25 years of St. Croix Triathlon
Written by: Devashish Paul, www.slowtwitch.com
Date: Tue Apr 23 2013
Many of todayís triathletes were not even born or perhaps they were in elementary school when the first edition of the St. Croix Triathlon was held back in 1988 and triathlon has grown substantially since then. St. Croix was first held before Mark Allen or Paula Newby Fraser had even won the first of their record setting Ironman Hawaii wins. Mike Pigg, was the man taming the Beast in many early editions and Jimmy Riccitello, the man who is today head referee at the WTC, was the guy winning St. Croix. In fact, some of the strengths that allowed Riccitello to dominate in St. Croix are the very reasons why he stepped up as head referee at WTC. The St. Croix bike course favors very strong bikers who can escape their rivals because of the constant hills, wind and heat - something that is not always there are other races.
But the event is not just a race for strong bikers, even though its marquee feature the Beast gets all the airtime. St. Croix has its unique character. Every aspect of the race is a challenge. The swim is not taking place in flat water - it is in the sea in open water with major swells and no wetsuit. The bike features a constant sequence of hills and technical terrain that keeps coming at you and includes the Beast we already mentioned. Finally, the St. Croix run is not to be underestimated, held in the heat of the day that can be like a tropical sauna and with constant hills and some cross country running in the Buccaneer resort.
On the first weekend of May that features the famed Wildflower triathlon and the new Ironman 70.3 US Pro Championships in St. George, St. Croix holds its own as a marquee event amongst triathlonís classics. We talked with long time race director Tom Guthrie so he could share some insight into the 25th edition that takes place on May 6th 2013.
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