It’s about time I wrote an update about the amazing trip which Beth and I recently did to the beautiful Bahamas. I had never been there before and I had always wanted to go, so when the opportunity to compete in the UWC Triathlon Bahamas came up I jumped at it.
We arrived on the Monday, a full six days prior to the race, which gave us plenty of time to explore the island of Nassau and relax. Our house mates for the week were Leon Griffin and his wife Meridee, and Ben Hoffman and his girlfriend Kelsey, so we definitely had a fun crew to enjoy paradise with.
One of the highlights of the trip had to be our two days on the island in the Exuma chain called Highbourne Cay. The six of us boarded a sea plane and took the quick 20 minute flight from Nassau. We stepped off the plane and instantly fell in love with the place. We basically had a private island all to ourselves!
Several other triathletes joined us the next day and we enjoyed some fun activities, such as spear fishing, a boat ride to Iguana Island and a visit to a remote sandbar island (a cay) that only exists at low tide. We ate amazing food and even had a Halloween party.[stag_one_half] [/stag_one_half] [stag_one_half_last]
Mark, our host, decided we should have a swim race, so we all jumped in boats and whizzed around the island to our starting point. I am not sure what was more daunting, the fact that I hadn’t really swum since Kona or that Sara McLarty, the best female swimmer in the sport, was in the race. Did I mention we would have to swim the last few hundred meters through a known shark feeding ground! With $1,000 up for the male and female winners the pace was on and after a brief time holding the lead I slipped behind and struggled through to a 4th place finish. Sara of course not only won the female race but also took over-all honors! Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end and we were on the sea plane back to Nassau. The fun didn’t end there though as we were soon at a wine tasting which led into a welcome dinner with all the other athletes.
Race day was soon upon us and it was time to switch from relax mode to race mode. I was able to keep myself in contention out of the swim and several of us set out on the four loop bike leg. I would by lying if I said I wasn’t struggling. I had only ridden my bike a few times since Kona and I was surprised how quickly I lost my rhythm and strength. Ben Collins set the pace up front and I was going to have to work to get up to him. In the last few miles I threw everything at an attack on the group and managed to get across the 30 second gap to Ben as we dismounted at T2. Basically that was all I had and as we set off on the beautiful trail run I felt like I was in the closing miles of a marathon. I slowly drifted back through the field to finish seventh, which three weeks post Ironman and against some very accomplished Olympic distance athletes, was a pleasing way to end the year. I was really proud of Beth for getting through the day after crashing her bike the day before the race. Competing in any race is hard enough, let alone doing it with fresh road rash. She is one tough cookie!
I can’t thank Mark , Barbara-Ann and Chris enough for giving us the opportunity to experience their beautiful part of the world. I can’t wait to return in 2014 and hope I can influence all of you to consider doing the race with me!
November 3, 2013
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10kResultsElite men1. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1:48:52
2. Tim Don (GBR) 1:48:53
3. Ben Collins (USA) 1:50:34
4. Leon Griffin (AUS) 1:52:10
5. Barrett Brandon (USA) 1:52:30
6. Ben Hoffman (USA) 1:52:50
7. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 1:53:12