A Warrior triathlete looks ahead

To the Editor:

I am not surprised there hasn’t been any sports coverage of the Vineyard Warrior Triathlon, held September 9, on the Vineyard. Maybe next year the race organizers will have the kinks worked out for an event the Island can be proud of. But as a participant, I think it should be mentioned, even just a little bit.

It was not the most organized competition I have had the privilege to attend. High winds the night before caused bike racks to fail; a buoy was blown away during the early morning on the swim course; a few signs were lost, causing questions and misdirection during the bike leg; and a malfunction with the timing chips caused a delay in the final results. Despite the problems, it was a great course, with awesome athletes, and a rewarding event nonetheless.

Congratulations to all the athletes who trained and competed in this year’s adventure. You should all be proud of the physical challenge that you chose to undertake and conquer. And a special thanks to our families that allowed us to pursue our physical endeavors.

A special mention also to the men, women, and children who volunteered their services. Any race depends on the generosity of its volunteers from set-up, start, aid stations, encouragement along the way, finish line, and breaking down. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Also a thank you to the local residents who had to put up with some inconveniences, with extra cyclists and runners on the roads. After Labor Day, we (the locals) expect to have less congestion on the byways and a chance to get a reprieve from the summer hustle. Some drivers were noticeably annoyed, and as a participant, I apologize for the bother but ask for your patience and understanding in future races.

Next year promises to be a more organized and properly promoted charitable event. Some of the proceeds of the race went to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club.

I apologize for being selfish, but as a local and a triathlete, this race is important to me. It has the potential to be a great race, a contest the Island can be proud of. I am looking forward to next year’s race being the best yet.

Todd Cleland

Oak Bluffs