Determined athletes at home and abroad are currently training hard for one of the most exciting tests of athletic endurance taking place in the Cayman Islands.
The 2015 Mercuryman half-iron distance triathlon, the only one of its kind in Cayman, takes place Jan. 18, 2015. Not only will athletes participate in this highly regarded race of their athleticism, proceeds raised from the triathlon will go towards two important local causes – the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation and East End Primary School.
Top names in the triathlon world will be competing against Cayman’s own athletes in this incredibly gruelling event that will see participants participate in a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike race and a 13.1 mile run. In previous years, attendance has been extremely high with 150 participants including triathlete pros: American Lisa Ribes in 2014, Pedro Gomes from Portugal, and American Lesley Smith in 2013.
Organizers expect to attract Ribes, Gomes (a now Ironman champion) and Smith back to participate in 2015, as well as Canadian triathlete Angela Naeth – a ten-time 70.3 Ironman champion known for her prowess on the bike. Other big names in the triathlon world looking to attend include Bree Wee, a 70.3 Ironman champion from Hawaii and Leanda Cave, the 2012 Ironman Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 World Champion – the first woman in the history of the sport to win both titles in the same year.
Other prospective competitors include Kim Schwabenbauer, a triathlon coach and dietitian who has several podium finishes in Ironman and has competed multiple times in the Ironman World Champion and Canadian triathlete Jennifer Lentzke, who is new to the professional circuit and has achieved multiple top 10 finishes in the 2014 season.
Race director Trevor Murphy said next year’s event is set to be huge.
“Mercuryman triathlon has attracted some of the biggest names in the sport because we offer an excellent location in which to participate,” Murphy said. “Triathletes can enjoy Cayman’s pleasant tropical climate, clear and warm waters, good roads for cycling and running and an all-round excellent destination which athletes and their families can enjoy during their post-race vacation.”
The 2015 Mercuryman event is being dubbed “Race for a Cause” because organizers have pledged the bulk of the proceeds to be donated to the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation, along with a donation to East End Primary. Murphy said it was important for the event to give back to the community.
“The 2015 Mercuryman promises to be one of the sporting highlights of the year for not only the Cayman Islands, but the Caribbean region, as well as internationally, which means we are able to spotlight the ESRF to a wide audience, an organization that promotes gender equality and a life free of violence for all – an extremely worthwhile cause.
“In addition, the race will take place in East End, so we couldn’t think of a better recipient of some of the proceeds than East End Primary, which has been a part of the event since its inception. The children volunteer on the run course interacting with the athletes and see first-hand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The organizers also visit the school each year.”
The swim course starts and ends on the beach by The Reef Resort in East End, consisting of two laps of 0.6 miles each. The bike course starts and ends at the transition area in the parking area by The Reef Resort, and also consists of two laps – 28 miles each. The run course starts and ends in the parking area by The Reef Resort.
Murphy addressed the need for support from sponsors.
“Sponsors are highly encouraged to get involved in this very visible, high-profile sporting event and valuable sponsorship opportunities are still available for organizations both local and international, to partner with one of the most unique and challenging endurance events on the Cayman sports calendar. Don’t miss your chance to promote and grow sport in the Cayman Islands and at the same time help to raise funds for organizations associated with children, gender equality and education.”