photo: Esther Henry

THE BOTTOM – “I must say the trail was very clean. I compliment the island for being ready and quickly repairing the island for such a grand event. I will see Saba again next year”, expressed Gregory Pigeon first male individual and overall winner of the Saba Traithlon.

The Saba Triathlon attracts participants from all over the Caribbean each year and the island benefits from the tourists it attracts. While Hurricane Irma and Maria affected the trails and nature of the island, Saba has had a full community effort to get things back on track.

Student Earon Overton about the triathlon challenge

“This event was well organised and positioned great safety persons to allow comfort”, said Christopher Cilliers, the first-time participant representing the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This year, the Dutch Marines took on the challenge. “We have four marines participating and six volunteering this year. However, as marines, we are sportsmen or women that are always willing to try new things. We are well trained but of course not the best”, said Raymon Witteveen Major of the Dutch marines.

Overall winner Gregory Pigeon

Overall winner Gregory Pigeon, represented the French side of St. Martin. This is his fifth win of completing the course within 1 hour and 54 minutes, however, participating for the sixth time. Pigeon swam for 15 minutes, biked in 36 minutes and hiked in 1 hour and 2 minutes- alone.

Saba Team, Sarah van der Horn-Plante, Menno van der Velde, and Sheldon Every was the winning team, scoring an overall 2 hours and 12 minutes. Saba Junior team, Jozua Baker, Nathaneal Johnson and Ethan Caines completed the entire course in 2 hours and 54 minutes. Additionally, Zachery Johnson and Avant Baker, the second junior team, completed in 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Saba Team

Poor student attendance
Four brave students from the Saba Comprehensive School took on the challenge namely, Alexia Hannbery, Zachary Johnson, Avant Baker and Jozua Baker. “Mental training is important. You must be able to motivate yourself first. Unfortunately, less than 25 percent of the high school’s population can’t handle this challenge. More students should train and keep fit”, said Zachary Johnson.

Johnson’s team member, Avant Baker stated, “Due to the low motivation this results in the poor attendance of students from Saba. They should still participate! This is a fun way to stay fit and practice healthy eating. As the cyclist, the greatest challenge was the Fort Bay hill, however, I finished in second place within 45 minutes. I thank the supporters along the way for the motivation!”

“Even though I wasn’t physically and mentally prepared for this competition, I was still glad to participate and be a part of this event,” said Hannbery.

By Esther Henry