The first Aquathlon Sea Swim and Run event took place at Governors Beach on Saturday, attracting 78 participants, including 24 individuals and 27 two-person teams who competed in an 800-meter sea swim, followed by a 3,000-meter run.
The race was a joint event by the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association and 345 Athletics Club, designed to add another dimension of competition for Cayman’s athletes and build camaraderie between the two sports.
CIASA race director for Open Water Swimming, Duke Sullivan, said: “It was nice to see our CARIFTA athletes from swimming and track teams up for an enjoyable event. To be able to partner with 345 Athletics Club and create this race in which our elite athletes, kids and parents alike were able to take part … made it a special day .… We look forward to hosting this event for years to come.”
The race started at 3:45 p.m. with swimmers making an in-water start, heading north toward West Bay for 400 meters, around the turn buoy and back to Governors Beach for the handover to their running teammate, or to put running shoes on for those going solo in the individual category.
Out of the water first were seasoned sea swimmers John Bodden with Team Bird Gang and Liam Henry with Team Young Distance in just over 10 minutes, heading into the transition together handing their timing chips over to runners Will Edwards and Joshua Steen, respectively.
The final result was up to the runners who headed north on West Bay Road, turned at Public Beach car park, down the Esterley Tibbetts bypass before making the final turn at Cost-u-Less and back to Governors Beach and the finish line.
First across the line was Will Edwards (Team Bird Gang) finishing his 3K run in 10:45.7 for an overall team time of 21:17.8. The quickest run of the day and the only person to break 10 minutes for the 3K was Victor Magalhaes in 9:58.0, moving his team “Los Dos” from seventh place after the swim to second overall with a combined finish time was 21:39.0.
The first all-female team across the line was “Slow Down for What” with swimmer Kyra Rabess handing over to one of Cayman’s top female distance runners Ava Hider, who ran the quickest female 3K of the day. The quickest solo competitor out of the water was Jasmine Lambert-Wrag in 12 minutes and 14 seconds.
CIASA Technical Director Bailey Weathers said, “It was an exciting event and something different for our athletes. I am sure this will become an annual event and hope to see age groups and mixed teams added next year. The weather was perfect with flat calm seas and there wasn’t much traffic on the road for our runners.”