On Friday January 15th I ran the Bermuda 1 Mile, the first race in the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. This was my first international race and a great kick off to a fun weekend of running in Bermuda!
First some background on logistics, in case this is helpful for anyone trying to make this happen. On Thursday the 14th my parents and I drove to JFK international airport in NYC to take a direct flight to Bermuda. We got into Bermuda around 8pm Bermuda time (it is EST + 1 hour there). We stayed at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort which is super close to the airport and a smaller more private resort on the water. We loved our stay there. They have two restaurants on property, a pool, hot tub, and even a cave that you can swim in.
On Friday, the race was offering a one-way shuttle to go to Hamilton for packet pickup at 3:30pm. The 1 mile race did not start until 7pm though, so we opted instead to get a bus pass that would cover us for the next week in Bermuda, and take the bus into Hamilton to get large lunch and walk around before packet pickup. We knew we would not be eating again before the race at 7pm.
We were able to easily walk to packet pickup around 3 from downtown Hamilton. The bus system in Bermuda is very convenient (there was a stop out front of our hotel) and easy to understand. The bus drivers are also very nice and friendly and more than willing to help you find your way to where you need to go.
We got to packet pickup right when it opened at 3 and easily picked up our bibs (you get 1 for all three races) and 4(!) tech shirts for the Triangle Challenge – 1 for the 1 mile, 1 for the 10k, 1 for the half marathon and 1 for the challenge.
I also purchased some official merchandise because who knows if I’ll have the opportunity to run this again! I bought a bright pink tech shirt that says “Run Bermuda” and a nice full zippered jacket, all for $70 which I thought was a steal. I will say, if you are interested in the official merchandise, get to packet pickup as early as possible. The jackets were selling quickly, as were the hats and tech shirts they had. I was glad I got there when I did to have time to try on sizes and pick out what I wanted from all of the options.
After packet pickup we walked to the bus stop and took the bus from Hamilton to our hotel. The trip from the hotel to/from Hamilton took about 20 minutes. Around that time a lot of people were getting off of school/work so the buses were crowded but we had no issues being able to sit down on the bus. It was pretty cool to see all the local kiddos getting off of school to go home! Once we got to the hotel we did a quick change and headed back to the bus to go back to Hamilton. It may seem like a lot of traveling back and forth but we had plenty of time. We didn’t want to take the race shuttle at 3:30 and have to kill time in Hamilton and figure out where to store all of our goodies from the packet pickup during the race. There was an “honor system” bag check for all three races but honestly being able to change and leave everything at the hotel just worked well for us.
We got back into Hamilton around 5:30/6 and had plenty of time to mill around, and stretch before the 1 mile race. I ate a honey stinger waffle around 6:30 for a little sugar and energy.
Before the race started the Bermuda Regiment Band marched down Front Street and played music for us. It was awesome.
There was a ton of energy and plenty of spectators watching the race activities from restaurant patios.
The 1 mile race is held only for Triangle Challenge participants. You cannot register only for this race. Following the Triangle Challenge Mile there is another set of races called the Invitational Mile where high school kids and elites get invited and compete on the course.
Triangle Challenge participants are assigned a wave (indicated on our bibs) for the 1 mile only. I’m not sure how they assigned them, because my parents were in an earlier wave than I was and I know we put the same estimated times. I’m guessing it might have just been alphabetical. After lining up by waves they release waves every 5 minutes, so I started around 7:15. The course starts mid-way down Front Street, the main road along the water in Hamilton. You run one way for a short distance, turn back and run up Front street, turn back again and end close to where you begin. Because the race course is a couple of out and backs, and has a rolling wave start, it created this really cool affect of runners running in all directions and those waiting in the corral to go were able to see everyone ahead of them run by and cheer them on, and then be cheered on by those behind them. The energy was really awesome.
I really had no idea how I would do in this race. I’ve never run a 1 mile race before and really had no clue how (if) to pace myself. I decided to go as fast as I could and just push push push. It ended up feeling a little tougher than I expected, maybe because it was in the evening after a day of walking around Hamilton. I finished in 9:21 which I was okay with. I feel like I could have done better since my fastest mile in a race has been 9:15 but really I had no complaints.
I crossed the finish and got my first of four medals before finding my parents (they had started in wave 3) and getting a quick photo.
We hung around to watch the first high school race (those girls were FAST) before heading to the bus stop to go home. We had race number 2 (the 10k) in under 12 hours!
We grabbed a quick dinner to-go from the hotel restaurant to eat after showers and I rolled my legs that evening to help them feel loose for the next day of running!