Mercuryman, Cayman’s unique half iron distance triathlon, is on this weekend at The Reef Resort, East End, and some of the biggest names in the sport will be vying for the coveted podium places.
Former downhill ski champion Lisa Roberts, who is an Ironman and 70.3 specialist, is entered for the event on Sunday. So too is American triathlete and trainer Emily Cocks, Canadian triathlete, dietitian and former ballerina Jennifer Lentzke, as well as USA triathlon coach Kim Schwabenbauer.
Charisa Wernick, a former competitive gymnast, will be competing alongside Cayman’s home- grown triathletes.
All will be pushing themselves in the grueling 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike race and 13.1 mile run – a real test of the athletes’ endurance.
Roberts had a magnificent triathlon and cycling season last year, placing well in every race she entered. Her strengths are her bike/run combination. She is often the fastest run or bike split of the professional women. She teaches bicycle safety classes, volunteers at local events and takes a great interest in helping children lead active, healthy lifestyles.
Last year, she was one of the top 20 female pros at the Ironman World Championships, finishing on the podium at Ironman France, Lake Placid and Los Cabos.
Wernick has also placed high in a variety of events, including the Superfrog half ironman (first), the Weymouth England full (sixth), the St. Andrews half (second) and the San Diego International Triathlon (first).
Lentzke had a string of 70.3 successes in 2014, notably achieving her personal best in the Texas event and finishing in the top 15 at the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon.
Cocks also had a great year, winning the Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove event in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 38 seconds, and the Santa Cruz Triathlon (1:57:06).
Schwabenbauer also excelled last year, placing third in Ironman Melbourne, eighth in the Eagleman 70.3 and second in the Ironman Lake Placid.
Trevor Murphy, race director, is delighted that so many big names have committed to Mercuryman 2015, a testament to the immense respect the event has attained in only its third year.
Locals who compete regularly in triathlons and may be on the starting line for this one include Dale Avery, Conrad Proud, Dave Bennett, Jon Herrick, Gill Comins, Andrea Roach and Jon Rooney.
Murphy is also grateful to Generali Worldwide, the title sponsor of the race. The organizers are calling this event “Race for a Cause” and have pledged the bulk of the proceeds to the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation and to the East End Primary School.
“Generali Mercuryman 2015 will be a truly unique event that will see athletes at the top of their game compete, while at the same time supporting the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation, an important charity that continues to advocate the equality of women and girls in community,” Murphy said.
As well as Generali Worldwide’s generous sponsorship of Mercuryman 2015, organizers thanked Tower, Health City Cayman Islands, EuroCar, Regenexx, CUC, KRyS Global, Cayman National and Caledonian for their support.
For more information, go to www.mercurymantri.com.