Harfield, Gray win Olympic distance at CI Triathlon

Patrick Harfield won for the second time and Nadine Gray picked up her first win in over the Olympic distance at the 2017 Cayman Islands Triathlon presented by Cayman First on Sunday, 5 November.

Cool conditions prevailed across the course as athletes completed a 1,500-metre swim off Seven Mile Beach, followed by a 24.8-mile bike ride around a loop on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and a 6.2 mile run on West Bay Road.

Competing for the third time, Harfield, who took the top spot in 2014, was back to winning ways. He finished in two hours, four minutes and 37 seconds. Describing the conditions as fantastic, Harfield said it was a lovely race.

“I was expecting the bike to because the forecast was for some strong cross winds but they weren’t too bad at all. It was a little bit wet out there on the roads, so you had to take the corners carefully but other than that, conditions were perfect, so it was a really perfect day for racing,” he said in a post-race interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Harfield said he enjoyed his second win more.

Of his two wins, Harfield was asked which he treasured the most. “This year because my time was so much better. I was aiming to do 2:10 and I broke 2:05. I’m really pleased with the time. It’s fantastic.”

Stuart Bray was second, matching his 2016 finish but also improving on his time with 2:11:57, nearly two minutes faster than he did last year. Third was Gareth van den Bergh (2:16:14), who out-sprinted Jaime Hughes (2:16:18) to the line. Kurt Bowers rounded out the top five in 2:22:16.I nearly gagged but at that stage, it was pickle juice or give up.”


“I nearly gagged but at that stage, it was pickle juice or give up.”


Gray, who made the podium with a third-place last year, had the joy of winning the 2017 women’s race with a time of 2:34:04 – bettering her 2016 performance by more than seven minutes. That, however, did not come without its share of agony.

Gray said he swim went better than expected and she felt strong coming out of the water. “I had people to chase on the bike and it was all going fabulous until my cramps started at the very end of the bike,” she explained.

“As soon as I headed out to run, I was brought to a stop. I thought I was going to drop out but the first aid station gave me pickle juice. So, if I have one thing to say: pickle juice! I nearly gagged but at that stage, it was pickle juice or give up.” But giving up was not an option after all that hard work to get ready for the race and with victory within her grasp.

Gray got off to a good start in the water.

A minute and 30 seconds after Gray crossed the line, next up was Alyssa Dodson (2:35:34), who was fifth in last year’s race. This was Dodson’s first triathlon since being Cayman’s lone athlete in the event at the Island Games in Gotland, Sweden in June.

“I had a tough race at Island Games when the temperature and the course conditions were so different, so to be able to race on home turf and have a strong race made me feel good. It’s been a long year,” she said.

Dodson, who was greeted by her two sons and husband at the line, credited Harfield with helping her improve, as he recently assumed the role of her coach. She, too, took nearly seven minutes off her time from last year.

This was Dodson’s first triathlon since the Island Games.

Arwen Lawson (2:42:13), Rebecca Wall (2:42:26) and Catherine Ouriach (2:51:03) rounded out the top five among the women.

Meantime, the ‘Revolutions Youngsters’ team of Liam Henry (swim), Jerome Ameline (cycle) and Juan Pablo Valerio (run) were lightning quick and dominated the six other teams as they finished in 2:03:07.

See full results here.

See recap of sprint distance below.

Acker, Bailey win Cayman Islands Sprint Triathlon