St. John’s, Antigua.
The AUA Tinman Rohr Triathlon will return on Saturday August 23rd for the 3rd annual edition.
American University of Antigua College of Medicine on Tuesday injected US $5,000 (EC $13,440) into this year’s event as part of its contribution as title sponsor for the second year running.
“We think this is a very important venture and particularly since it’s done in honour of one of our very fine students, a fine young man by the name of Jonathan Rohr who was a triathlete himself and an ironman and unfortunately passed away when he was on campus,” said Chief Operating Officer, Dick Woodward.
Wadadli Triathlon Club President Cleofoster Harris said, “We’re delighted to have AUA back on board once again, and ensure that this great event can continue to grow for another year”.
The triathlon is dedicated to the late Jonathan Rohr – a former student of AUA and founder of the event. The signature event is a half-iron triathlon of a 2km swim, 90km bike and 21km run. That race is usually the reserve of the region’s and the nation’s best athletes but over the years it has also attracted the determined challenge seeker.
“We had four AUA students who, with limited training, were able to complete the full distance last year. It was a strong statement from them that if they can overcome such a distance, they can conquer any obstacle in life, including the pressures of medical school,” explained Harris.
There are also shorter distance events for the young and old. These include a mini tri of a 500m swim, 10k bike and 2k run, a relay of a 2k swim, 40k bike and 10k run and kids races for 6 & under, 10 & under, 14 & under and 18 & under.
In 2013 there were over 200 participants, including over 70 AUA students, and organizers are expecting increased numbers in 2014.
This year the Wadadli Triathlon Club and AUA also team up once again to educate athletes about underlying heart conditions that can result in sudden death.
The education drive comes at the request of the family of the event’s honour Jonathan Rohr who died a couple months before the inaugural event from an underlying heart condition. Rohr was posthumously diagnosed to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – a genetic heart disease which affects one in 500 people and has been known to result in sudden death in athletes.
Jonathan’s father John Rohr noted, “Jonathan’s family would like to express our deep appreciation to the AUA and the Antigua athletic community in their efforts to keep Jonathan’s legacy on the island alive and active year after year through hosting this recurring Triathlon.”
“It means so much to us that others also realize how big a joy you all were in Jonathan’s life this is the tribute he would want. Thank you again,” he added.
Jonathan’s uncle, who raced in the event in 2013, said “We had a great time last year and the people we met and friends we made was the best part. I plan to be a part of this event for a long time and look forward to coming back in August”.