St. George’s will playhost on Sunday for the final race of the Bermuda Triathlon Association’s 2015 calendar, the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon. This triathlon is the oldest event on the Bermuda calendar and historically has featured some exciting races to the finish.
This year, after outstanding seasons at home and on the international junior circuit, juniors Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley will both start as firm favorites for men’s and women’s overall honours respectively.
Tyler will be looking to make up for a disappointing Junior Elite Triathlon World Championships in Chicago in September where a lost bike shoe and flat tyre saw him having to retire from the race. This event will be his first race since then. He should lead from start to finish as he is expected to exit the 750m swim at least a minute ahead of his nearest rival and with his strong bike (20km) and much improved 5km run, barring any mishap, it is unlikely that anyone can catch him. His nearest challenger should be Evan Naude who can match Tyler on the bike and run but may have too much to do after the swim to get close enough to chase Tyler down on the run. It will be an interesting battle for podium honours with Jonathan Herring and Matthew Oliviera, ( who may not start due to injury) very closely matched.Evan might well be chasing them down going into the run. Others to watch are the much improved Chris Hands and the always consistent Matt Thompson.
Erica Hawley should have things very much her own way in the womens race especially as Karen Smith ( injured) and Maria Olcheski – Bell and Laurie Orchard ( both racing abroad) will not be on the start line. However, Erica’s improvement over the season after some tough racing and training camps in Canada and a solid world championships, would suggest that she would have been tough to beat anyway, especially with the big improvement in recent months in her run. As with Tyler, she should lead from start to finish but she should also have a big cushion by the finish. Who will take the other podium places is difficult to predict with Sue Edney, Kandis Matthews and Deanna Didyk all possible contenders.
The adult race, which includes teams, gets underway at 9AM on Sunday but will be preceded at 8AM by junior triathlons over various distances for ages 7 to 10, 11-12 and 13 to 15 in separate “racing bike” and “mountain bike” categories.