77.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 20, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMini Triathlon Offered 'Beautiful' Course, Friendly Competition, and Chance to Help Local...

Mini Triathlon Offered 'Beautiful' Course, Friendly Competition, and Chance to Help Local Kids

Scott McFarlane’s taut muscles glistened as he emerged from the sea and onto the sand at Magens Bay, where he rushed over to his bike, strapped on his shoes and helmet, and zoomed into the next leg of Saturday’s Adults Mini Triathlon.

McFarlane, 32, was one of 10 area residents who participated in the inaugural competition, which was organized by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise and sponsored by Scotiabank. McFarlane completed the 200-meter swim, 3-mile bike, and ½ mile run course in 14:37 – and then he kept going for two more laps.

“He’s not even sweating,” marveled timekeeping volunteer Therese Hodge. “Look at him!”

Organizers said they planned the contest to cultivate community interest in and recruit volunteers for their upcoming Kids Triathlon, which is scheduled for May 12, and a preparatory Kids clinic set for March 3.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

Scott Fricks, president of the V.I. Triathlon Federation, came over from St. Croix to run the contest. In between shouts of encouragement and reminders to follow the course parameters and rules, Fricks gave the eight men and two women tips on how to more quickly transition between swimming, biking, and running.

For first place womens finisher Susan MacFarland-Helton, that meant taking off on her bike even though her fellow Sunrise Rotarian and racer, V.I. Source Publisher Shaun Pennington, was still struggling to switch from her swimming to biking gear.

“Don’t wait on your girlfriend – it’s a race!” Fricks said, prompting MacFarland-Helton to speed off after casting a somewhat guilty-looking glance toward her friend.

From the sidelines, Maura Wilcox of St. John watched as her husband Jim sped by on his bike. Maura said the race had a fun, community-focused feel, and that she was she was proud of her retired husband’s commitment to health and fitness.

“He works out for a living,” Maura said. “His business card says ‘human.’”

Never too far behind McFarlane was second place mens finisher Thomas Layer, who was the only other athlete to complete more than the single course lap.

Layer said he had felt “on top of the world” during the first swim sprint, when he was out at the front of the pack.

“After that, Scott passed me in the water, and I still felt pretty great,” said Layer, whose left knee bled with a bit of road rash he incurred during a short spill off his bike (Layer immediately got up and kept going).

While many of the athletes said the swimming was by far the race’s most arduous leg, McFarlane said it wasn’t so bad for him, largely because he’s been participating in the St. Thomas Swimming Association’s Masters Training Program.

“Swimming makes all the difference,” said McFarlane, who is originally from Australia and now works as a project manager at Frenchman’s Reef.

McFarlane said Mary Malone leads the classes at the East End pool on Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6:30 to 8 a.m. The class registration fees go toward scholarships that help local kids learn how to swim, McFarlane said.

While they could not keep up with McFarlane or Layer, Antilles School juniors Ian Barrows and Christopher Cilliers brought the stakes of their own lifelong athletic rivalry to the Mini Triathlon. They were close together during much of the race, but Barrows sprinted ahead of his friend and crossed the finish line first. The pair may also be able to compete in the Kids Triathlon in May, if the Sunrise Rotarians decide to raise the maximum participation age above 15.

At 61, St. John resident Gerry Londergan is out of the running for the Kids Triathlon, but he handily finished Saturday’s adult course, which was his first triathlon try.

As Londergan watched McFarlane and Layer swim their third and final laps, pelicans swooped over the athletes’ heads and a slight rain misted down from the bright blue skies above Magens Bay.

Not only was this a nice flat course suited for beginners like him, Londergan said, Magens Bay “is a beautiful, beautiful place to have a triathlon.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,718FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more

Scott McFarlane's taut muscles glistened as he emerged from the sea and onto the sand at Magens Bay, where he rushed over to his bike, strapped on his shoes and helmet, and zoomed into the next leg of Saturday's Adults Mini Triathlon.

McFarlane, 32, was one of 10 area residents who participated in the inaugural competition, which was organized by the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise and sponsored by Scotiabank. McFarlane completed the 200-meter swim, 3-mile bike, and ½ mile run course in 14:37 – and then he kept going for two more laps.

“He's not even sweating,” marveled timekeeping volunteer Therese Hodge. “Look at him!”

Organizers said they planned the contest to cultivate community interest in and recruit volunteers for their upcoming Kids Triathlon, which is scheduled for May 12, and a preparatory Kids clinic set for March 3.

Scott Fricks, president of the V.I. Triathlon Federation, came over from St. Croix to run the contest. In between shouts of encouragement and reminders to follow the course parameters and rules, Fricks gave the eight men and two women tips on how to more quickly transition between swimming, biking, and running.

For first place womens finisher Susan MacFarland-Helton, that meant taking off on her bike even though her fellow Sunrise Rotarian and racer, V.I. Source Publisher Shaun Pennington, was still struggling to switch from her swimming to biking gear.

“Don't wait on your girlfriend – it's a race!” Fricks said, prompting MacFarland-Helton to speed off after casting a somewhat guilty-looking glance toward her friend.

From the sidelines, Maura Wilcox of St. John watched as her husband Jim sped by on his bike. Maura said the race had a fun, community-focused feel, and that she was she was proud of her retired husband's commitment to health and fitness.

“He works out for a living,” Maura said. “His business card says 'human.'”

Never too far behind McFarlane was second place mens finisher Thomas Layer, who was the only other athlete to complete more than the single course lap.

Layer said he had felt “on top of the world” during the first swim sprint, when he was out at the front of the pack.

“After that, Scott passed me in the water, and I still felt pretty great,” said Layer, whose left knee bled with a bit of road rash he incurred during a short spill off his bike (Layer immediately got up and kept going).

While many of the athletes said the swimming was by far the race's most arduous leg, McFarlane said it wasn't so bad for him, largely because he's been participating in the St. Thomas Swimming Association's Masters Training Program.

“Swimming makes all the difference,” said McFarlane, who is originally from Australia and now works as a project manager at Frenchman's Reef.

McFarlane said Mary Malone leads the classes at the East End pool on Monday and Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6:30 to 8 a.m. The class registration fees go toward scholarships that help local kids learn how to swim, McFarlane said.

While they could not keep up with McFarlane or Layer, Antilles School juniors Ian Barrows and Christopher Cilliers brought the stakes of their own lifelong athletic rivalry to the Mini Triathlon. They were close together during much of the race, but Barrows sprinted ahead of his friend and crossed the finish line first. The pair may also be able to compete in the Kids Triathlon in May, if the Sunrise Rotarians decide to raise the maximum participation age above 15.

At 61, St. John resident Gerry Londergan is out of the running for the Kids Triathlon, but he handily finished Saturday's adult course, which was his first triathlon try.

As Londergan watched McFarlane and Layer swim their third and final laps, pelicans swooped over the athletes' heads and a slight rain misted down from the bright blue skies above Magens Bay.

Not only was this a nice flat course suited for beginners like him, Londergan said, Magens Bay “is a beautiful, beautiful place to have a triathlon.”