THIS year’s Rainbow Cup Tobago Triathlon is in the final stages of preparation, according to event organiser Jason Gooding.
The Rainbow Cup Tobago is an international triathlon and five-kilometre run that has been held in Tobago for the past 15 years. Competitors come from islands throughout the Caribbean, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Canada and Germany.
The 2022 edition of the competition is carded for June 11.
The events are designed for everyone to enter whether they’re a weekend warrior, recreational competitor, junior athlete or elite athlete.
Events on the day include the Olympic distance triathlon, sprint distance triathlon, sprint team relay triathlon, youth ages seven to nine triathlon, youth (10-12 & 13-15) triathlon, Try-a-Tri triathlon and the 5km run/walk.
In an interview with Newsday on Friday, Gooding shared what has been happening behind the scenes. He said, “preparations are coming along well. We’ve been working since 2020 so most things have already been put in place and, because this is an event that has been running for the past 15 years, it was just a matter of doing what we’re familiar with and re-kindling our relationships with suppliers and sponsors.”
Gooding confirmed permission to use Turtle Beach was granted through the Trinidad and Tobago Triathlon Federation rather than the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club, which was a new experience for him. He expressed, “I’m not sure why it (permission) didn’t come through Rainbow Warriors (Triathlon Club) since we’ve been getting approval from them for the past 15 years. But permission is permission either way, so we’re happy.”
He also said the transition back into action for officials and athletes has been going smoothly. “It’s been going a lot better than I thought”, said Gooding, “the athletes seem raring to go. I don’t know what their physical capabilities are going to be and I’m not sure if they will be as fast as they were two years ago. But I don’t think it really matters because they’re just getting the ball rolling.”
He added, “from an organiser’s point-of-view, I haven’t done anything with my team for the past two years so it’s a bit of a shake-up for us to remember what it’s all about. The Above Average Triathlon in Tobago two weeks ago was a wake-up call for me as I was flung back into logistics preparation, like how do I pack the van? How do I plan everything that I’m responsible for? So, our organising team will need to dust off the rust gathered from being away for so long.”
Gooding went on to say that the financial challenges being faced will affect the occasion, but the overall event would not be much different from the previous one.
“What may be different is that athlete package collection will be administered on the race site from two days before the event. In past years, the process was done at our host hotel, Grafton Beach Resort, but we’re not sure if they will be supporting the event this year.”
“We’re running this year’s competition a bit bare-boned and we won’t have the glam and glitz that we had in the past, but we’re investing in the most necessary things – the safety of the course, police protection and lifeguards. In the past, there were decorations on the trees and tents; we probably won’t have that this year since funds are limited. We are also yet to receive any word from the Tobago Tourism or the THA regarding sponsorship, so I guess we’ll be running this without them. Regardless, we’ll have everything in place.”
The competition will commence at 7am on June 11 and competing participants will include Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh (Olympic distance triathlon), Great Britain’s Kevin Bolley (Olympic distance triathlon) and Jean-Marc Granderson from Rainbow Warriors (sprint distance triathlon).