After the resounding success of the 2018 MS Amlin World Triathlon in Bermuda, the stage has been set for future events, including the 2021 ITU Triathlon Grand Final and Age Group World Championship.
Bermuda was able to pull off this major sporting event with the hard work of local organizations, hundreds of volunteers and of course, the fans.
The sport has grown on the island from smaller grassroots races to this international sporting event of great magnitude, and that has piqued local interest in the sport.
Last year’s debut event provided not only a place for Bermuda on the world stage, but it also made way for the next generation of triathletes.
Part of the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) events is to build legacy and ensure that local triathletes can reap the benefits of such a prestigious event.
Steven Petty, president of the Bermuda Triathlon Association and member of the local organizing committee of WTS Bermuda remarked on the large numbers of young people involved in the RenaissanceRe Kids Duathlon and the subsequent kids triathlon events in 2018 such as the Clarien Iron Kids Triathlon, which saw an increase of 24 percent in the number of participants from the year before.
“The legacy element was something that we wanted to achieve with this event, and it has been working,” said Mr Petty.
Whether that has to do with the ‘Duffy factor’ or not, triathlon is gaining in popularity. For Flora Duffy, whose presence on the race course last year added to the excitement, being part of a World Triathlon Series in Bermuda is a full circle for her career. At the start of her triathlon career at the young age of 10, she watched international competitors race in Bermuda at ITU and other triathlon events hosted here in the 90s.
The free coaching clinics leading up to RenaissanceRe Kids Duathlon are an excellent opportunity for those new to the sport to be introduced to triathlon techniques. Last year the duathlon saw 212 kids take part. Participants ranging in age from 7-15 ran and biked on part of the same racecourse the elite athletes would use the next day.
Last year with the entire International Triathlon Union (ITU) Executive Board on the island for the WTS Bermuda event, the feedback from an international perspective was very positive.
Mr Petty said, “The whole ITU Executive Board couldn’t believe how Bermuda is so ripe for the sport and especially in terms of the ease of access to training facilities and programs.”
Being able to easily access places to swim and bike as well as being able to train all year round gives Bermuda a significant advantage, and Mr Petty said it is “very conducive for our kids.”
Outside of the benefits to young people coming up in the sport, global television coverage of the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda showed Bermuda in an incredible light. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the images of Bermudian’s lined up along the sidelines cheering on even the kids’ duathlon was a fantastic sight.
“We gained a lot of experience from hosting last year’s event, and although nothing is without challenges, organizing this year has been somewhat easier,” said Mr Petty.
The RenaissanceRe Kids Duathlon will take place on Friday, April 26. For more information, visit www.tribermuda.com/kids