Triathlons in the Bahamas

by Lee McCoy
Founder and Owner of PROMPT – Paradise Race Organization Management Promotion & Timing

It has been an absolutely amazing experience to witness the transformation and development of triathlons and road racing in the Bahamas.  I first started out in the triathlon scene back in 2010 when the Conchman was the only established triathlon, with a rich history dating back to 1986.

In 2010 I was getting back into shape and swimming a lot; after the BASRA Swim in Freeport, I signed up for the Conchman.  I, like many others in the sport, was hooked and many races followed including international races such as the MiamiMan and the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (twice).  I competed in both Sprint and Olympic events, with the goal of getting to Half Ironmans and eventually full Ironmans.

Along the way I began to notice something.  On the international scene, chip timing was everywhere.  This feature was standard at every race, and the bigger they were, the more technical it became.  Marathon Bahamas had recently brought on the Chronotrack system with a group of timers out of Florida, and this was one of the races I competed in and saw the technology up close.

Myself, along with a few others, began planning our own triathlon.  After getting quotes to chip time our event, it became apparent that this was something feasible to have locally for the Bahamas.  The logistics of flying in personell, equipment, accommodations, transportation, work permits, and all of the others incidental costs added up to significantly more that the actual timing and results of the event.

We formed a company and utilize the Chronotrack system to provide race timing for local events (I’ve even had the pleasure of timing other events in Florida and Jamaica).  We time everything from 5k fun run and walks, to 10k, half marathons, marathons, and the amazing Ultra Marathon, currently only available at the Run for Pompey and Exuma MarathonWe have also done chip timing for open water swiming and cycling events.  We also provide support to many of these events, providing bibs, finishers medals, shirts, awards, online and offline registration, tents, bike racks, podiums, and more.

Now in the Fall 2018 and coming Spring 2019 seasons, we are looking forward to a few great events.

Up next on the triathlon circuit is the Conchman Triathlon on November 3rd in Freeport.  In the past two years this race has become even better, growing again and adding chip timing and amazing finishers medals and custom awards to their repetoire.  This race has one of the prettiest beach swims and flattest bike courses with amazing views of Grand Bahama, and is well supported by local participants and sponsors.  Individuals & teams are welcomed, and there is an amazing (and free!) IronKids program.  Flights from Nassau, Florida, and other locations are easy and direct and the organizers of the Conchman work with the airlines to reduce or remove the cost of flying with a bike.  This is an event you’ll want to do at least once, but you may end up adding to your yearly race calendar!

Starting out the 2019 year, the Potcakeman Triathlon will be held at Jaws Beach in Nassau on February 10th.  This event is organized by and supports BAARK – a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Bahamian Potcakes (and other dogs and animals!).  This race is great for young athletes and has various age groups and race distances for competing in.  Seasoned athletes can participate in the International Distance and newcomers can try out the Spint Triathlon, or enter with a relay team.  It is a fabulous opportunity to race against some of the fastest triathletes in the Bahamas, such as Simon Lowe, Cameron Roach, Anna Zywiolek and Elizabeth Shaddock, to name a few.

The spring season continues with the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend in March, an event put on completely by PROMPT.  This event supports local Abaconian charities such as the Rotary Club of Abaco and Every Child CountsWe’ve had the pleasure of paratriathlete Hector Picard participate, as well as international competitors from the US, Canada, UK, and even the Faroe Islands!  The events consist of a 1-mile Open Water Swim, Sprint & Olympic triathlons, and a 5k/10k run & walk.

After these three main events, the Bahamas Triathlon Association hosts the Bahamas National Triathlon Championships in late spring.  This event is an international qualifier for events such as Carifta and the Caribbean Championships.  There are kids events and sprint triathlons for individuals and relay teams.  The Bahamas Triathlon Association has been revitalized in recent years, and we look forward to working with them on the GAFFW and other triathlon events.

If you’re looking to get into shape and have great events to compete in, the Bahamas has everything to offer.  Year-round beautiful weather allows for training in all disciplines, and we have great athletes and events to compete with.

I look forward to seeing everyone out on the race courses!


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