The Island House Invitational Triathlon Will Be Awesome

The inaugural event will entail a unique, two-day race that puts a select group of pro triathletes head-to-head in the Bahamas.

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The inaugural event will entail a unique, three-day race that puts a select group of pro triathletes head-to-head on a private island in the Bahamas.

The deal: The Island House ( owner and financier Mark Holowesko wanted to create an interesting event around his new 30-room, luxury hotel in the Bahamas. A collaboration with some of the hotel’s sponsored athletes led to creating an exclusive race on the private island of Highbourne Cay, Exuma, on Nov. 6–8, 2015. It will be a small invite-only field for professionals.

Who’s invited: Gwen Jorgensen, Lisa Norden, Tim Don, Ben Hoffman, Leanda Cave, Luke McKenzie, Heather and Trevor Wurtele, Rachel Joyce, Leon Griffin, Barrett and Lauren Brandon are confirmed. Plus, “wild card” invitations will be made in the next few months, which will likely include the 2015 Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and ITU World Champions.

How it’s structured: Drawing some inspiration from the cycling world—another passion of Holowesko’s—the race will award overall classification leader’s jerseys and prizes. Day one will be an individual time trial, day two will be a draft-legal Olympic Enduro format (swim, bike, run three times in a row) and day three finishes out with a non-drafting sprint race.

Other unique factors: A recap of the race will be shown on a one-hour national TV broadcast in January 2016, with network details released closer to race day. On the day of the race, there will be live timing and interactive social media, according to co-race director Beth Gerdes. And perhaps the most noteworthy component is the prize purse—it will be one of the world’s biggest at a whopping $500,000.

Can you watch in person? “Highbourne Cay is a remote island in the Exuma chain, which would make spectating the entire event difficult this year unless you have a sailboat or sea plane,” Gerdes says. “Stage 1 of the race will be held on Nassau at the Island House. This was a compromise we had to make in order to hold the race in such an idyllic location and truly ‘take over’ an island. Will definitely make for good TV!”

For full details on the event, visit

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