On Oct 28th, 40 of the best triathletes in the world have been selected to compete in the Island House Invitational Triathlon 3-stage race in the beauty of Highbourne Cay, Bahamas. In a unique format for triathlon racing, the athletes will be tested on day 1 with swim, bike and run individual time trials, day 2 with an enduro style swim-run-bike-swim-run race and on day 3 the men and women with the top 10 best combined results of the first two days will advance to a non-drafting pursuit style sprint distance triathlon to crown the fastest overall athlete.
Olympic and World Champions are among the chosen 20 men & 20 women who all specialize in different distances ranging from IRONMAN, to short course, to ITU Olympic distance, providing a rare scenario where they compete against one another. With the Island House Invitational Triathlon starting this Friday, we asked our First Endurance triathletes who were selected to compete, a few questions.
Q: Who is the bigger threat to win the Island House Invitational Triathlon, the Olympic distance or long course triathlete?
Heather & Trevor Wurtele: A lot of the long course athletes are coming off of the Ironman World Championships which is only 3 weeks prior to The Island House. I know for me and Heather, the time between the two races has been dedicated more to recovery than trying to build any sort of race specific fitness. We’re really just keeping the blood flowing and our fingers crossed we have some high-octane power/speed in our bodies! The one advantage the long course athletes have this year is that it’s 100% non-drafting and we’re allowed to ride our TT bikes. That said, Olympic distance athletes all know how to crush it for 40km on a TT bike!
Lauren Goss: Olympic athletes are the favorites going into Island House. They know how to suffer at the top end and are good at short hard efforts. I am in the middle so I’m looking forward to see how I go!
Cam Dye: Short course athletes are the bigger threat to win Island House. All the races are short in distance, and even with 3 days of racing in a row, it favors the speedsters.
Q: Is it harder to ask an Olympic athlete to go long or an Ironman athlete to go fast?
Heather & Trevor Wurtele: You can look at that question from different angles. If you were to give an Ironman athlete three weeks to get ready for an Olympic distance race, and an Olympic distance athlete 3 weeks to get ready for an Ironman race, I’d much rather be the Ironman athlete preparing for a shorter race. But, if you asked the best Olympic distance athlete to race an Ironman in a year, and the best Ironman athlete to race an Olympic distance event in a year, I would hands down put my money on the Olympic distance athlete coming in strong and having a great Ironman event. Case in point, Javier Gomez coming to full Ironman in 2017 or 2018. He’ll be amazing (He’s also already won the Ironman 70.3 World Championships). You could not, however, ask Jan Frodeno (an Olympic champion and current Ironman World Champion) to go back down in distance and do an ITU Olympic distance world championship and hope to be near the front.
Lauren Goss: I think most people move towards the longer distance races once they have lost a bit of speed. Personally, I think it would be harder for an Ironman athletes to race shorter distances.
Cam Dye: I think it is harder for a long course athlete to go fast. Even though many athletes make the transition to longer races during their career, once they do very few can create the speed required to go back to short course racing.
Q: Who would be left standing in a tequila shot shootout and why (Ironman or Olympic distance athlete)?
Heather & Trevor Wurtele: Based on the Olympic distance athletes I know, I’d bet on them! But that’s probably also country specific. Have you ever seen an Australian Ironman athlete after the last race of the year?! WOW.
Lauren: Ha! Probably the Olympic athlete because they tend to be much younger. Us old people cannot keep up with the shots.
CAM: I’m more of a whiskey guy myself, but I think it would be a long course victory. They are much better pacers.