Commonwealth Bank National Triathlon set for Sunday
They are the new kids on the block, but the Bahamas Triathlon Association (BTA) has been busy getting things in order. The organization is set to host its second annual Commonwealth Bank National Triathlon starting at 7 a.m. at Jaws Beach this coming Sunday.
The triathlon event is sanctioned as a CARIFTA qualifier, and is broken down into three segments – swimming, biking and running. The association has been in existence since 2015.
There are several age categories that will be contested this Sunday, including 8-and-under splash and dash, 9-10, and the CARIFTA age groups are 11-12, 13-15 and 16-19. The adults start from 19-and-over with the age groups being in 10-year intervals.
President of the BTA Dorian Roach said that at the moment, there are 97 registered athletes, and he expects more to register at the close of registration.
For the adults, there is an Olympic segment and a Sprint segment.
The Olympic event includes a 1500 meters (m) swim, a 40 Kilometer (K) bike ride and a 10K run. There are 19 athletes registered for that event. The Sprint race is the most common, and includes a 750m swim, a 20K bike ride and a 5K run.
A large contingent from Freeport, Grand Bahama is expected to come down and participate in the event, a number of them looking to qualify for the CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships.
There will also be a handful of Americans and Canadians who will be competing this weekend.
Roach said that he and his team want to grow the sport more, and with a full-time club there is an avenue for full-time triathletes.
“We want to grow the sport as much as possible. The more people participating, the better the association will be. It is always good to see the kids doing it and those who want to continue and maybe become elite – hopefully we have a pathway for them to do that. One of our main things is to get everyone out active and have a healthier lifestyle. Triathlon tends to pull from other sports like swimming, track and soccer. All around, triathlon tends to be a secondary sport to most and that is fine. Now with the Seawaves Swim Club, there is now an avenue since it is a full-time triathlon club. It is an avenue for those who want to become strictly triathletes which I think is great. We welcome everyone,” said Roach. “Last year was our first year doing a national championship which turned out to be pretty well. The BTA is growing where we are at the point of having our own national championship.”
Unlike CARIFTA Track and Field and CARIFTA Swimming that utilizes athletes’ times, and standards, the CARIFTA Triathlon team is picked based on positions. The top three athletes in each category automatically qualify and the association can take a maximum of five athletes.
The CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships is set for August 17-18, 2019, at Jewels Resorts in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica. An estimated 200 athletes from the Caribbean are expected to be in Jamaica for the championships.
The BTA will also have representation in Miami, Florida, taking part in the fourth edition of the Caribbean Triathlon Championships on May 19. The Bahamas will be looking to win its fourth straight title. It is mainly an adult event that some juniors take part in.
After that meet, the BTA will stage a qualifier for the aquathlon portion of CARIFTA on May 26.
Sponsors for the event this Sunday include Cornèrtrader, J.S. Johnson, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Dasani, Vita Coco Coconut Water, Doctor’s Hospital, Cycles Unlimited, Powerade, Bahamas Waste, Race Prompt and the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA).