The Paradise Triathlon and Duathlon was a resounding success for organiser Kendall Ebanks of FNSports in its second staging. Last year he was in doubt whether there would be a reasonable turnout. They came out in numbers and this time attendance was better.
The Paradise event was so thoroughly enjoyed that seasoned athletes have marked it on their annual schedule. Of the faces in the Paradise event who have been competing on the local scene for years, the most prominent ones were Justine Plenkiewicz, Celine Macken, Chris Sutton, Jalene Cruz, Cesar Rico Aparil, Laurent Weber, Jeremy Superfine, Shane Delaney, Johann Prinsloo, Bill McFarland and Marlon Crowe.
A relative newcomer to the tri scene, Ebanks doesn’t just promote either, he is a regular competitor with ambitions of joining the world’s elite.
He said: “It was an amazing event. We had a great turnout and beautiful weather. This year we added in a few new things similar to International Triathlon Union standards, like the blue carpets for the transition ground and finish line shoot.
“Of course, being FNSports, we used our signature green colour instead. The competition was awesome and it was the first event on Island that has brought the standard and quality to that level.”
The former world class amateur boxer has now immersed himself in triathlon. Ebanks said in accordance to ITU standards they tried to keep the style of the course similar by allowing it to be spectator friendly by using a lot of laps on the bike and run. “Spectators love to see the race as much as they can.”
There were 102 registered in total, including teams. The feedback was very positive, he said. “Participants had a great time and really enjoyed the course through George Town, especially the swim,” Ebanks said.
“They also praised the event for being so well-organised. We were even told by some participants that it’s the best race they have done on Island, so that was a great thing to hear.”
Races were at sprint and Olympic distance and the duathlon was a run-bike-run event. It all went according to plan. Ali King won the men’s Olympic race of 1,500 metre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10k run.
“We have been organising this event for quite a while, ensuring that we put in the maximum effort to get the best possible outcome,” said Ebanks.
“We take into consideration our lessons learned from previous events to help improve the quality of our races. We have been hosting events now for about five years, which has really helped and paid off.
“There is still more we can do to raise the standards of our events, but those things come with sponsorship and partnerships.”
He added: “We are continuing to promote health and fitness in the Cayman Islands through our training facility The Performance Lab, and we are in the process of building a new event.
“We can’t announce what it is yet as we are working with potential sponsors to make it happen. I think this will be our best event yet. We are focusing on building our events for international success. We would like to attract foreign competitors to the Cayman Islands. Maybe not this year but that’s the overall goal.”
In October, FNSports will stage the third annual Cayman Islands Beer Mile. “This is such a fun, crazy, cool event, we can’t wait. We are already in talks with a few companies to make this event even bigger and better than last year.”
Ebanks thanked the support of the Cayman Islands Port Authority, Cayman Islands Triathlon Association, Red Cross, RYDE Cayman, Anytime Fitness, 7 Mile Paddle Boards & The Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc “along with all the other volunteers that made this event a success”.