Love City Triathlon St.John USVI
James Weekes a member of the Nevis Cycle and Triathlon Club traveled to St.Johns for the very first time to compete in the annual Love City Triathlon, this race normally consists of an 800 meter swim, 14 mile bike and a 4 mile run. The day before the race was bright and sunny, or should I say it was a hot day. The race was held at Maho bay and the athletes all stayed at the Maho bay camp which also sponsored a one night stay for all athletes, thanks again to the Maho Bay Camp.
Registration was that same afternoon, after which all athletes surrendered to the night and got ready for a 7:00 am start the following day. Late that night it began to rain and it rained “cats and dogs”, and if that was not enough it thundered, by now every one had the same thing on their minds. After some hours the rain abated as if to say ok go race, body marking was at 6:30am which meant time to go.
Most of the athletes gathered early at the start to get a good spot to rack their bikes as a good transition could mean the difference between 1st and 2nd. As it grew close to seven the rain came tumbling down again giving us a chilling welcome. As a result of the intermittent rain the race officials were forced to change the bike route, as it would be very treacherous on the steep descents.
Conditions notwithstanding, the athletes lined up, all 94 of them and the race was off, like dozens of baby turtles the swimmers kicked and climbed over each other until the faster swimmers were able to kick free and forge ahead,. James was among the first five as they came around the inside buoy for the final lap. By the end of the swim he had lost some ground but still had a good fighting chance.
Now it was a matter of climbing ability, the course being a very hilly one, all 18.9miles of it, and with only relay teams ahead and his closest rival on his heels James forged ahead and was leading the race by the end of the second of three laps. Suddenly an athletes nightmare came upon him, as he had ridden for over three hours the day before to find the race address, he began to get a series of cramps and had to back off the throttle. As a result two relay riders were able to catch up and pass but he still tried to keep them within striking range. Entering transition with a quick glance back the second placed individual was not in sight so he knew he had a good winning chance even with both legs almost totally stiff with cramps.
He then started the four mile run staggering with pain and two relay team’s runners already out on the run. With a strong determination and a never quitting spirit he pushed himself and soon caught and passed one of the runners so he was now first individual and second overall. Fritz Bus of St.Marten was now hot on his scent and realizing James was limping gave him added incentive and so he pushed even harder, but he had a hard lesson to learn. James is a very experienced runner and allowed him to use up all his reserves to catch up, and then when Fritz thought he had it made, James tapped into avenues of strength and speed untouched all day, and ran Fritz out of sight to the finish line to take first place. Cheers filled the air and the crowds shouted ‘Go Nevis’ as he crossed the finish line. Fritz later told him ”I knew you had something left but I was done at the 3rd mile”. Everyone congratulated him and Nevis was on top of the world that day.
Team Nevis has done it again, number one in St.John.