Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Triathlon Weekend

This past weekend St. Croix was hopping with world-class athletes who came to compete in the annual St. Croix Ironman 70.3, a qualifying event for the 2007 Ironman World Championship to be held this fall in Kona, Hawaii. Over 500 athletes put themselves through a 1.2-mile swim at the Christiansted Harbor. Then they jumped on their bikes for a 56-mile bike ride along the North Shore and up a super-steep 600-foot hill affectionately called "The Beast." They returned to downtown Christiansted, dropped their bikes and wound down with a 13-mile run.

There was a Jump Up (street festival) on Friday night to welcome the athletes. Bob and I joined the crowds roaming the streets of downtown. We ate chicken skewers and Johnny cakes and stopped in at various street corners to listen to Jazz from the Central High Jazz Band, quelbe by Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knight, steel pans, and finally, at the Caravelle Arcade we joined a throng of fans dancing to Kurt Schindler's music.

The actual triathlon took place on Sunday morning. Many main roads on the island were closed for the event, much to the chagrin of churchgoers looking for alternate routes. We stayed put at home most of Sunday, and in the late afternoon came out and drove away from the triathlon crowds to the west end of the island to watch a quiet sunset.

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