Gregory Pigeon of St. Martin has been coming to Saba to participate in nine editions of the annual triathlon. Out of those nine, he won eight.
The Daily Herald asked him after his very successful race on Saturday what he loves about Saba’s Hell’s Gate Triathlon. “Saba is very special for me. I won my first race here. Since then, I have won 60 races, but I will never forget that this is where I won my first race. That race gave me the inspiration to continue to train hard for the next win. It is always special to come back here,” said Pigeon.
Asked about this year’s triathlon, the 41-year-old teacher at the lycée in St. Martin said that the overall conditions were good, but that the swimming part in the Fort Bay harbour was very hard. “In my nine years, I have never seen the sea so rough. This year the triathlon’s slogan ‘Where even the swim is uphill’ was really true.”
Still, Pigeon, who came to Saba with 5 other triathletes, did his best time ever: he completed the entire course in 1.42 minutes. Two minutes faster than last year. “I am 41 now and close to my peak. We had a good preparation in St. Martin two weeks ago with the triathlon where the distances are more or less the same.”
Being well-prepared is necessary for Saba, explained Pigeon. “Saba has a really rough course. Especially the biking part is hard. You come out of the water, get on your bike and you immediately face a hill with an incline of 23 per cent, the famous S-turn to go to The Bottom. Nowhere else you have this situation. It makes the Saba triathlon unique.”
This year a team of six persons came to Saba from St. Martin. Pigeon said he would try to bring more participants from the French side next time. He said a special thank you to everyone in Saba who came out to cheer the participants on, the organisation and the volunteers. “Thanks to all the people along the road and at the finish. It is truly great to be a part of this race.”
The Daily Herald.