An impressive roster of 10 pro women and 10 pro men from various distance backgrounds will race the 2015 Island House Invitational Triathlon in 3 stages over 3 days in the Bahamas. These 3 events promise an interesting mix of drafting and non drafting events, and all bike segments have to be done on road bikes. All events take place in Highbourne Cay, Exuma.
Stage 1 is a 300 meter swim, 7 kilometer bike and 2 kilometer run ITT prologue.
Stage 2 is a draft legal Olympic Enduro where athletes swim 500 meters, bike 13 kilometers and run 3.3km, and will do these segments 3 times in a row.
Stage 3 is a non drafting Sprint distance event where the athletes swim 750 meters, bike 20 kilometers and run 5 kilometers.
"I just enjoy following and supporting something that I am passionate about," said Island House owner Mark Holowesko to slowtwitch when asked why he putting up this event.
But how was the field decided on?
"This year, invites were given to the all athletes that Mark [Holowesko] supports on the Island House Triathlon ambassador team, except for me as I opted to stay on the sidelines to run the show. Above that, Highbourne Cay, the site of the races, can accommodate up to only 20 athletes total, so we filled the remaining spots with athletes at the top of triathlon across both short and long distances. Ideally, in the future, we would have a qualifying race with an open, large field to narrow down the finalists for the Island House race, " said Beth Gerdes who together with husband Luke McKenzie created the event.
Here now are the fields starting with the women, but in no particular order.
Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden is best known for her ITU prowess, but this Swede has dabbled in various formats and distances.
American Lauren Brandon is an amazing swimmer and an accomplished athlete.
Brit Leanda Cave is indeed an Ironman World Champion, but has also struck gold at 70.3 Worlds and at the ITU Worlds long and Olympic, among many other accomplishments.
American Gwen Jorgensen really needs no introduction and she is the one to watch over the 3 days.
Aussie Mirinda Carfrae is a 3-time Ironman World Champion, and has won Challenge Roth and 70.3 Worlds. Kona this year was a bust and she will look for redemption.
Rachel Klamer is a fast short course specialist from the Netherlands, but not very well known in North America. She will look to change that.
Flora Duffy just won the XTERRA World Championship title in Maui and will be flying on an emotional high in the Bahamas. Watch out for this fast Bermuda pro.
Canadian Heather Wurtele is a long course athlete with a great resume and she will be competitive here too.
Brit Rachel Joyce will not be on her TT bike at the Island House Invitational, but that shouldn't matter, she is always fast.
American Alicia Kaye is well versed in the short course distance and should be a factor here too.
The men at the Island House Invitational Triathlon
Aussie Luke McKenzie is one of the minds that helped get this event off the ground. He has 6 Ironman titles to his name and is very motivated.
Spaniard Javier Gomez is likely the favorite here, but as always, anything can happen. One thing is certain, he knows how to go hard and suffer.
American Timothy O'Donnell had a great race in Kona this year where he finished 3rd. He is tough and tenacious.
American Ben Hofmann, seen here with Callum Millward, just finished 10th at the XTERRA Worlds in Maui and he can race all kinds of distances well.
Aussie Leon Griffin is best at the middle distance, but he will want to see if he can find some short course speed.
American Barrett Brandon is a well versed ITU athlete who also races long course events.
South African Richard Murray is another favorite here. He won the WTS Edmonton event this year and should be primed and ready.
Brit Tim Don transitioned from short course racing to long course events, but he is always dangerous and ready to smile.
American Cameron Dye is best known for his North American short course non-drafting exploits. Watch out for the man with the blond mane.
Canadian Trevor Wurtele looks ready for the big task, but like his wife he has his body tuned to race longer distances.