In this file photo, participants compete in the 2022 Rainbw Cup triathlon, held at Turtle Beach, Tobago. – David Reid
RAINBOW Cup organiser Jason Gooding is thankful that more sponsors have come on board for this year’s triathlon event after the 2022 edition was downscaled because of the covid19 pandemic.
In just over two weeks some of TT and the region’s best tri-athletes will compete in the 17th edition of the Rainbow Cup at Turtle Beach in Tobago on June 10. The Rainbow Cup, organised by the Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club, also serves as the national championship.
Some of the sponsors of this year’s event are Odessey Timing, TT Triathlon Federation, M&M Insurance, Broking Services Ltd, Massy, Tobago Tourism Agency, Subway, Allnite Acti-Liv Sports Collection, Universal Ambulance Service, Blue Waters, Classic Awards Ltd and ATPerformance Lab.
“We had the event (last year), but it was scaled back a bit because I was not sure about funding,” Gooding said. Last year marked the return of Rainbow Cup after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
“We basically just did the event (last year) to have an event. This year we have a little more funding, (but) not as great as it has been in the past. I am not as worried as I was last year. We are going to have a good event.”
Gooding said sponsorship goes a long way. “I am always grateful for sponsors. I don’t think people realise how much money it costs to have an event. They think you just come to the event and that is how it is…we are just happy we have a few of the older sponsors.”
One of the previous title sponsors is Massy and Gooding is thankful they are still supporting the event.
Gooding said the event’s format has worked for years and they are keeping it the same for 2023.
Athletes will compete in many categories including the gruelling standard distance of a 1.5K swim, a 40K ride and a 10K run. That event will kick off proceedings at 7 am.
In the sprint individual and team relay events, participants must swim 750 metres, ride 20K and run 5K. In the relay, a team will include three athletes – a swimmer, a rider and a runner.
If a team only has two athletes that team can still compete as one person will have to complete two legs of the race.
Youngsters will compete in the age group categories. In the 7-9 category, athletes must swim 100m, ride 1K and run 500m.
The 10-12 and 13-15 competitors are required to swim 375m, ride 10K and run 2.5K. Athletes willing to attempt a triathlon can participate in the Try-a-Tri event (375m swim, 10K ride, 2.5K run). A 5K running event will also be held.
Space is running out, but athletes can still register at www.rainbowcuptobago.com
Gooding said, “Registration for Rainbow Cup usually goes on until the day before the event…but we have a lot of events that are close to selling out. We usually have 30 people for the standard distance triathlon and right now we are up to 27 people registered for that. We usually cater for about 100 people in the sprint triathlon and we have just over 70 registered for the sprint.”
Providing a high-standard event is important to Gooding and they avoid having overcrowded races. “Why we have caps in our events is because we want to maintain the quality of the event. It is all well and good you open it up and you have 1,000 people coming to do the event, but the course I don’t think can handle 1,000 people…we keep it with manageable numbers and I think the athletes appreciate that and it is manageable for us.”