2009 ‘Boardwalk’ Triathlon St Martin
The second edition of the Taloula Mango, Diamonds international sponsored event, the ‘Boardwalk’ Triathlon in Phillipsburg was a resounding success, organizer JP Piscione was “very pleased with the turnout” this race was also the Netherlands Antilles Triathlon Championships.
The Nevis team was represented by the reigning OECS male and female triathlon Champions, Reggie Douglas and Kristina Stoney, alongside them were James Weekes and newbie Alexis lemmex, who was taking on the Olympic distance for the very first time.
The 7.00 am race start was delayed for 15 mins as it had rained that morning, and the roads of SXM are notoriously slippery when wet, however, the sun shone and the roads began to dry up, over 80 athletes lined up for the swim start, individuals and teams for the Olympic and individuals in the Sprint. The mass start from the beach was a site to see, but the more experienced athletes were handling the mêlée with some dignity, and it soon became evident who the real swimmers were.
The first Nevis athlete out of the water was James Weekes, racing in the sprint division, about half way down the order in a time of 15.40 he was confident he could pass a lot of people on the bike, Reggie, Kristina and Alexis still had one more lap to do. An off the pace Reggie completed the 1500mtr course in 28.48 Kristina following 2 mins later, Alexis meanwhile was coping well at her first attempt coming out just ahead of SXM favorite Terry DeWitt.
Out on the bike course James was taking control early on, Reggie, not having his best day of racing was not gaining ground on the athletes who were ahead of him, Kristina however was firing on all cylinders, and Alexis was toughing it out on the hilly four lap course. Kristina was trying to put more time into Terry, who she had to outsprint for the win in 2008, on the bike she was adding to the 3 minute lead she had on the swim, but she knew that Terry was strong in the run.
James, having passed all but one of the athletes he was contending with on the bike, was setting out on to the run course with one goal in mind, catching and passing whoever it was in front of him, the flat two lap course along the Boardwalk was ideal for him, passing the other runner inside the first lap James was able to finish in the top spot in a time of 1.16.20 another great result.
Three racers from Curacao were leading the men’s event, one was only 16 years old and he was smoking the course, coming into transition for the run he was 10 mins ahead of Reggie and this youngster could RUN!!! Once Reggie was out on the run course he seemed to get into his groove and was setting a good pace, Kristina coming into transition just a few minutes behind Reggie also looked very strong as she set out on the course. Alexis meanwhile was having a mechanical problem in the form of a flat tire, but after changing her wheel with teammate James was back out on the course to finish her last lap.
By now the sun was beating down on the runners out on the course, Reggie was increasing his speed and having a good run, but the 3 leaders were to far in front so he was chasing for 4th place now, Kristina was well in front, her nemesis Terry by now 10 minutes adrift and not making much headway.
The final outcome saw Reggie outsprint his friend Olivier to take the 4th place overall, giving him 2nd in his age group, Kristina proved far too much of a match for Terry DeWitt coming in minutes ahead to take 1st place and hold onto her crown, the queen of Caribbean triathlon in her element.
Alexis was completing her first Olympic triathlon very strongly coming in behind Terry for third, but due to a course infraction by Terry, Alexis was awarded the 2nd place, what a wonderful way to complete her very first triathlon, welcome to the fold Alexis!!!