Tue | May 23, 2017

Organisers expect big turnout at Jakes Triathlon

Published:Saturday | April 18, 2015 | 4:00 AMShayne Fairman
Jason Henzel

Organiser Jason Henzel is confident today's 20th annual Jakes Off-Road Triathlon,

hosted by the Breds Foundation in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, will be memorable, with record numbers of locals and foreigners to face off in the annual showpiece, which will start at

7 a.m.

Since its inception in 1996, by Henzel and Peace Corps volunteer Amy Gotleib, the event has grown internationally with hundreds of foreigners and locals trekking to South St Elizabeth annually.

It will start with swimming in Great Bay, with a one

third of a mile swim off. Participants will then trek 15 miles along the coast, through farm roads and across the Pedro Plains in the mountain bike contest. On the final leg, they will run four miles cross country, from Calabash to Great Bay.

LARGE TURNOUT EXPECTED

"I am expecting a great turnout, the biggest to date, " Henzel told The Gleaner. He tips the competition to go the distance among local and foreign challengers.

Henzel says the triathlon is not just about winning. "Two kinds of persons usually enter, persons entering as serious competitors, and persons who challenge themselves just for fun and to contribute to a worthy cause.

"We have more overseas participants and more locals this year, and all funds raised will go towards the Breds Treasure Beach Foundation and our Sport for Social Change Foundation," he added. Henzel described sports as very important to St Elizabeth, and highlighted the parish's strong cricket, football and boxing programme - dubbed 'Fight for Peace'. Today's main local challengers will be: Jassette Bromfield, Damian Parchment and Bobby Barnes, among others, while Randy Boba from the United States will be hoping to improve on a best of one hour 45 minutes. "This is my fourth time, and I haven't won yet, but what keeps me coming back is just to contribute to a good cause. I come down to support the Breds Foundation, it's my excuse to come to Jamaica yearly," he joked. Today's triathlon will be followed by a free concert at Jack Sprat tonight, featuring Nomadz.

Event sponsors are Wisynco, Jamaica Sport, The Gleaner, Volkswagen, Smart Eggs and Couples Resorts.