The invite only Island House Triathlon brings together the best of the best of long and short course stars in the sport of triathlon to compete in a 3-stage 2-day event on the exotic island of Highbourne Cay in the Bahamas. In a nail biting sprint finish, Ben Kanute won the overall by less than half a second to cap off a season highlighted by his silver medal at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, a Silver medal at the ITU mixed relay World Championships as well as a win at the iconic Escape from Alcatraz.
In his first time racing the event, Kanute said “The race and venue were incredible. It is an amazingly beautiful Island and the people involved are some of the best and most kind in the business. It makes for a great atmosphere. I think racing is all about balancing fun and seriousness. We were able to mix a bit of both in, but it was all about maximizing my performance.”
An Olympian in triathlon who has focused on the shorter ITU Olympic distance in the sport, Kanute had the highlight of his career earlier this season winning the silver medal at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. Earning a well deserved invite to the Island House Tri, Kanute did his best to prepare in a short time frame, knowing the unique race features a dynamic race format stating “I focused a lot on the specific demands of this event in the weeks leading up to the race”
Stage 1 was a Super Sprint Individual Time Trial consisting of a 7km bike, 2 km run followed by a 200M swim where Kanute put the pressure on early posting the fastest split of 18:33 followed by Terenzo Bozzone 7 seconds later and 6 other world class triathletes within 24 seconds.
Later that day Kanute added to his overall lead gaining 4 more seconds on Bozzone en route to winning Stage 2, an Enduro Sprint consisting of a 2km run, 375m swim, 10km bike, 2km run, 375m swim and 10km bike.
Regarding the atypical race format, Kanute said “It is extremely difficult. There were a lot of times were I was just by myself and I had to keep pushing. In many races you have others to help keep you in check, but here it was important to stay mentally focused when isolated. For my nutrition I stuck to EFS during the race and Ultragen for recovery in preparation for the next stage.”
Day 2’s Stage 3 was a Sprint Pursuit consisting of a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run, which Kanute said “The last stage was the most difficult. It was an all-out time trial and with all the fatigue built up it made it extra painful!” The pursuit format meant Kanute started first, leading off by his GC advantage of 11 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Bozzone who was breathing down his back each stage. Bozzone had pulled ahead of Kanute but with only a few meters remaining on the run to the finish line, Kanute put in a spectacularly timed finishing sprint to cross the first, just .4 seconds ahead of Bozzone to claim the overall win at the Island House Triathlon.
Ending the season with a dramatic win amongst many of the best in the sport, Kanute said
“It was just a great weekend for me. My fitness and taper lined up perfectly, and I was able to execute my plan. To break the tape and win a race is always awesome, but with the stakes high here, it made it even better.”
Island House Triathlon
Highbourne Cay, Bahamas
November 17-18, 2017
1 Ben Kanute 2:05:53.1
2 Terenzo Bozzone 2:05:53.5
3 Henri Shoeman 2:06:20.2
4 Aaron Royle 2:06:50.5
5 Ryan Bailie 2:07:23.9
6 Cam Dye 2:07:43.7
7 Sebastian Kienle 2:08:31.1
8 Richard Murray 2:08:42.7
9 Sam Appleton 2:09:54.8
10 Rudy VonBerg 2:09:30.7