Harfield makes it two-for-two

Patrick Harfield won his second straight triathlon event among locally-based athletes at 2018 Mercuryman half-Ironman Triathlon on 11 February, the first finisher behind visiting professional Marino Vanhoenacker.

Competing in his first Mercuryman, Harfield said he was not quite sure what to expect but after finishing the 73.1-mile event in four hours, 34 minutes and four seconds, he described it as a “fantastic day out”.

The 1.2-mile swim off George Town took him 30 minutes and 30 seconds before heading off for the 56-mile bike ride to Queen’s Highway in East End and back.  That ride lasted 2:24.59.

“Going out on the bike, it was really windy. So, that was a bit hard but, on the way, back, it meant that we had a bit of a tailwind coming home,” Harfield recalled.

Then it was on to 13.1 miles consisting of four laps on a course on South Church Street before finishing next to Bar Crudo after just after an hour and a half on his feet.

“I think I managed to keep my lead well – other than Marino – out of the swim and then maintained it through,” Harfield said.

Harfield pushes to the finish.

He said he was aiming to complete the triathlon in four and a half hours but missed that mar by four minutes.  “The bike was a bit windy and my run was a lot slower than I figured it might be, but overall…I’m fairly happy with the way I paced it.”

Harfield won the Cayman Islands Triathlon Olympic Distance in November.

Meantime, Vanhoenacker, who completed the race in a record time of 4:01:48.6 last year, was slightly slower on the new course. He was home in 4:05:07.8.

The Belgian professional triathlete was in love with the conditions.

“The swim was like in the pool – nice, flat conditions. Then for the bike, there was some wind going out and early in the morning, it is not that strong…so we got decent conditions and by the time we hit the turning point, the wind was on full force and blew us back into town,” he said.

“The run – I struggled a little bit because every lap it was getting warmer and warmer and I was getting more tired and tired.”

He said Harfield stayed quite close on the swim but he managed to take advantage when they transitioned to the bike, which he said was his strength. “I pushed really hard and got a comfortable gap and could control the race from there.”

Vanhoenacker was the first finisher two years in a row.

Returning for a second year, Vanhoenacker, a 16-time Ironman Champion, said he wanted to be back after enjoying his time in the Cayman Islands for the 2017 event.

“I said if it works out and fits into my schedule, I might come back. It happened to be the team has a training camp Clermont, Florida, so I figured it was only an hour and a half flight from Tampa, so I flew over on Friday,” he said. Vanhoenacker rejoined his Pewag Racing Team a day later for the final week of training.

Among the amateurs, Gareth van den Bergh was second (4:46:05.7) and Darrel ‘DJ’ Evans was third (5:06:09.4). In all, 15 athletes competed as individuals, with three teams also joining in.

Click here for full results.

Other coverage from the 2018 Mercuryman Triathlon:

Former national boxer wins his first triathlon

Bailey wins Mercuryman international distance

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  1. Pingback: Former national boxer wins his first triathlon – Cayman Sports Buzz

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