As you might expect from a country with year round warm weather, gorgeous ocean waters and a pretty flat geography, Cayman has a buoyant community of triathletes. Coming up soon (Sunday November 25th) is the annual running of the Cayman Turtle Triathlon , a great event and worth coming down to the 7MB Public Beach to see.
Last year my family volunteered to help out at the event, and we had the bright idea to enter a family team this year. No, they have no category for family teams, but hey, it’s just for fun.
So… I thought, no problem, my oldest son can do the swim, my wife the run, and I can do the bike…. I had no idea that the bike was 25 miles !!
My son is a competitive swimmer so should be out of the water in a little over 20 minutes, my wife will do the 10k run in under 50 minutes…. but 25 miles on the bike ? Yikes ! So.. a little while after last year’s race I headed out on my old mountain bike and did a 10 mile ride… in 40 minutes… this was looking bad, very bad… I could take about 2 hours to do that Triathlon ride… they’d be sending out search parties ! Add to that the embarrassment of having such a fast lead swimmer that I’d be one of the first guys out on the bike, then seeing pretty much the entire field overtake me one by one… nah, too much for the ego !
There was nothing for it but to a) buy a better bike, and then b) umm.. ride it a little to get vaguely fit
I have to admit that training has been sporadic, but as I live in George Town and work at The Reef, that is a nice 23 mile distance, so I’m now riding to / from work a few times to build up the training distance.
Today though was seriously masochistic. My wife had been for an early morning run, and I got ready to jump on the bike and ride to The Reef, she smiled as she said “really strong winds out of the NE this morning dear !”. Gee, thanks… the first 18 miles of the ride are basically due East, with the last 5..yup…. N or NE the whole way.
I’m being coached by a friend, Cayman Olympian cyclist Craig Merren, and with his wicked sense of humour, he’ll get a kick out of me being mad enough to ride from end to end of the island into such a strong wind !
As you can see today from the great website of Cayman weather stations, the East End station was showing steady NNE winds averaging over 20mph, with gusts around 30mph… right in my face… I think I saw a turtle strolling past me as I laboured into the wind.
Oh well, the ride home will be easier.. I think I’ll just attach a sail to the back of the bike and let the wind blow me home !
16 days and counting to the big day, and our target is to finish the course somewhere in the region of 2’30″… wish us luck !