TRIATHLETE Jason Costelloe made a strong finish to his year at the Beauty and the Beast Long Course Caribbean Age Group Triathlon Championship held in St Croix on December 2.
The 33 year old triathlete finished in third place overall in the Caribbean , but came in first in his age group (30-34yrs) and seventh overall in the international field.
Costelloe told Newsday he could have finished higher up the field but a miscalculation in the course on the riding section caused him to lose time. He, however, said he enjoyed the course and hopes to compete again in 2019.
“It’s always a learning experience and the event has helped prepare me for my next year goals,” Costelloe said. “The mistake I made is also motivating me to go back for the 2019 St Croix Caribbean Long Distance Championships to see what my true time and performance can be.” The triathlon course entailed a 1.2 mile swim, a 55-mile bike course and a 13.1 mile run – twice the distance of an Olympic triathlon course. Costello started off strong in the 1.2 mile swim and quickly broke away from the pack with five other athletes. By the end of the swim, he was one of the leaders of the group, coming out of the water in 34 minutes. However, as he got to the biking portion of the course, things got more challenging. Costelloe said the ride was deemed one of the more difficult triathlon biking courses and included a section called “The Beast”.
“(The Beast) is an extremely steep section with gradients upwards of 24 per cent at times,” Costelloe said. “In the second half of the ride, you are also faced with many rolling hills and the addition of high headwinds, making (it) all the more challenging. The ride course was a bit complicated as there are many turns to be taken, and (is) not a one way in, one way out course.”
Costelloe said he missed a key turn on the course which cost him 35 minutes extra on the bike and over 11 miles of riding hills and windy conditions.
“I arrived just 12 hrs before the start of the event, I continued straight and went off course. After a few miles I realized that I was off course as I was not where I should have been. I had no choice but to continue and I had to loop around the eastern side of the island before connecting back onto the proper ride course,” Costelloe explained.
By the end of the ride, he had covered 66 miles in three hours and 20 minutes. Feeling exhausted from riding the extra 11 miles, he held on in the run, completing it in two hours and 12 minutes for a total time of six hours and eight minutes. “If it was not for the unplanned extra ride, I honestly believe that I would have been fighting for the overall win,” Costelloe said. The Beauty and the Beast Long Course Caribbean Age Group Triathlon Championship was the 12th event Costelloe ran for the year.
Next year, Costelloe plans to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in France in September. First he has to go to Puerto Rico in March in order to take part in the qualifying race.
“Fingers crossed, everything goes well.” Costelloe said.