The Indian Ocean Triathlon has to be one of the most beautiful, yet accessible, triathlons in the world. The organisation is a tight collaboration between experienced French race organisers and the local knowledge provided by the Mauritian Triathlon Federation. At this race, the emphasis is not on the winners – there is no prize money – but on every athlete wishing to compete in a triathlon in the most exotic and breathtaking venue imaginable.
The race itself is a fraction longer than an Olympic distance triathlon (1.8km swim, 55km bike, 12km run). Family and partners are most certainly not forgotten, and a special race is held on the Saturday where they can experience, to a lesser degree, what their loved ones do on race day. The event has a holiday vibe, but still attracts the top pro athletes. With only pride at stake, the pros interact freely with all participants, and the organisers arrange group rides, runs and swims.
The swim takes place in the magnificently clear waters of the coral reef. The water is Jacuzzi-warm, and the strong current makes sure that your venture to the first buoys takes twice the time. However, more amusing is the rapid swim, with the current, back to T1. The bike course is considerably more challenging. Yes, Mauritius has hills, but once at the top you are treated to spectacular views of sugar cane fields, followed by a fairly technical descent. The run makes this an exceptional race. Three laps of a loop comprising mostly jeep track and a very ‘amusing’ passage on the beach – a photographer’s dream, but very challenging for tired legs!
The highlight of the race is most certainly the sublime finish line, on the beach, framed with local palms, and the turquoise sea as a backdrop, where you are certain to get one of the best finish line photos ever!