Day one of the tropical Island House Triathlon event is complete. Check out the highlights from the first day of this special event.
What is the Island House Triathlon?
Island House in the Bahamas draws together an exciting mix of athletes from ITU, IRONMAN, 70.3 and Xterra, all with different strengths and backgrounds. Over three days, the athletes go head to head in a number of different events, which all together make up half an IRONMAN distance. It’s a chance for these athletes to battle it out against the strongest swimmers, cyclists and runners from around the world and representing all competitions – to see who can dominate overall.
Island House Day One Women’s Race
The first day was made up of time trials in each of the three disciplines: swim, bike and run. The distances were a 750m swim, a 20km bike, and a 5km loop run on the windy Western Road.
Fiercely strong ITU swimmer Carolina Routier from Spain won the women’s swim, followed by US athlete Lauren Brandon and ITU World Champion Flora Duffy. However, the strong swimmer soon lost her lead as the cycling time trial began.
Canada’s Heather Wurtele recorded the fastest bike split, but Holly Lawrence’s overall time saw her heading into the run leg in the lead. The world’s strongest female runner Gwen Jorgensen produced the fastest run, earning her a third place overall. Flora Duffy came in second on the run, moving her into second overall while Holly Lawrence maintained her lead overall, with a total event time of 56 minutes and 54 seconds.
By contrast to normal triathlon events, the time trial format can be challenging for athletes as their position in the race isn’t obvious. “The most challenging part of the time trial format was not knowing where I was relative to the other girls,” said Lawrence. “I thought I might be going too hard and was going to blow myself up!” Luckily, she got her pacing just right.
Island House Day One Men’s Race
Like the women’s race, the men’s race saw many changes to the leaderboard. Aussie Aaron Royle was the fastest in the swim, finishing in a lightning fast nine minutes and 46 seconds. Next up was ITU World Champion Mario Mola, followed by fellow ITU star and Red Bull athlete Eric Lagerstrom.
As the 20km bike began, the leading group changed as non-drafting specialists revealed their time trialing prowess. Lionel Sanders made up significant time lost on the swim, taking out first in the bike split. Terenzo Bozzone from New Zealand was in second, followed by Cameron Dye.
Coming into the run, the competition was fierce. South Africa’s powerful runner Richard Murray took out the fastest run split, ahead of Mola and Joe Maloy.
Over the course of the event, Royle maintained a strong race and came first overall – just ahead of Bozzone and Murray.
“Today went well across the board,” said Royle, happy with his performance. “A good swim set up the day and I was able to consolidate on that on the bike and run. It was great to challenge myself against the Uber bikers and see where I’m at in comparison to them.”