Macken adapts as asthma hits

The Cayman Islands Triathlon is approaching, and Celine Macken, the sport’s queen, is preparing as hard as she has ever done since arriving here nearly 30 years ago. 

Macken was the fastest female at last week’s 10-mile time trial from Paradise Seaside Grill to Grand Harbour roundabout and back. 

She was 17th overall in 26 minutes, 33 seconds and was satisfied with her time, although there was not much female competition. 

The only other women competitors were not cycling specialists. They were Wendy Hoo-Sue (31:04) and Nora Balderamos (31:09). 

The time trial was won by Jerome Ameline (21:06), with Steven Abbott a second behind him, and Daniel Cummings (22:11) third. 

“With the fast girls missing, I don’t consider it much of a victory,” Macken said. “I wanted to see how I figured amongst the guys.” 

Sunday is Macken’s long ride day, so after the time trial she went for a two-hour session. “One friend said I didn’t go hard enough if I had energy for another 40 miles.” 

The Cayman Islands Triathlon is on Nov. 1 from Public Beach. Macken, 55, enjoyed the time trial because “it took me out of my comfort zone and I had to depend on my own steam, instead of on others pulling me along.” 

She said she is in good shape to tackle the Olympic distance of 1,500 meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run. 

“I need to do more swimming training, but don’t like sharing the sea with seaweed and sea itch, so I haven’t been doing enough recently.” 

Her running is also below par, so she will continue to work on it with deepwater running and time on her bike with power cranks, as her body cannot take a lot of road running mileage anymore. 

Macken also has to deal with exercise-induced asthma which she developed two years ago. 

No matter what happens in the meantime, though, chances are she will line up on the day and compete, as she has done since 1987. 

Celine Macken is in good shape. - PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD
Celine Macken is in good shape. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD