By RENALDO DORSETT
ONE of the fastest growing sports in the country, the Bahamas’ top triathletes are preparing to face the competitors from around the Caribbean this weekend.
The Bahamas will field a team to compete at the 2nd edition of the Caribbean Triathlon and Duathlon Championships, to be hosted Sunday in Key Biscayne, Florida.
This event is for age group athletes only, aged 12 and older. Male and female winners in each event, each age group and division will receive an award and will be named Caribbean Triathlon/Duathlon Aquabike Age Group Champion.
The standard triathlon includes a 0.5-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike and 6.2-mile run. The sprint triathlon comprises a 0.25-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 3.1-mile run while the duathlon includes a one-mile run, 10-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
Dr Kelly Kramp is one of the top-ranked triathletes in the Bahamas and was a member of the team that competed in the inaugural event last May.
“We’ve got a good strong team, and I think we’ve got an even better team than we had last year so I think we should definitely expect some medals. The teams have been training really hard so I expect some good performances from this group of really talented athletes,” he said.
In 2016, the Bahamas’ team came away with 16 podium finishes, including 11 first-place awards.
The team will compete against triathletes from Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago and The Virgin Islands.
“The unfortunate part was the Caribbean Championships wasn’t well attended by many of the countries in the region but this year we expect that to improve with all the attention the sport continues to receive,” he said. “I think that event set the stage for what we are about to face the remainder of the year. In terms of our training regimen since last year, I think ‘more intensity’ is probably the best way to put it.”
Several races now fill the country’s triathlon calendar - three brand new in the last three years.
With the Conchman, Potcakeman, Pineappleman, UWC, Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend, Breeze-a-thon and BMC Dri Tri, the popularity of the sport has increased over the years.
“I think the triathlon community is doing a great job of expanding the profile just by having more events to allow more Bahamians to look at the sport and say ‘I like that, I want to go into it.’ There are younger and younger people getting involved and with that starting to happen, I think in the next decade you will see some very talented triathletes coming out of the Bahamas,” Kramp said.
“Barbados is talking about hosting a CARIFTA Championships in the near future, so you can see at that level the sport is moving to the forefront. Last September was the first year we competed in the World Championships, which is a massive undertaking, so as the sport continues to grow worldwide, it’s good to see the Bahamas as a part of that.”