When asked by Greg Phillip, CEO of the Nevis Board of Tourism, while eating breakfast at Nisbet Plantation, what I was doing this November, my immediate response was, “eating turkey.” Fully equipped to serve up an unintentionally goofy answer to most questions, I realized that he probably had no idea what I was talking about, as Thanksgiving is an American holiday. What he was asking, of course, was “why not come on down and do the Nevis Triathlon?” His question was echoed by Winston Crooke, who had just led a ride around the island for my husband, himself and Greg. “Good question,” I said and the idea of destination races lodged itself into my consciousness.
During my time there and in my conversations with Greg and Winston, I came to believe that Nevis is a paradise for athletes of all levels and that I wanted to be a part of spreading that news to the athletic-minded travelers of the world. I asked Winston his opinion about destination races and what he thinks Nevis has to offer in that regard.
“It really immerses the visitor into the culture and community they are visiting,” he said. “Plus, you meet all like-minded people. I think we always treat our visiting athlete’s like new family members as best that we can.”
I can attest to the latter being true. About the Nevis Triathlon, he added, “It is a very special experience that goes beyond the competition and during the event the whole island becomes our playground, and that I think is rare.”
Winston happens to be the owner of the premiere cycling shop on the island and is equipped to outfit all levels of riders who visit the island. The shop offers bike rentals for visitors of all fitness level, from mountain bikes to a road bike set up with Look or Shimano SPD pedals. Some words of advice: Don’t forget your bike shoes, be willing to share the road with green vervet monkeys, goats and a wild donkey or two and don’t be afraid of the miles-long climb nicknamed the “anaconda.”
In addition to his role as race director for the Nevis Triathlon, Winston also serves on the board of the Nevis Cycle & Triathlon Club and directs the Nevis to St. Kitts Cross-Channel Swim. The channel swim, a 2.5 mile stretch between Oualie Beach on Nevis to Cockleshell Bay on St. Kitts, has been described as “an open-water swimmer’s dream.” I crossed this channel in a boat and during the ten-minute trip found myself trying to imagine how 2013’s winner, Christina Wensman, managed to swim it in 1:05:44.
2014 also marks the inaugural Nevis Marathon. In addition to the full marathon, there will be a half-marathon, a 10k and a 5k. Are you starting to see my point? Fitness-minded travelers unite and make your way to Nevis! If not for the races, then for a chance to vacation on an island where the training opportunities are equal to those of rest, relaxation, good food and friendly faces.
For detailed race information explore the following links:
MaccaX Nevis Triathlon November 20th, 2014
The Nevis Marathon September 20th, 2014
Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim Held annually in March
Photos of the Nevis Triathlon *
*Photo Credit: Winston Cooke