Grenada celebrated its return to the Caribbean triathlon scene by hosting it’s 19th annual sprint triathlon, after missing last year due to the ravages of hurricane Ivan, the Grenadans put on a wonderful event. To show support, a six person team from the club was in attendance, veteran performers Reggie Douglas, Winston Crooke and Keith Jones, were joined by Sarah Petre-Mears, Stanley Williams and Greg Phillip. The 750 metre swim course ran parrallel to the beach in Palmiste bay, making spectating a simple affair, in fact the whole course was in plain sight of the spectators who had gathered to watch the action. After watching the amazing crop of young athletes do the shorter courses in the morning the 35 athletes lined up to face the challenge of the high quality field and the afternoon sun. Amongst them were race favourite Marc DeCaul of Grenada, just returned from competing at the commonwealth games in Melbourne, Richard Jankowski of Martinique, winner of the Nevis triathlon in March, and for the women, top contender Clare Morrall also of Grenada.
Coming out of the water first was 16 yr old Jason Wilson of Barbados, followed by Marc Decaul, with Reggie exiting in 10th place, looking for a fast transition to try and make up time on the bike, Winston had his best ever 750 swim time completing the course in 19:44, followed by keith and then Sarah, also doing a personal best over the distance. The bike course was 5 laps of a 4km course within palmiste bay, which was fast and predominantly flat with only a short hill climb to the turnaround, and the bikes were moving very quickly indeed, with Richard jankowski setting the fastest time of 32:32, Reggie managed to move up a few places on the bike as did Winston and Keith, with an unfortunate collision with a jellyfish putting paid to Stanleys chances of completing the course, he had to finally quit from the pain of the sting, as he gamely tried to complete the bike leg. Sarah was on a high after her very good swim and was merrily grinding away the metres on the bike, looking very composed the whole time, all was not so well for Greg either, after a slow swim he had to push too hard in the bike to leave anything for the run, but was game to the end.
The run was where the race was being fought out, Marc leading Jason after passing him on the bike, but jason hanging tough and steadily gained back some of the ground he had lost to finish only 6 seconds behind a triumphant Marc to take second place, with manuel Paula of Martinique taking the third place. Reggie was involved in a mad sprint finish which involved a lot of elbows and pushing and shoving, finishing 7th overall and 2nd in his age group, Keith was forced out of the podium in his age group by a very tough bunch of athletes from martinique, Winston finished 3rd in his 40-49 category and Sarah, a remarkable second place in her age group behind female winner Clare Morrall, a wonderful result for this novice triathlete competing only her second sprint event. Greg was a picture of rugged determination as he completed the course and celebrated his first international event outside of Nevis, he is sure to be afixture in future races.
Everyone agreed that we had been to a really special event and look forward to visiting again next year, the Nevis athletes wish to thank the host nation for taking good care of us and demonstrating true Grenadian hospitality.