The first major sporting event in the post-Hurricane Dorian era remained to be one of the island’s most exciting events to date.
The 2019 Grand Bahama Port Authority Conchman Triathlon gave residents on the island a lot to cheer about this past Saturday morning, November 2 at Taino Beach.
With new champions crowned in the Olympic distance, and a back-to-back champion crowned in the Sprint Distance the excitement has already begun to grow for the 2020 edition.
Simon Lowe out of New Providence, returned to defend his sprint title and did so successfully. The now two-time Conchman champion completed the swim, run and cycle event in the time of one hour, 12 minutes and 38 seconds (1:12:38).
Finishing in second place was Sean Farrington in the time of 1:15:37. 17-year old Ralph Wood followed closely behind to finish in third place in the time of 1:15:51.
Lowe, who has become a huge fan of the island’s premiere triathlon meet, said his time back in Freeport was worth it and was pleased to know the event was still taking place after the island was rocked by Hurricane Dorian back in September.
“It was an awesome event, as usual,” Lowe said after the race, “I wasn’t sure how it was going to be over here after the hurricane but they put on an excellent event. We had some good conditions with some cool weather.
“I had some great people to ride with during the cycling that kept me going fast and help me pull away on the run for the win.
“I’m really happy being able to defend the title while improving on my time from last year by about three minutes, which was really pleasing, seeing that I’m getting older. So, it’s always nice to improve,” the 36-year old concluded.
Eleven-year old Ayden Bain was one of the break-out performers at this year’s meet. Competing amongst the grown-ups, Bain registered the fifth best time among the sprint competitors in 1:17:56. He was the champion of the male 1-16, beating out 12-year old Launy Duncombe, who took second place in 1:35:45.
It was a pleasing yet challenging outing for Bain, who competed in the event for the first time.
“It was hard. We took turns during the cycling going from 30 miles per hour (MPH), to 25mph. We picked up speed when we got to the halfway point. The run was probably the hardest for me.
“Training for this was very hard but I look forward to competing in the Conchman again next year.”
The Triathlon also attracted the likes of Brokenearth Prosthetics Lab’s Travis Horn. The 38-year old Project Manager finished the triathlon, with a prosthetic leg in hand, in the time of 1:22:15.
Horn detailed that he and his team were with Bahamas Relief Cruise, a relief mission that had visited the island six times since Hurricane Dorian. Their goal has been to assist the island in all areas of need.
“One of our mottos is to leave The Bahamas better than we found it. We feel very fortunate that we have become very close friends with our neighbors in need here. We are out of South Florida and a lot of us have become passionate and gotten to know some specific people.
“We’ve identified needs and we’ve been doing demolition and reconstruction. We’re setting up an outpatient center in conjunction with the public health system here (Public Hospitals Authority).
“We’re also bringing a prosthetics programme and as a symbol I brought a prosthetic leg and it’s something we can give away for free to 100 percent of the population of Grand Bahama (to those who need it.)”
The female sprint title went to Sylvia Bateman, who completed the race in 1:24:34. Veronica Moran-Lescure took second place in 1:31:47. Finishing in third was Jenna Chaplin in the time of 1:32:26.
The male Olympic title was won by Jamey Nix, age 57, in the time of 3:22:36. Richard Ballance took second place in the time of 3:47:17.
Lisa Brewer, the only female that competed in the Olympic distance, did so in the time of 3:50:46.
In the Ironkids portion of this year’s Conchman festivities, Dyllan Mellor won the male 7-8 category in the time of 16:58. Taking second place was Nitayo Knowles in the time of 19:26 and finishing in third was Sean Norville-Smith in the time of 24:20.
Noah Knowles was the sole competitor in the male 9-10 category and clocked a time of 24:12.
Bain competed once again in the male 11-12 category and completed that course in 11:18. Duncombe followed behind in second place in the time of 12:24. Taking third was Tafari Fountain in the time of 16:28.
Marvin Johnson Jr. took first place in the male 13-19 age group in the time of 12:33. Philipp Etienne finished in second place in the time of 15:16 and Seth Sawyer took third in the time of 17:45.
Winning the female 7-8 category was Isabelle Cuccurullo in 16:49. Taking second was Kaleah Seymour in 18:15 and Eden Rolle finished in third place in the time of 22:54.
Adaiah Smith finished in first place for the female 9-10 age group in the time of 17:02. Taking second place Kimaga Saunders in 17:46 and Lelah Lewis finished third in 18:48.
Zoe Williamson carried away the first place title in the female 11-12 category in the time of 14:01. Seannae Norville Smith finished in second place with a time of 17:57 and rounding out the top three was Amalimarr Korir in the time of 18:07.
The only competitor in the female 13-19 was Seannia Norville-Smith, who finished the course in 16:49.