Nevis Off-Road Triathlon
After a rough start due to some incorrect information about ferry times and regulations, a large St. Kitts and Ross University contingent including myself arrived at Wheel World at Oualie Beach for the first Nevis Cycle Club Off-Road Triathlon.
This was my first off-road tri. I use my mountain bike solely for communiting to school and the occasional trip to the grocery store. I’ve only been off road with it a few times and must admit I am rather unskilled and quite scared of riding on trails. I was very hesitant to see what the race had in store for me. I had been studying the XTERRA edition of Triathlete magazine all week and just tried to remember what I had read while I prepared my transition spot and got ready for the race.
The swim was a two-loop 450m course at Oualie Beach. The water was calm and clear which made for a fast swim. I was still feeling not 100% recovered from my big race two weeks ago, so I started the swim conservatively at the back and slowly worked my way through the pack. Jamie fought hard and was difficult to pass and Jill and I battled it out for the last part of the swim. Jill and I exited the water together as we ran to the transition area. I tried to make quick work of transition but my decision to wear gloves for the mountain bike ride gave me some problems. I lost some time struggling with putting them on and was then on my way. Any hints as to how to get them on wet hands quickly?
After climbing over Hurricane Hill I could see Reggie and Lisa (Jill’s team mate) up ahead. After a short ride on the road the bike course turned onto some trails near the airport. This is where the fun began. A good mix of single and double track, with an ample amount of mud, water, rocks, and gravel. At many places I just held on for dear life and tried to remind my self that I have final exams soon- no injuries allowed. Every now and then a male competitor would pass me; they made it look so easy. I took my time but had fun every moment of the ride. Novices did two loops and Experts did four. Despite pressure from others, I decided to just to two laps. I did not feel confident with my mountain biking skills to attempt the Expert course.
I came into transition with only one other person to chase down, my friend Liz, a runner for a team. But, I knew that Christina was close on my heels and would be pushing hard to catch me. The run began with a climb over Hurricane Hill and then onto the bike trail in the opposite direction. It was all uphill for the first mile or so. Then the course followed a very beautiful trail run through the field and brush near the airport. I was running along and feeling good when all of a sudden I came to a dead end. Oh no- I must have gone off course. I back tracked for a while and found the correct trail. When I came out onto the road again with about ¾ of a mile to go Christina was now ahead of me; she must have passed me while I was lost. I decided to give it everything I had to catch and pass her. She put up a great fight and it made for a wonderful finish to a fun race. I crossed the line just a few seconds ahead of her.
Congrats to all the first time triathletes- Amy, Matt, and Christiana just to name a few!
The course was fun and beautiful and the race was well done. Reggie gave the spectators a cheer with a huge leap at the finish and Royston and Winston sprinted it out in a photo finish. The volunteers were spectacular (as always) and fun was had by all. Another great race by the Nevis Cycle Club. Thanks to all the competitors, volunteers, and sponsors.