boxer and fitness trainer said. “Last month’s Miami Tri boosted me a ton. Now I know I can complete the Olympic distance and figured out weaknesses and strengths so it helped a lot.”
Ebanks had a great debut triathlon in This Escape to Miami Triathlon, which started in bizarre circumstances.
Competing in the collegiate bracket, the world class fighter who wants to qualify for the Rio Olympics in two years’ time either in boxing or triathlon, competed with 2,000 others.
The event involved getting a boat holding 300 people to take them over to Escape Island. The start was unconventional.
“About 400m out the boat crew turned off the engines and told everyone to line up on the left or right, then they told you to jump and swim,” said Ebanks.
“When we hit the water, it was pitch black and you can only hear the person next to you and hear the music up ahead.”
When they reached the island, they could see four more boats coming in the distance letting off over 1,000 more competitors.
“You could see hundreds of white swim caps coming in the moonlight. We waited on the island for about two hours till the sun rose and the race started. It was so clustered, you couldn’t swim good till about 800m into the race.”
Then it was transition time with a maze of 2,000 bikes. They rode to South Beach twice, taking the bridge eight times. Surprisingly for him, Ebanks did well on the bridges, catching at least 100 riders. “That was the best ride I’ve done thus far, good splits and strong.”
“On the way back I picked up the pace and had a good run,” he said. “I talked to myself and pushed through as I watched people ahead of me vomiting and stopping. I ended with a sprint finish with a friend from the Florida International University.”
Ebanks placed a credible 210 out 2,054 and accomplished what he wanted, which was to get below three hours, which he did comfortably in 2 hours, 48 minutes.
“I have time to improve that and get lower for the Cayman tri, as I know guys here are fast,” he said. He is aiming for a 2:40 finish.
Amongst his Flashy Nation rivals with whom he has trained for months are Sam Young, Marlon Crowe Jr., DJ Evans, Kevin Connolly and coach William Balderamos.
“Who [do] I think will win? Haha. Coach Will is going to take it. We will also have a few Flashy Nation members that will be on teams, including Pedro Lopez Ramos. Marco Marinda will also be in the mix,” he said.
Ebanks was intending to box at a tournament in Florida next month, as well as Tafari Ebanks, but it is too close to the Cayman Islands Triathlon to do both.
Ebanks said, “I want to thank the followers and supporters of Flashy Nation. You are always greatly appreciated. Anyone who wants be a part of Flashy Nation – beginners, novices or elite – it doesn’t matter, you’re invited to train with us.
“We welcome the youth of the Cayman Islands to come and join in the fun. We want to build more athletes on this island who are blessed with talent.”
He added, “My simple advice for first timers in the Cayman tri is go in and give it your best. Don’t worry, take the distance off your mind and take it one stage at a time, stay hydrated is most important because it’s a long race.”