The premier event on the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes calendar was contested by 80 athletes, more than half of which flew in from abroad to compete at the 32nd National Triathlon Championships on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022. Held at the Brandons Beach and the Mighty Grynner Highway, several seasoned triathletes and persons bold enough to put their fitness to the test queued up at the starting line to contest 4 events - the Olympic Distance, Try-A-Tri, Sprint Distance, and Sprint Relay. With travel restrictions lifted, the 32nd installment welcomed 46 athletes from Ireland, United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and neighbouring islands Trinidad, Grenada, and St. Vincent in what was a highly contested Championship with our very own local triathletes.
The course at Mighty Grynner Highway had idyllic sea conditions for the swim.  The bike course was flat with a hill at the North end going up to the entrance to Paradise Beach.  The run course was flat and hotter than hot as the heat scorched competitors as they reached the last segment of the race.
The event commenced around 6:30 am with the Olympic Distance and Try-A-Tri events. The Olympic distance, a 1500m swim, a 40km bike ride, and a 10km run comprised 8 competitors. Barbadian, Gregory Austin was the first to finish, winning his fifth National Olympic Distance Men’s title in 2 hours 30 minutes and 03 seconds. Sailing Athlete Amy Cox took gold in the female category and was second overall in a time of 02:31:18 hours, Amy was crowned National Olympic Distance Female Champion the last four years running and it is her fifth title in the last six years.  BFIT President Darren Treasure, 2nd in the men's third overall, finished in a time of 02:40:15 hours. Gregory Farnum finished third in the men’s Olympic distance race in a time of 2:47.16.  Pauline Joseph from Trinidad was second in the female category in a time of 3:49.55.
In the Try-A-Tri (400m swim, 10kim bike, 2.5km run) formidable, young veteran Luke McIntyre took gold in what appeared to be a tightly competitive matchup between him and Trinidadian Liam D’Abadie, who was first on the bike out of the transition. Luke quickly gained ground on his rival and never looked back, taking and holding on to the lead into the run lap to take the National Try-a-Tri Male Championship title in 35 minutes and 23 seconds. D’Abadie and Barbadian Zindzele Renwick-Williams, followed 2nd and 3rd in 37:46 and 38:50 minutes repectively. Laila McIntyre one of the youngest in the field, finished first overall in the female category to join her brother on the podium as Try-a-Tri National Female Champion. Nina James and Hailey Banfield were 2nd and 3rd in the female category in  43:45 and 44:32 minutes.
The Sprint distance and Sprint Relay, the last events to get on the way, saw 16-year-old CARIFTA Champion Fynn Armstrong crowned National Sprint Male Champion. Armstrong won the 750m swim, 20km bike, and 5km run, in a time of 1 hour 6 minutes and 45 seconds, approximately 4 minutes faster than second-place finisher James Castagne-hay, also 16 years of age from Trinidad and Tobago (01:10:16). Randy Lickorish finished third overall in 01:10:27 hours. Kayla Rankine Beadle of Trinidad & Tobago (01:20:56), Isis Gaskin (01:22:15) the National Sprint Female Champion, and Catherine Fox (01:29:50), both of Barbados finished 1,2,3 in the female category. The Sprint Relay saw two teams, with Team Ellcock - Paul Kellman (swimmer), Russell Elcock (cyclist), and Joshua Hunte (runner) convincingly taking the title over and Team Shields in 1 hour 3 minutes, and 13 seconds.  Team Shields finished in 1 hour 44 minutes and 50 seconds.
BFIT President, Darren Treasure, was very pleased with the event.  “We saw a high level of racing, spectators were able to witness the depth Barbados triathlon has on offer from experienced to up and coming to new triathletes enjoying a challenging yet rewarding event.  I was especially encouraged by our younger athletes who will be competing in Bermuda on November 12 & 13 as part of the 4th CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon and Mixed Relay Championships  It would have been nice to have our US Collegiate Triathletes, Chara Hinds, Zahra Gaskin, Kayla Renwick, Niel Skinner and Elite triathlete, Matthew Wright but they were unavailable due to their in season schedules.  Overall we were blessed not to have any injuries and were able to enjoy the triathlon community spirit afterwards.”
If anyone is interested in learning more about triathlon and the opportunities within the sport they are encouraged to contact the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes Inc. at
Photo credit: Kevin Wood