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The U.S. Virgin Islands is home to many internationally recognized sporting events from triathlons to sportfishing competitions. The islands provide optimal conditions for these events including challenging race courses, deep troughs and temperate waters. Many hotels and resorts offer packages for participants and spectators. Here’s a sampling of the best of the best in USVI sporting events.
St. John’s 8 Tuff Miles
February is the month to gear up and get fit for the Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race. The race begins and ends at sea level, but in between it’s one tough course. Starting in Cruz Bay, the route rises 1,400 feet in elevation in the first five miles and stretches across St. John to descend downhill to Coral Bay. 85 prizes are awarded in 14 age and gender categories, and cash prizes are awarded to the top male and female runners. Proceeds benefit several local charities and scholarship recipients. In 2007, 35 states were represented, as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada and France. Visit www.8tuffmiles.com for more information.
VI National Park Beach to Beach Power Swim
This annual fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, is held every Memorial Day weekend. The race is divided into three courses. The first, from Maho Bay to Cinnamon Bay, is approximately one mile. The intermediate course continues to Trunk Bay in a two-mile stretch. The long course is a three-mile swim from Maho Bay to Hawksnest Beach. Swimmers compete on the long course individually or as a three-man relay team. Prizes are awarded in age group, gender, assisted (with snorkel and/or fins), unassisted and team challenge categories. Visit www.friendsvinp.org/swim or call 340-779-4940 for additional information.
Annual Love City Triathlon
Held in August, this triathlon consists of a half-mile swim, 14-mile bike ride and a four-mile run. The event begins in Maho Bay, then circles St. John and ends at the Annaberg Ruins. Award divisions for the triathlon are top five male, top five female, top three relays, and the Inter-Island Award. Each team must consist of at least one female, and all three of its members must be individually entered in the triathlon. The top three combined times are declared winners, and each of these teams has its island’s name mounted on a trophy, which will be displayed the sponsor’s establishment. For more information visit www.8tuffmiles.com/landssharks.htm