Sunday, January 30, 2011

Triathlon 2011 Roatan

Alexander and Laura - pre race

A week ago today our little island was the host of the 2011 Triathlon.  
It was very exciting to host this event.
Many of our island friends had trained diligently for months to be ready for the big day!
As the day of the race approached we saw more olympic atheletes
that came from all over the world to participate in this event

Here is a quote from Laura's facebook status referring to the athletes
They are everywhere! This morning I swam with the sharks, then a gazelle ran by my house on the race route, and the bees on bikes are all over the roads...the olympic triathaletes are here! So exciting! Cannot wait to actually have a conversation with one of these mythical creatures tomorrow at the opening ceremonies
I was so thrilled when Alexander asked me to do a photo shoot of the event!
This was exciting because I had never done a sports event before and I am very grateful for Bob's help in capturing the biking and swimming part of the race!
I was so proud of Alex and Laura for finishing the Olympic race!
They also had a Sprint race which of course is shorter then the Olympic race.

In case you aren't familiar there are three parts to a triathlon:
swim, bike and run

Everyone was so excited for the race to begin, but due to high winds and waves
the night before they had to wait because the buoys needed to be set up before the race could begin
So yes.. the race began.. Island time.. about a half hour late!

powered by Christ ~ amen!

Many of us were praying that the hurling waves would settle down and
so as the early light came across the caribbean sea and we saw much calmer waters
we were grateful.
I am not sure if they were praying but I know I sure was!!

Yes we prayed!
The swim part of the race was 1,500 meters, and it is challenging to swim
anytime but especially difficult in croppy seas.
The swim started in front of Henry Morgan hotel on West Bay Beach.
It was always so exciting to hear the 'horn' blow and see the athletes
gliding through the waters with such strength and ease.
It was doubly exciting for us to 'know' many of them and to be able to cheer for
Team Roatan!!
not everyone can look good in bathing caps, but they did!

the olympic men heading in for the swim!

the girls are off!

 Bob was able to get some fantastic shots of Alexander and Laura finishing the
swim part and running up through the water.  For those of you who know Laura you will see that she is 'true to form' by being so engaging and connecting with the crowd ..
She is one of the most loving and thoughtful people I know and even though she is tired
you can see her smiling and waving at her students.

lovely Laura spreading JOY around!

I headed over quickly to the transition area where they would arrive dripping wet and
put on their helmets, gloves, biking shoes etc and begin the second part of the race.
I was nervous that I would miss them transitioning but little did I know that Laura
had said she was here to 'enjoy this day' and we all joke about the fact that she
was in transition for 6 MINUTES!
No wonder she was smiling... she wasn't going to get stressed out about the race!
We all had a good laugh about that, and I got some great photos of her
while she was 'preparing' to go to the next leg of the race:
eating power bars, hydrating herself, changing into dry clothes,
talking to people, and smiling for my camera.

Bless her heart!

Bike course Map

Once they left the transition area on their bikes Bob and I
took a water taxi over to West End so we could photograph them at the turn around
point by Banco LaFise.
I was so happy that Bob was willing to stay longer
to get photos of them under the Triathlon sign by West End

After that he snagged a ride in a medic truck to go back to West Bay.
The only problem was the truck realized that there was still one more person
biking so it turned around half way and Bob got out at the zip line
by Gumbalimba Park.
He managed to flag down a van and although they stopped
they were FULL of people!
In true Honduran kindness though, the guy in the front seat literally
dove into the back on top of everyone and gave Bob the front seat
and he was able to get a ride to Infinity Bay and capture
them running in the last leg of the journey.

The run course was 10 km long with many steep uphills running out
towards the Lighthouse and turning around at Turtle Crossing.
The view up there is spectacular but I assume that by this time they were so
tired that they barely noticed.

Run Course Map

The cool thing about Alex and Laura is that before the race
they had agreed to finish no matter what, even if it meant doing it alone
but they stayed together the whole race.
It was beautiful to see them running across the finish line together holding
hands and it brought tears to my eyes.

I am so very proud of them!
When Alex finished he said,
"well I can check another thing off my list!"
what an accomplishment!
I do believe Laura is going to do another triathlon though..
maybe this time she will shave down her transition times!!

alexander, me and laura  - post race


  1. Wonderful account, Debi! I loved hearing about Laura and Alex. The pictures of them are fantastic!


  2. Great pictures! Great post! It was so much fun! So proud of Alex and Laura too!