Over the past 24 years the sport of Triathlon has afforded me the opportunity to visit many amazing places. I have seen first hand how the sport brings communities together in towns and countries all around the globe. Through good fortune an opportunity was presented to me 8 years ago to visit another great triathlon destination.
B78 head coach Jasper Blake and I were asked to coach a camp for both beginner and advanced athletes in the small island nation of Bermuda. Neither of us had ever been there before and it didn’t take long to learn that Bermuda is not the Bahamas and showing up there in January with nothing but shorts and t-shirts was a mistake.
Bermuda, the northern point of the Bermuda Triangle, is a small speck in the Atlantic Ocean about 650 miles off the coast of South Carolina. While it can have warmer days throughout the winter it does still get cooler weather depending on what systems are moving around in the Atlantic. After year one we learned to pack for some cooler, wet weather.
For a very small nation, both geographically (20 square miles) and population wise (63,000), Bermuda has a rich history in the sport of triathlon. In the early days The Escape to Bermuda Triathlon drew some of the world’s best. Names such as Mike Pigg, Scott Tinley, Mark Allen, Scott Molina, Dave Scott and a very young Lance Armstrong all showed up to race this prestigious event. Since that time Bermuda has gone on to produce a number of world class triathletes including reigning ITU World Champion Flora Duffy and Top Ironman athlete Tyler Butterfield. Up and coming athletes such as Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley are sure to continue the tradition.
This coming April, Bermuda will once again be in the spotlight as the ITU’s World Triathlon Series makes there second stop of the season. The course will be very spectator friendly and will show athletes and spectators alike the character of the island as athletes will swim in Hamilton Harbour and race through the twisty winding roads of Hamilton with a number of trips up the aptly named “Corkscrew” hill. The finish of the race will be on Front Street, the main drag along Hamilton Harbour, where spectators are sure to be lining the street.
As far as destination races and destination camps go, it doesn’t get better than Bermuda. Race registration is still open for the 2018 event and is sure to increase in popularity in 2019 when athletes from around the world see just why Bermuda is one of the hidden hotbeds of Triathlon.