Acker, Bailey win Cayman Islands Sprint Triathlon

2017 Cayman Islands Sprint Triathlon winners: L-R: Marius Acker, Michelle Bailey.

Marius Acker and Michelle Bailey were the winners of the sprint event of the 2017 Cayman Islands Triathlon presented by Cayman First on Sunday, 5 November.

It took Acker one hour, seven minutes and 19 seconds to complete the 750-metre swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run, which he ended emphatically with a leap into the air to cross the finish line at Public Beach to celebrate his win in his first attempt at the sprint distance ahead of 47 other male participants.

Acker won the longer Olympic distance event in 2016 but was forced to try the sprint after injuries curtailed his training. “After the Stroke and Stride [in the summer], I struggled with injury and I couldn’t pick up my training to do the Olympic distance; that’s why I opted to do the sprint,” he explained.

“It’s a big achievement for me,” the 47-year-old said, having now claimed the top prize in Half-Ironman, Olympic and now Sprint events in the Cayman Islands. “I’m not becoming any younger. The young guys are coming through, and the sprint is difficult to win.”


Darrel ‘DJ’ Evans, 34, was next across the line in 1:11:36. He said he hadn’t planned on competing until two weeks before the race and was thrilled with his performance. “I wasn’t planning to come back to triathlon until 2018, where I had some races lined up but I gave it a good shot. I’ve been doing a lot of running for the Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, so I thought it was alright. I had a new bike, so I said I’d give it a shot,” he said.

Michael Testori was third in 1:13:37. The 24-year-old who wrapped up the local cycling season as the runner-up a week earlier, relied on his time on the bike to push forward toward the podium.  “I just relied on the bike to get me through. I overtook a few people, so that was definitely helpful in my placement today,” he said.

Men’s sprint top 3: L-R Michael Testori, Marius Acker, Darrel Evans.

On the women’s side Bailey also switched from the Olympic distance – double that of the sprint – when she finished second last year. This time all 23 other competitors trailed her to the line. “I don’t normally do the sprint, so it was quite nice to do it for a change and it was nice,” she said after finishing in 1:19:49, nearly three minutes ahead of the next woman.

“It was awesome conditions this year. Nice flat sea, nice cloud cover and hardly any wind. I don’t think we can ask for anymore, to be honest,” she said.

Michelle Bailey sets out to the road.

The conditions were indeed appreciated, with rain threatening ahead of the start, it was cool throughout as the cloud cover shielded the athletes from the sun’s rays. Such an environment was welcoming for second-placed Tanja Knapp, who arrived in Grand Cayman from Canada a day earlier for vacation.

“It’s a beautiful community to race here and the weather is perfect – the swim was amazing. The water is beautiful. I’m used to swimming in Vancouver in the ocean and it’s murky but here the water is clear and you can see the sand and the fish,” marvelled Knapp, who completed the course in 1:22:32, less than half-a-minute ahead of Justine Plenkiewicz, who was third.

With her second place, it was time for Knapp to enjoy the rest of her vacation. “Now I can relax,” she told afterward.

See full results here.

Read recap of Olympic distance event below.

Harfield, Gray win Olympic distance at CI Triathlon

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Harfield, Gray win Olympic distance at CI Triathlon – Cayman Sports Buzz

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