I've been incredibly fortunate to visit the charming tropical island of Mauritius on many occasions. Fortunately for me they have always been based around active lifestyle sports events, rather than a week or two of sun loungers and eating.
Don't get me wrong, I love the indulgence but I'm just too health conscious and fidgety to sloth all day. If i can smash a long sea swim and or explore the area on a bike ride or run before the insanely lovely buffet brekki I'm at peace with the world. The more calories you burn the more you can guzzle, win-win, now pass me the nuttella waffles please!
Since 1998 I've run 2 Mauritius marathons & 2 half marathons, ridden 4 vets road cycling tours, 1 around the island mtb, and 3 Colin Meyer mtb Tours. I've seen so much of this unique Indian Ocean island, beyond the sumptuous resorts and tourist sights. Now when i smell incense I'm mentally transported to magical temples in tiny villages, up in the hills. The sound of creole music takes me to the small off shore islands where chilled locals offer fish braais and snorkeling trips away from the crowds. I love the place, its truly underrated, mostly because many people don't explore beyond the package tour. Having really enjoyed the unique experiences of their ride and run races, I've always wondered why there wasn't an international long distance triathlon, especially when flights are direct from all over the world and the currency is affordable. The tri events that we have covered in our mags have either been very small, with as little as 20 participants, or elite African Cups. The swimming on the turquoise Indian Ocean island is simply too fabulous not to host a race that attracts more than just the locals and island neighbours of Réunion. Most of the races we have attended are based in the south, east or west, sometimes finishing in the north. The mountains are more severe in those 3 areas which is great for mtb, trail running and road riding, but the swimming is heavily influenced by strong tidal conditions in each. Fluctuating currents, swell and depth are real issues for open water swimming. Having stayed up near Grand Bay in the north and done many long swims with knowledge local swimmers, its clear that the north is the best area to swim. It's deep and calm enough to provide safe, spectacular swims both inside and outside the protective coral reef. It's like swimming in a tropical fish tank with regular sightings of turtles, rays and dolphins. Warm, clear water - simply the best swimming we have experienced, anywhere in the world. Yes a big statement we know but challenge you to find better.
With this swimming in mind, plus the best resorts, least wind and a great double carriageway, we set out to create a triathlon in the ideal North end of the island that's worth it's salt, excuse the pun. An island experience race to rival the likes of Kona in the northern hemisphere. Over the past 3 years, my local multisporter mates and I have reccie'd routes and chatted to local stakeholders. Event partners such as Club Med, the Mauritius Tri Federation and RM Club have embraced the concept and here we are at last with our inaugural PTO 100km distance and Sprint races happening on Sept 16th 2023. Pinch me.. Why September? Because its cooler with less humidity, quiter roads for training and racing, school holidays for many, and the African Triathlon Cup is 1 week before that. What can participants expect? The 2km point to point swim from the superb Club Med Pointe Aux Cannoniers resort to the white sand Mont Choisy beach is a magical way to start your big day out. This is a stylish and famously fun resort that hosts a water sports wonderland. We can't wait to see your smiles as you line up on the beach looking out over the clear blue beckoning sea.
The 82km bike transition at Mont Choisy takes you through the classy spa & golf course estate towards the open highway. Here you can tuck your ears back and soak up the scenery as you time trial towards bustling Port Louis, then inland towards the mountain with it's famous precarious balancing rock peak. 2 laps of mostly flat & fast blissful biking, then back to the beach.
The 18km run is a bit like Kona, only no nasty energy lab or industrial area. 2 laps along the shore through small villages, past stylish resorts. A mix of tar and beach sand takes you out east then back literally inches from the waters edge to the crowd filled finish on the beach at the resort. An ice cold towel and a tropical cocktail will welcome you to a post race swim then zzz on a sea or pool side lounger. The 750-19-5km Sprint distance route is on the same course but starts on Mon Choisy beach. Check out the race maps on the website. The entry fees are in line with our local races and the Club Med resort has provided a very enticing full board, all inclusive package rate if you'd like to be based in the awesome and very convenient race hotel. The event starts and finishes here plus hosts registration and post race party.
A huge bonus of racing in this famously family friendly holiday destination is the many festival week events on offer to you and your crew. We start with a Wednesday indoor event at the ridiculously stylish, high tech RM Club, including a fun padel challenge, then a Thursday run-swim-run on the North shore, then a kids splash & dash on Friday in and around Club Med's awesome fountain park, race day Saturday, and top off your action filled fitcation with an open water ocean swim on Sunday. All these other fun events are free of charge to event participants and your families. What a win! Entries are open. For more info including route maps etc go to www.bikeruntri.co.za/mit100 and click on events. For any queries feel free to mail us on MIT100@electricink.co.za We'll see you there!