Ten intrepid BVI triathletes headed over to St John on Sunday, September 2nd, for the 13th annual Love City Triathlon & Aquathon organized by the St John Landsharks.
The day consisted of two events – an aquathon for those who don’t have a bike and the famed triathlon. The triathlon started with a half mile swim, a 14 ‘St John mile’ bike ride and finished with a 4.2 mile run. Relay teams could be entered in the triathlon. The aquathon comprised of a half mile swim followed by a 3 mile run. This year, a new course was introduced.
Individuals came from all over the islands including St Thomas, St Croix, BVI as well as the competing islanders. An inter-island competition across the Caribbean was also in force which saw St Croix get their island etched into the trophy yet again, being historically the island which has won the title most.
Prior registration took place on Saturday afternoon and a group gathering was held at Maho bay camp restaurant, running through the rules and courses for old and new. Despite the organizer repeatedly shouting “if it’s wet it is extremely dangerous for the cyclists!” – we were very lucky with the weather on the day as it was the perfect conditions for the event.
On the day, when all athletes were marked up with their numbers, the swim kicked off at 7.00am for the triathletes. The first out of the water was Tony Lane from St John, part of the winning relay team at a time of 12.21. Second out was Sissel Holloway from St Croix at 13:49, competing individually in the female tri event, overall taking second spot. The quickest cyclist was Ralph Antolino with an impressive 1:00:52, despite the tough hills and steep declines in the course, he was also part of the winning relay team. The fastest run was an impressive 31:14 by Kevin Chipman, again part of the winning relay trio.
Brett Lynn from St John took first place overall in the mens competition. Eric Buck, Mike Klein, Rafael Muilenburg and Glen Miller. BVI’s Thomas Parish placed 9th in the competitive men’s field in a time of 2:31.
Therea Harper from St Croix came in first for the females overall, followed by Sissel Holloway, Gail Vento and BVI’s Kay Reddy taking fourth spot and receiving one of the fantastic locally hand blown glass awards.
The relay team was won by the St John male trio, who no-one could compete with. Gillian Howe, Debbie Bell and Jeff George from the BVI took fourth spot in the relay team event and Allison Beer and Daniel Mitchell also from the BVI took fifth place. Debbie Bell said “we were happy that the BVI mixed relay teams came in fourth and fifth, it was an extremely enjoyable experience and very competitive”. A total of 33 individuals took part in the triathlon overall.
The aquathon had a later start at 7:30am. The first out of the water was Kate Hanna with a time of 14:07, ranking overall fourth in the females. The winner overall was Ashley Benson with a total time of 40:32. Devon Nemire-Pepe with an impressive running time of 23:51 ranked second overall and Julie Sommer third. BVI females came in sixth for Joanna Dunne, Anna Kinkead 11th and 13th for Jenny McCleary.
Matt Crafts took the male race with a total time of 37:05 came in first in the aquathon followed by Austin Guiles, Adam Thill and Peter Hassen. A total of 25 participants completed the aquathon.
A healthy hearty breakfast including home baked cookies was served to all participants as well as receiving an event t shirt, medal and complimentary special brewed beer on St John which was well deserved by all.
The event was exceptionally organised and could only have taken place with all the volunteers that put it together and were out on the course on the day. Event organizer, Louise Wearmouth sums up the event: “The event was a success on all fronts. The turnout was high, the weather was wonderful, and the atmosphere was great. We couldn’t have asked for more. It’s fantastic to see our neighbors from St Thomas, St Croix, and Tortola come out to participate. It’s always fun to get an island mix together. We hope it’s not only a challenging event, but a fun one as well, and that everyone finishes the day having had a good time.”
Check out the full results here: St John Landsharks