The race director is on the beach, pointing out to sea. “Swim out to the blue boat, turn right round it, back in towards the small white buoy, turn right again and swim along the coast to exit under the arch.” It sounds so simple. But seconds later an animated debate breaks out amongst the small, but enthusiastic, field of competitors over whether he meant the navy blue boat or the sky blue boat.


It’s an important distinction, as this quirky way of defining the course constitutes the only markers we’re getting – and the two boats are about 100m apart. I should be paying attention, but in honesty I’m only half-listening, as I’m staring out into the beautiful blue sea, feeling the early morning sun on my skin and marvelling at how I’m about to do a non-wetsuit race in the middle of November…

Island life

Such is life at the Nevis Triathlon, one of the smallest and most laid-back, yet stunningly beautiful, races 220 Triathlon have ever had the pleasure of attending. Only 40 competitors are on the start line this year and that encompasses all three events: the full Nevis 74 (1km swim/63km bike/10km run), the half-distance Nevis 37 and the entry-level Try a Tri.

Within that small field is a fantastic range of competitors though – from the youngest racer at 9 years old to the oldest at 85 – from locals doing their first tri to Kona age-group champ Jane Hansom. They’ve had some big names here in the past considering it’s such a tiny race too. This is where Ross Edgley (of great British Swim fame) competed his ‘tree-athlon’ and even Ironman pro Chris McCormack has taken on the course in previous years.