Running can be hard work, especially in summer. However, combine it with a quick dip in the ocean, and it might not seem quite so onerous. That may well explain the popularity of the Ogier Stroke and Stride series, which is set to take to the water and the tarmac again this month.
Especially at a time of year that can be relatively quiet for recreational athletes, the series, which consists of three events, has a very loyal following. It also serves as an early tune-up for those who have an eye on completing the Cayman Islands Triathlon later in the year.
The first event in the series is set to take place on 10 August, followed by a second event on 17 August before the final on 24 August.
Each event features a swim, starting from Sunset House, followed by a 2 mile run. However, the length of the swim increases from event to event, starting with a very manageable 400 metre swim in the first event, then building to a 600 metre swim for the second event, and peaking with an 800 metre swim in the third and final event.
This also means that the event tends to favour the faster runners earlier on, while the better swimmers start moving up the standings as the series progresses. However, the winners tend to be all round athletes who can come out of the water hot on the heels of the leaders and then chase them down on the run.
One of the challenging elements of the event is navigating the open water swim, for although following the swimmer in front of you might seem like a good idea, it relies on that swimmer knowing where he or she is going. It is much better to practice sighting, as the course is marked with buoys which should be easily visible. The exit from the water can also be challenging, as swimmers have to exit using one of two ladders, so if too many swimmers arrive together, it can get rather crowded as swimmers have to go into a holding pattern waiting for their turn to exit.
Due to the short run, the transition from the swim to the run is very important, as every second saved can make a difference at the finish line. Many experiences athletes will use shoes with elastic laces or fast lacing systems which allow them to pull the shoes on quickly and take off running, rather than waste time struggling to tie their shoes (this can be much more challenging when you are tired and in a hurry than under normal circumstances!)
Also keep in mind that your feet will be wet from the swim, making your shoes more difficult to put on.
Entry is $25 in advance for the whole series, or $10 per race - individuals and teams. Registering online will make your race day ‘check-in’ much quicker and also saves the organisers a huge amount of time. If you can’t register online, offline pre-registration will be available at My Bar, Sunset House on race days.
Minimum age on race day is 13 years of age and participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Each of the three events in the series start at 5.45pm, which should give everyone enough time to get to the race venue after work. However, keep in mind that due to the popularity of the event, parking is at a premium, so factor in that a relatively long walk may be required to get to the start.
Of course, once the finish line is crossed, there is no reason to rush off, as the timing of the event makes it perfect for a sunset drink or an early dinner at Sunset House, as well as a great opportunity to get to know a group of people with similar interests. WH
For more information, visit triathlon.ky