Triathlon Selects the Special Olympics as a Race Beneficiary

Cars work their way up 'The Beast,' one of the best known and most difficult features of the Beauty and the Beast Triathlon. (Photo from Bikesport Michigan)
Cars work their way up ‘The Beast,’ one of the best known and most difficult features of the Beauty and the Beast Triathlon. (Photo from Bikesport Michigan)

The Beauty & The Beast Triathlon announced Wednesday that the Virgin Islands Special Olympics will be one of the beneficiaries of the 2019 race, which is scheduled for Dec. 8.

In 2018, the Beauty and the Beast Race donated more than $30,000 to local nonprofits, including the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, My Brother’s Table and the Community Centers for the Boys & Girls of the Virgin Island.

According to a news release issued Wednesday, the race, headed by VI TRI, has built its foundation around community outreach and growth, with all proceeds benefitting local nonprofits.

The Special Olympics “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship,” the organization says on its website.

Race organizers said the Special Olympics mission aligns with VI TRI’s focus to offer activities and support for all community members.

“The Virgin Islands Special Olympics is in dire need of support not only through volunteer efforts but also through funding,” race director Theresa Harper said. “Their yearly main event draws over 100 children and adults from the local community. VI TRI looks forward to helping the organization continue their efforts to create unforgettable events and lasting memories for those participating.”

For more than 30 years the St. Croix triathlon has provided a scenic and challenging race for athletes, with the focal point being the legendary “Beast,” the steep bike climb that rises up from the north shore of the island, a 600-foot climb seven tenths of a of a mile long with an average grade of 14 percent and a maximum grade of more than 20 percent. The hill has been called one of the most difficult climbs in the sport of triathlon.

This year’s race will offer athletes their choice of participating in a long distance course, sprint course or a sprint aquathlon, the news release said. Relays are offered in the long-distance course and sprint triathlon races.

VI TRI said athletes who want to compete in the race can take advantage of 25 percent off the registration fees when using the promotion code “sharethelove” before Feb. 28. More information is available and athletes can register online at the VI TRI website.