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Most triathletes don’t think of winter as prime racing season. But then again, most athletes don’t live in the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands. But for athletes at the Beauty & The Beast Triathlon in St. Croix, winter is the perfect time to take on a swim, bike, and run.
The former Ironman 70.3 St. Croix lives on under new ownership, VI TRI, which resurrected the race as a way to fundraise for local nonprofit organizations. The 2019 event, held on December 8, featured 158 athletes in the half, sprint, aquathlon, and relay divisions.
The name is nod to the beauty of the course – a swim in pristine ocean waters and a scenic run route – and a beast of a climb on the bike route. The ride is mostly rolling, with spectacular views of the ocean, but a .7 mile ascent at 26 percent grade is breathtaking for entirely different reasons.
“It had me personally riding zig-zag,” laughs Naeth about the climb. “Still, I can’t help but smile as I grimace riding the hills. It’s definitely my favorite race of all time.”
The race also served as the Caribbean Long Course Championship race, with Phillip McCatty of Jamaica taking top honors. Full results can be found here.
In 2020, the Beauty & Beast Triathlon will be held on a new date: Sunday, November 22. There will also be a new race distance available: a one mile swim, 38-mile bike, and 10K run.