Nov. 18, 2005 — One area where St. Croix is enjoying positive growth is in triathlon events.
The Wall2Wall event was added last year and seems to have done well. It is in the sprint category of triathlons — taking the shorter distances for running, swimming and biking. The West is Best is in the sprint category as well as the Endurance East End triathlon.
Up from the sprint category is the Olympic category and St. Croix is going to have its first ever in that category on Dec. 11.
It will be call The Caribbean Classic Triathlon. Tom Guthrie, race director, said Friday that in this first year he is hoping to get 75 to 100 local participants, about the showing most of the other races get.
However, he said that in future years the race would be marketed to attract off island participants.
Since 2000, the triathlon has been a part of the Olympic games, and the Olympic distance has been standardized — with a 1500-meter (.9 mile) swim, 40 K (25 mile) bike and a 10K (6.2 mile) run.
Project St. Croix, the organization that produces the St. Croix Half Ironman, will host the new race. According to a press release, the group decided to do this race "in order to remain on the cutting edge of the sport."
The only triathlon category St. Croix does not have now is the full iron man. Guthrie said, "If we ran that here in this temperature, we would kill people." The full iron man is a 26-mile run, 2.4-mile swim and 112 miles on bike. "Its a full day," Guthrie said.
The Caribbean Classic Triathlon will be held on the grounds of the Buccaneer Hotel. The swim layout will be a large triangular course off the Mermaid Restaurant beach. The bike course will head east from the hotel, travel to Cramers Park, return on the South Shore over Lowry Hill, past the Buccaneer, turn right at Southgate, climb Lowry Hill a final time and finish at the hotel. The run course will take place entirely on the grounds of the hotel, with two 5K loops.
Guthrie said he expects this to become one of the great races in the region, "It is our hope that this event becomes the annual Caribbean Triathlon Championship. Every athlete in the area is aware of what a great island for racing St. Croix is, and no other island can offer what we have. Our course is spectacularly beautiful, and triathlon is accepted here like on no other location in the region."
The race will be open to both individuals and teams, and entry forms are available at Endurance Sports/GNC in Sunny Isle. Off island triathletes are welcome. Prizes will be awarded to the overall victors, as well as age group winners. Each athlete will also receive a race T-shirt. The race will start at 7 a.m.
Guthrie said this race is making for a late fall race season. He said St. Croix already has a good series of triathlons in the spring.
For more information, please call 773-8456.
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