Living in the Cayman Islands, surrounded by crystal clear ocean, may make the concept of a triathlon without a swim seem rather strange. However, this is pretty much what duathlon amounts to. The event combines running and cycling, making it perfect for the aquaphobes out there, or those who are just weak swimmers.
Yet the absence of swimming does not make the event less challenging, with many athletes finding the run-bike-run format much more tiring than the single run leg on a triathlon.
In the Cayman Islands, aspirant duathletes have only one opportunity to take part in the sport – the annual Cayman Islands Duathlon, sponsored by Genesis Trust and Corporate Service, which is set to take place on 25 March from Grand Harbour.
The event will feature a two mile run to start with, followed by a 12 mile cycle and closing with another two mile run. And believe me, that second run is a killer. Those first couple of steps after getting off the bike are a real eye-opener as you try to run on legs that have all the stability of a bowl of jelly. However, it will pass after a while, so be assured that his happens to everyone and is not an indication that you are about to die.
Of course, there is the option of taking part as a member of a team, which makes the event much easier for those who specialise in either running or cycling. Just keep in mind that there are two run legs, and be certain that your team runner understands this, as a number of team cyclists have in the past made their way back to the transition area only to find that their runners had already packed their bags and headed home.
For those lonely cyclists and runners out there, the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association will once again be offering a match-making service. No, this is not an online dating service, but rather an opportunity for those athletes keen to be part of a team but with no friends (in the running/cycling community, delete whichever is not applicable) to take part in the event. Just be sure you will be able to recognise your runner or cyclist when they come into the transition area, as it could be rather embarrassing losing your team mate in the crowd.
Registration will take place online, with more information available from
Clothing:Wear clothing that will be comfortable to run and ride in. Unless you relished walking around with a full diaper as a baby, running with cycling shorts is not advised, as the thick padding really does remind one of days long gone. And cycling in running shorts is not a good idea either, as the friction is likely to have you walking like John Wayne for days after the event.
Shoes:During the course of the event you will have to take off your shoes at the end of the first run, and put them back on before the beginning of the second run (if you plan on using cycling shoes during the cycle leg). Many athletes use elastic laces to make the transition between different shoes quicker. Also keep in mind that wearing socks might be a good option, unlike in triathlon, where swimming in socks will make people give you a funny look.
Hydration:Although the event takes place early in the morning, you will be sweating. If not, you’re definitely not trying hard enough. Try to take in some water while on the bike, but don’t overdo it, otherwise stomach cramps are almost a certainty on the second run. And you really don’t need to make that run any more of a challenge than it already is.