It was a bittersweet moment for Jorge Marcos as he repeated as national champion after he posted a time of 2:07:33 at the 2nd Commonwealth Bank National Triathlon Championship at Jaws Beach on Sunday, but he wasn’t the overall winner.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Jason Costelloe crossed the finish line first overall in a time of 2:03:11.
They did an Olympic course which was 1,500 meters (m) of swimming, 26 miles biking and six miles of running.
Marcos held the lead over Costello coming out of the water, swimming a blistering 20:51. Costelloe’s time was 25:31.
“I would say it was a phenomenal race, it’s my first time here competing – definitely one of the top triathlons for the Caribbean that I’ve attended. The swim was just absolutely perfect. The water was calm and crystal-clear. I’m a slow swimmer so I struggled a little bit. Then on the ride, the ride was perfect, straightforward. The local competition here was pushing pretty hard on the bike as well too but I managed to catch them at the end. Then the run went as planned but I stayed ahead and did a good job finishing,” Costelloe said.
Costelloe closed the gap on the bicycle, pedaling for 56:39. Marcos rode his 26 miles in 1:01:20.
It was the run that sealed Costelloe’s victory when he finished that portion of the race in 39:50. Marcos had a very tough time on the run as he recorded a time of 44:12.
Marcos said: “It was a good race. I found out Jason (Costelloe) was doing the race yesterday. He’s a great athlete, so I knew what I had to do. I had a really good swim but I knew that he’s a really strong cyclist and I did everything I could on the bike to hold him back but he cut me off and then we kind of run for a little bit together. Then I had to kind of back up a little bit. It was a great race.”
Both athletes will be heading to Miami, Florida, USA, to take part in the Caribbean Age Triathlon Championships. Marcos said he will be looking to turn the tables on Costelloe. He said it is very difficult to train in New Providence, especially on the bicycle because motorists are generally not careful when it comes to cyclists.
Adam Cripwell finished third yesterday. The 37-year-old’s time was 2:11:24. His swim was his strongest area as he finished that portion in 22:29. Cripwell then rode the second fastest time amongst his peers on the bike, finishing in 1:00:45. His run of 46:58 helped him to maintain a third-place finish.
There wasn’t a female national champion in the Olympic course race yesterday.
On the Sprint Course race that was 750m swimming, 12 miles on the bike and five kilometers (5K) running, Ellen Morgan was the first female finisher and the women’s national champion in that event.
Morgan crossed the finishing line in 1:16:27. She spent 13:19 in the water, then rode for 36:51. She ran 23:56, and managed to keep the top position among females on the Sprint Course.
“The swim was warm and beautiful as it always is at Jaws Beach. After that, for bikers, it was a bit windy out there today, so that was harder than expected. The run is always, for me, the toughest part, because it’s the hottest part of the day and you’re pretty exhausted from the first two, but it was great to be competing with so many people. It was really nice to have a lot of other competitors out there on the course and people cheering you on,” Morgan said.
This is not her first triathlon but it was her first time competing in the national championships.
“I am just very excited to see such a thriving triathlon scene in The Bahamas. I know there’s going to be some good representation in Miami at the Caribbean Championships in a couple of weeks, so, we’re looking forward to that,” Morgan said.
She said she liked her chances of winning seeing that she won both the Potcakeman and the Seawaves Triathlon.
It was Suzy Eneas who came in second in the women’s division on the Sprint Course in a close 1:17:36. Her swim portion of the race was completed in 14:45, her bike time was 37:45 and she had the fastest running time among the females. Eneas clocked 22:29 in the run.
Eneas said: “I loved being a part of it. I love triathlons, but it is a difficult sport to get into as a woman, particularly if you are not confident on the bike. It’s difficult to find safe areas to cycle in and cycling is dominated by men, so, unless you can find a group of men to cycle with, it can be difficult to enter a new sport like cycling.”
Eneas had high praise for Morgan, stating that Morgan is a phenomenal athlete. They are supportive of each other and are very encouraging toward each other.
Debbie Reid’s 1:27:17 was enough to put her in third place. She swam in 14:58 and rode in 40:26. She ran the 5K in 29.27.
Bahamian athletes will head to Miami to take part in the fourth edition of the Caribbean Triathlon Championships on May 19. The Bahamas will be looking to win its fourth straight Caribbean triathlon title. It is mainly an adult event which some juniors take part in.