A beautiful Nevis day greeted all the competitors on Sunday March 4th, as the Team Nevis Cycle & Triathlon Club marked another milestone in their 10 year existence..
Sponsored by the Carino Health Spa for the 3rd year, the race celebrated its 5th birthday, this event just keeps getting bigger and better, with this years inclusion of Nevis first Junior Triathlon.
The newly formed The Cheetahs, Tomorrows Triathletes kids club that grew out of the junior program run recently by the Nevis Cycle Club, made its debut at this annual event, with 32 junior athletes participating ranging in age from 6 to 15.
It was a glorious sight to see as parents and onlookers gathered on the banks of Gallows Bay for the swim start, distances of 50, 100 and 150 mtrs had been set according to age and ability, followed by preset numbers of bike and run laps along Samuel Hunkins Drive, specially closed to traffic for this event.
All of the kids received finishing medals and trophies to reward their commitment and enthusiasm, and we all look forward to a continuation of the program, to help develop our young athletes.
Congratulations to all the juniors who took part, you deserved all the applause the assembled crowd gave.
The Juniors were a hard act to follow, but the group of adult athletes that gathered at the waters edge were more than ready to strut there stuff and make a mark, male, female, young and not so young were there, 12 year old Shaun Brear lined up with 73 years young Doctor Gordon Avery, Paula Price, David & Leslie Armentrout, and the mighty Tom Dutton. They came from as far afield as The Netherlands Die Denke triathlon club from Apeldoorn, Canada, USA, and England, plus regional representation from Grenada, Trinidad, Antigua, St Kitts and of course the very resplendent Team Nevis Cycle & Triathlon Club, in their brand new tri suits, courtesy of the Carino Health Spa.
The event was started with the Try-A-Triers, the people who have set their minds to having a go at this sport called triathlon, Leslie Armentrout had her first go last year and was back to improve on her results and looking tanned and fit, she lined up against Jenifer Neisner from Canada, and a group of young men representing the Jessups All Stars youth club. Leslie surprised everyone, especially the youths, when she exited 1st from the 250 mtr swim, and it was only the youth of rising young competitor Godfrey Todd, who passed her on the run section, that prevented Leslie from claiming the top spot, taking a very well deserved 2nd place and Jennifer Neisner in 3rd.
The main event had the olympic and sprint distance athletes start together, 750mtrs (1 lap) for sprint and 1500 for olympic (2 laps), with onlookers cheering from the sidelines the go signal was given and the race was on. OECS champion Reggie Douglas was not only intent on holding on to his crown, he was also looking for his first overall win, the gauntlet was down.
The choppy conditions in the bay had moved the 1st marker bouy making the course closer to 850 mtrs, a real downer for the not so strong swimmers, however, everyone soldiered on and the first person out of the water was Jackie Jodhan from Trinidad, in a time of 16:54 for her one lap, followed closely by Mr America Tom Dutton.
Event organizers Winston Crooke and Greg Phillip had decided that come what may they were entering the event, taking on the sprint course gave them time to finish and be back organizing before the Olympic athletes came in. Tom Dutton was a blur on the bike, posting a fabulous 35:26 for the 20km bike , second fastest time was Greg, Tom maintained his lead coming in with a time of 1:17:49, Jackie was 1st female and second overall, Winston being passed easily by Jackie on the run, took the 2nd male overall spot, followed by Ken Katz(USA).
With the sprint athletes finishing earlier all attention switched to the Olympic, with Reggie Douglas out in front after a 33:13 swim he was on the bike and moving well, Gilles Janssen and James Weekes in hot pursuit, however Reggie went on to post the fastest bike time of the day in 1:07:38 for the 40km course, Reggie then took off for the run and never looked like losing his lead finishing in a total time of 2:26:26. In second place was Gilles Janssen, third James Weekes and fourth Keith Jones, a great showing for the cycle club on their home turf.
In the very busy womens Olympic, with more female entrants than males, Janine Herweijer was the standout completing the course in 2:51:24 ahead of St Kitts Jessica Geist and new OECS female champion Clare Morrall of Grenada, Kristina Stoney of Nevis taking 2nd in the under 30 womens in her very first Olympic distance event. Other women taking on the arduous Olympic distance for the first time were Sydney Maas 3rd in women under 30, Sarah Petre-Mears, Gwen Trucco, and Danielle Moreno, all of them completing the course, a fantastic effort. The other story for the women was Miranda Grandison taking 3rd in women 30-49, who despite a valiant effort had to surrender her OECS title to Grenadas Clare Morrall, who finished waving her home countries flag on the finish line.
Reggie Douglas did what he said he would do, he remains the OECS male champion and adds another win to his resume, and on home territory too, he most definitely is becoming one of the top men to beat in the Caribbean region, congratulations to him for a well deserved win.
In all the day was a superb example of what is possible with the right support, and the Nevis Cycle & Triathlon Club has to thank their main sponsor, Jorn Eivik and the Carino Health Spa for their unwavering commitment to the club and its athletes. Other sponsors to mention are Benny Hodge and Carib Breweries who supplied the trophies, drinks, and decorated the main car park, the police for making the area safe for both the juniors and the older athletes. A special mention must also go the volunteers and their amazing co-ordinating duo of Paula & Don Flemming, and Paula Price and Eileen Dutton for the smooth registration process, Collette Weekes and her timing team, and last but not least the general public and the Nevis motorists who once again showed their support for this event.