Contents tagged with Cayman

  • Race: Mercuryman Half Iron – Cayman Islands

    Tags: Race-Report, Half-Iron, Triathlon, Cayman

    January 2013

    The inaugural Mercuryman Half Iron triathlon in the Cayman Islands also happens to be my first attempt at a triathlon of this distance. The setting could not be better, the course either.

    The swim, 1.9km two lap course in the incredibly clear and warm waters of the Caribbean sea, you are literally watching the fish swim around you, which can be a little unsettling I guess, but if you're used to it, it's incredible. The water is also pretty warm, up to 30, but more likely mid-twenties at this time of year.

    This was small race, around 50 competitors/teams, which included three pros, two male and one female and some pretty serious local athletes! Myself not being one of them!!! It's a great crowd though, most of the entrants were locals and I knew/had trained with most if not all of them. A very special situation indeed to know pretty much everyone taking part at some level, great for encouragement out on the course and makes for a great atmosphere on the day. I loved it, and now having left the Cayman, it's one of the things I miss the most.

    The organisers of the race are also residents of the Cayman Islands, a great group of people and for me at least, got every aspect of the day/weekend bang on.

    To the race:

    Swim, like I said, a two lap course with a pretty small group, apart from the fact that I went so far off course (pretty standard for me) that a jet ski had to intercept me and give me a friendly nudge back of course. This actually made me quite frustrated as I'd managed to pull away from my very good friend Marius Diesel and the small group we were swimming in, with this diversion I found myself swimming on his heels again, by the end of the swim I had managed to get about one minute on him and took another member of the small group with me, we worked well together for the last, against the pretty strong current, stretch of the swim.

    Bike. The 90km course is also a two lap course and is probably the flattest course anywhere! The only real issue to race is the heat (high 20's by now and humidity on the way up to around 95-100%) and the wild chickens that can come out of nowhere! I've ridden the course a thousand times, but, never in the direction we went, which was for traffic reasons, the roads were not closed and this route reduced right turns (we drive on the left in Cayman, its part of the commonwealth you know!). As you know, I said my friend Marius was one minute behind me out of the water, well, I played a sneaky card here, I saw him as I was almost ready to exit T1, knowing he is also strong on the bike and our main competition is on the bike I decided to wait for him and exit transistion just behind him (he actually flew through T1 so to be honest I didn't have to wait really!), I followed him on the bike (yes, at a safe and legal distance), he knew I was there, I could see him checking and after a few variations in pace at the start he knew I wasn't going anywhere just yet! We were flying on the bike, neither of us strong in the swim, but both strong on the bike we made up a great deal of time on most people. Mid way through the second lap Marius started to pull away, still easily in sight, but easing away, Marius is considerably stronger than me on the run, I always refer to the fact I weigh 20kg more than him!! I stopped to fill up my bottle on the bike, I could have made it to the end, but with the temperature easily at 30 now and the sun beating down, I knew it wasn't worth the risk of tempting dehydration. At that point he was gone, didn't see him again, he caught one more person on the final stretch, I think we were 5th and 7th off the bike in the race (pro's excluded!).

    Run. This course was pretty dull, four times up and down a road, the best thing about the course was you kept seeing people! The worst thing was the heat and sun. Holy moly…it was pure survival, water, sponges, ice down the shorts, under the hat…anywhere there was a gap or elastic, ice got inserted!!! I was really struggling when I saw Marius coming the other way and made it known to him I was struggling, he told me to drink more, I looked dry…which surprised me as I felt like I was knocking the fluids back. Anyway at the next stop I did my usual routine, stop running to a fast walk, pick as much up from the first person as I could grab, drink it/eat it, then grab more fluid and ice from the last person on the station and jog off slowly whilst I got that down me. Only this time I walked a lot slower, stopping to drink and get fully loaded with ice and sponges before taking off again.

    The going was slow and getting slower, but I made it to the end in a time of 5h 31m, probably giving up all the places I made up on the bike during the run!

    The final part of the race was a well thought out photo shot, we ran the final 100m or so on the beach looping round to come across the line with the sea behind us!!

    My first half iron distance tri done, happily is an understatement! I hung around with my mates and cheered on anyone still out there until everyone was done I packed up and drove back home to the other side of the island…had a beer on the beach, quick dip in the sea and crashed on the sofa with the a/c cranked right up for the rest of the day!!

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  • Cayman Stroke and Stride–Race 2

    Tags: Triathlon, Cayman, Training

    SaS-R2

     

    After a bit of a bad start to the set of 3 races, last night went a lot better.  For a start I made sure I had plenty of battery in my watch.

    I decided to go for it a lot more with the swim, I still started near the back and on the wing, I’m not a great swimmer, but I’m better then my effort last week.

    I wasn’t so shocked by the amount of arms and legs flying all over the place and stuck to my task, although still not in my normal rhythm,  I don’t think I ever will be!!  I soon started catching and overtaking people.  Trying to draft where I could, but I couldn’t seem to find the right person to draft.  Either too slow or too fast.

    The current was against us on the way out, and you could certainly feel it!  After the turn, bodies were spread out, with the current behind us it was certainly easier.

    I finished the swim in just under 12mins, still a very slow time for a swimmer, I was probably 4-5 mins behind the leader.  That’s still at least 2 mins slower than I would do it in a pool!

    Transition took me just over a minute, I was never going to be fast.  I don’t have “quick” laces, I have to double knot my trainers and with wet feet and hands,  it’s tricky! I also need a good drink because the taste of salt water is horrible!  Most people that come out of the water with me or just after me started the run before me!!   I wasn’t worried in the slightest about that!  Some of these guys are very serious!

    The run went pretty much as standard!  I certainly would like to have run faster, but the heat is a big factor for me, I’m not a small slim guy.  I weigh over 80kg and not having been here long, I overheat … a lot!

    Thoughts that stick…

    • The guys and gals in Cayman are quite elitist and serious about their training.  There are not many “have-a-go” people here in the races.  Apparently its the same crowd for all these types of events.  Bugger!
    • I don’t like running straight out of the water.  Wet feet don’t make it overly comfortable and my heart rate doesn’t get chance to recover like it does on the bike – which is probably my strongest event anyway…so I miss the ground I can make up after my slow swim!  Also, I don’t like my nice trainers getting so wet!!!!

     

    Next week is the final race in this Series.  The swim goes up to 800m.

    Then the Triathlon build-up (practice) events start.  Which include a bike leg!  I’m looking forward to that!

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  • Cayman Stroke and Stride–Race 2

    Tags: Triathlon, Cayman, Training

    SaS-R2

     

    After a bit of a bad start to the set of 3 races, last night went a lot better.  For a start I made sure I had plenty of battery in my watch.

    I decided to go for it a lot more with the swim, I still started near the back and on the wing, I’m not a great swimmer, but I’m better then my effort last week.

    I wasn’t so shocked by the amount of arms and legs flying all over the place and stuck to my task, although still not in my normal rhythm,  I don’t think I ever will be!!  I soon started catching and overtaking people.  Trying to draft where I could, but I couldn’t seem to find the right person to draft.  Either too slow or too fast.

    The current was against us on the way out, and you could certainly feel it!  After the turn, bodies were spread out, with the current behind us it was certainly easier.

    I finished the swim in just under 12mins, still a very slow time for a swimmer, I was probably 4-5 mins behind the leader.  That’s still at least 2 mins slower than I would do it in a pool!

    Transition took me just over a minute, I was never going to be fast.  I don’t have “quick” laces, I have to double knot my trainers and with wet feet and hands,  it’s tricky! I also need a good drink because the taste of salt water is horrible!  Most people that come out of the water with me or just after me started the run before me!!   I wasn’t worried in the slightest about that!  Some of these guys are very serious!

    The run went pretty much as standard!  I certainly would like to have run faster, but the heat is a big factor for me, I’m not a small slim guy.  I weigh over 80kg and not having been here long, I overheat … a lot!

    Thoughts that stick…

    • The guys and gals in Cayman are quite elitist and serious about their training.  There are not many “have-a-go” people here in the races.  Apparently its the same crowd for all these types of events.  Bugger!
    • I don’t like running straight out of the water.  Wet feet don’t make it overly comfortable and my heart rate doesn’t get chance to recover like it does on the bike – which is probably my strongest event anyway…so I miss the ground I can make up after my slow swim!  Also, I don’t like my nice trainers getting so wet!!!!

     

    Next week is the final race in this Series.  The swim goes up to 800m.

    Then the Triathlon build-up (practice) events start.  Which include a bike leg!  I’m looking forward to that!

    more...

  • Cayman Stroke and Stride, Race 1.

    Tags: Triathlon, Cayman, Training

    This is a series of 3 races.

    1. 400m swim and 2 mile run.

    2. 600m swim and 2 mile run.

    3. 800m swim and 2 mile run.

    (then the triathlon build up begins!)

    You can check it out here. http://www.triathlon.ky/tri-events/stroke-and-stride

    Last night was the first race, and my first attempt and a mass open water start.  There was about 100 swimmers starting. I was feeling quite confident because I have done enough open water swimming to feel confident.  I was wrong, the sound went, feet and arms everywhere.  Water was so rough and I couldn’t get a rhythm.  I found myself at 200m feeling really tired because I was just using too much energy swimming in this madness!!  I ended up doing breaststroke at some points, where I was stuck behind people or there just wasn’t room to turn the corner.

    Really the swim shocked me, I must have been 5 mins slower than anticipated.  (I couldn’t tell because the battery was flat on my watch…)

    I got out of the water feeling pretty tired and out of breath for a 400m swim, it felt more like a mile swim.  Anyway I plodded on the with run and felt ok after half a mile, I made up a bunch of places, but came in on 29 mins.  Not a good time.  I was hoping for 25.

    Time to practice open water swimming with people, not just me!!!

    (Note to self: Do not eat a lot of broccoli for lunch, internal action is way too high!)

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  • Cayman Stroke and Stride, Race 1

    Tags: Triathlon, Cayman, Training

    This is a series of 3 races.

    1. 400m swim and 2 mile run.

    2. 600m swim and 2 mile run.

    3. 800m swim and 2 mile run.

    (then the triathlon build up begins!)

    You can check it out here. http://www.triathlon.ky/tri-events/stroke-and-stride

    Last night was the first race, and my first attempt and a mass open water start.  There was about 100 swimmers starting. I was feeling quite confident because I have done enough open water swimming to feel confident.  I was wrong, the sound went, feet and arms everywhere.  Water was so rough and I couldn’t get a rhythm.  I found myself at 200m feeling really tired because I was just using too much energy swimming in this madness!!  I ended up doing breaststroke at some points, where I was stuck behind people or there just wasn’t room to turn the corner.

    Really the swim shocked me, I must have been 5 mins slower than anticipated.  (I couldn’t tell because the battery was flat on my watch…)

    I got out of the water feeling pretty tired and out of breath for a 400m swim, it felt more like a mile swim.  Anyway I plodded on the with run and felt ok after half a mile, I made up a bunch of places, but came in on 29 mins.  Not a good time.  I was hoping for 25.

    Time to practice open water swimming with people, not just me!!!

    (Note to self: Do not eat a lot of broccoli for lunch, internal action is way too high!)

    more...

  • Moved to the Cayman Islands.

    Tags: Cayman, SharePoint, Personal

    Those of you that know me in the physical world will know that I got a job in the Cayman Islands and have been whittering on about it for that last couple months!

    Although very excited and looking forward to, what my (Spanish) fiancé would call a “real summer”, I can’t argue, the UK has painfully unpredictable weather!  I’m gutted that I’m not going to be in the UK for the Olympics – totally gutted – I almost said no to the job based purely on that!

    I’ll be working as a SharePoint Dev for a company called DMS Organization (note the z not s!!) – its going to take some getting used too, spelling everything incorrectly!!

    Hopefully its going to be interesting challenge.

    I was planning to widen the scope of this blog, to not only .net, SharePoint etc geeky code stuff, but some stuff about the Cayman Islands and the surrounded countries.  Travelling is certainly high on our agenda and we plan on seeing as much as possible, using our weekends to the max!

    I have never been to the Cayman Islands before and I have never lived outside of the UK before, its all new and at times its difficult to focus the mind and remember that I have to start a new job, be smart and perform for what looks like a pretty dynamic organisation.  I’ve had several “first days” and don’t generally get nervous anymore – I know what I can and cant do.  I’m most intrigued to see how its done in another country and the Cayman seems interesting…a UK overseas territory, having our bank holidays and some cultural aspects etc, but with what seems heavy influence from the US.

    That of course is what I have inferred from speaking to a few different people who live there or have lived there – I must say, I’ve spoken to immigration a couple of times and not overly impressed, “blood from a stone springs” to mind!  I’ve also been warned about “Caribbean Time” !!

    Immigration is a problem, I have been granted a visa, but my fiancé cannot be a dependant on my visa, only when married can she be a dependant.  This is not resolved yet and while of course Luki is going to come out, exactly on what terms has yet to be decided!  Personally I think this is very old fashioned and they need to step it up – marriage is not as big-a-part of the world as it once was, we have been living together for several years – if this can be proved, like in many countries, she should be allowed.

    Cayman is (apparently) famous for a its scuba diving, boasting such a place as “Stingray City”, I’ve never done scuba diving before, only snorkelling a few times, I certainly plan on doing a PADI course and seeing some of the underwater world.  Again those that know me will know I love my bike (bicycle) and will be purchasing one on the island to get involved in what looks like an excellent little community.  And I can’t wait to go running along the beach with a quick swim to cool me down every km!

    That’s something I’ll have to get used too…Cayman uses the imperial system, crazy.  Ohh…and you don’t pay income tax…a nice bonus!

    Well, that’s enough about the “plans”, time for a dodgy airline meal, a quick siesta and get on with doing some of them!

    A couple pics from my journey!

    IMG_0713

    Train to London – progress.

    IMG_0716

    Boarding!

    IMG_0718

    My view!

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