Creasey runs champ Courtis down

The first A Step Ahead Physiotherapy Stroke and Stride series attracted more than 120 entrants and many teams to signal the start of the triathlon season after the summer break.

The 400 meters swim and two-mile run along South Church Street on Wednesday was organized by the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association.

There are a series of build-up events scheduled leading up to the Cayman Islands Triathlon on Nov. 1 and anyone of any age and ability has the chance to prepare through these events.

The first of three Stroke and Stride events was won by Ben Creasey, an extremely fast runner and strong swimmer who represents Guernsey in international events. He won a team silver at last month’s Island Games.

Creasey’s swimming is not in the same class as Matthew Courtis though. The 20-year-old Oxford University engineering student has just become its swimming captain and he is hoping to qualify to represent Barbados at the Rio Olympics next year.

Third was perennial Stroke and Stride champion Marius Acker who was just ahead of Creasey after the swim but could not match the accountant’s speed on the run.

No times nor other positions were available at press time although, for the first time, athletes had timing chips for both splits.

Courtis is the defending champion. He was resigned to possibly losing to Creasey in this first race, but is confident of victory in next Wednesday’s race – a 600m swim and two-mile run. The following week, he expects to retain his title by opening an unassailable gap in the 800m swim and not having to worry about running too hard over the two miles.

Many other local athletes competed, including Courtis’s mother Caroline, who did the run leg with her team partner swimming.

Other familiar faces included Conrad Proud, Lizzie Berns, Kendall Ebanks, Jody McFarland, Samuel Young, Marlon Crowe Jr., Rodger Yeomans, Chris Sutton, Michelle Bailey and Michael Lockwood.