Ironmaning in St. Croix

Was a marathon on your list of goals for 2014?  Running 26 miles would top any New Year’s resolution to “get fit.”  Health experts say the key thing is to simply do 30 minutes of exercise several times each week.  So, as Nike says, “Just Do It.”  If you were in St. Croix in January, you saw the Nikes fly during the St. Croix Scenic 50. The 50 stands for 50 miles. Now that is truly going the distance.

What better way to see St. Croix than running over its rugged mountains and along its beautiful shoreline? Or so say the race promoters.

St Croix is about 84 square miles, which makes it the largest of all the US Virgin Islands. (It is nearly two and half times bigger than St. Thomas.) Its terrain is varied:  hills, rain forest and flatlands – probably one reason why the St. Croix Ironman is a key event in the Ironman series. Thirty finishers this year will go to the big kahuna:  the World Championship in Hawaii.

This year, the St. Croix Ironman competition is May 4. It has long been known as a battle between the racer and the course.  A 1.24-mile swim in Christiansted harbor starts the endurance test, followed by the 56-mile bike portion and concludes with a 13.1 mile run ending downtown. The exact course varies from year to year, but it often goes past Divi Carina Bay Resort, offering participants a beautiful vista from the high points on the road leading to the resort and providing Divi guests a chance to encourage the racers.

If you’re wearing that new Fitbit you got for Christmas, wave your arms a lot as the participants hustle by.  The device tracks arm movement, so you’ll be upping your daily activity count and calories burned, which will get you just a wee bit closer to your own fitness goal.

If inspiration struck as you were watching, head back to Divi Carina Bay for some paddle boarding in the bay.  Or, you can just relax.  The hotel has an Ironman Special (No fitness test required.) for participants, spectators or those simply in need of a dose of Caribbean sunshine in May.

Take note:  this package goes the distance.  Book five nights and stay two more nights – for free.

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