Honolulu triathlon could turn duathlon this year

Matt Camp
Matt Camp

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL)- More than 1,200 tri-athletes toughed it out in last year's Honolulu Triathlon, but this year it may look a little different. It all has to do with something in the water.

Tri-athletes typically run, bike and swim but if the threat of box jelly fish doesn't change, this year's Honolulu Triathlon will be a duathlon.

Eight to twelve days after a full moon, box jelly fish arrive and are a big problem for swimmers in the water. race officials recently learned the event day fell in that period and that presented a problem. For tri-athletes like Matt Camp, it takes endurance.

"Physically exerting yourself, wearing yourself out, feeling tired, your muscles ache," said Tri-Athlete Matt Camp.

The drive to practice.

"Two to three hours a day," said Camp.

And a special diet.

"A lot of fish, lean meats, chicken," said Camp.

To stay determined. But Camp says the Honolulu Triathlon possibility of turning into a duathlon this year is discouraging.

"The swim was my strongest part of the triathlon so now I'm really reconsidering whether or not I'm going to do it this year," said Camp.

Race officials posted a notice on their website saying the threat of box jelly fish on event day means swimming now becomes optional for athletes the day before.

"It was determined after a couple weeks that the infestation was going to be high energy for us to be concerned," said Race Spokesman J.J. Johnson.

They thought about moving it to another day, but the event's bike portion requires the closure of city and county roads. It's something that's not easily able to be re-booked.

"I think it's good that if they have a high risk of jelly fish that they cancel that because the last thing you want is someone to have a really bad allergic reaction," said Camp.

Still, others are optimistic the event will appeal to athletes.

"There's a lot of athletes that I coach, they're looking forward to participate and it should be fun," said Boca Hawaii Owner Raul Boca.

While it might not be the "Hon Tri", Camp and the rest of these tri-athletes will keep doing what they enjoy, training for the next big race.

Race officials say another reason for not changing the date is many mainland and international competitors already booked their travel plans months ago. This year's event is May 17th but organizers expect business as usual next year.