The Aruba Challenge Endurance Festival score sheet

We all agree it is a great idea, to diversity the island’s calendar of activities with a world-class sporting event. Let’s have fewer concerts and more culinary and sporting events.

Now, in its second year, the international Challenge Aruba Triathlon enjoyed the participation of hundreds of pro and amateur athletes, competing in a variety of events. The main challenge on Sunday morning consisted of a 1.9km swim, followed by a 90 km cycle and finally a 21 km run.

Generally speaking, the organizing committee did a good job on pre-production. They posterized every pole with directional instructions and published alternative traffic routes in the newspapers.

Then on October 22nd, they closed of the boulevard for traffic and banned driving in the area of Palm Beach, and Malmok.

While I did not mind, I was staying put, many visitors were inconveniences.

And all the pre-event meetings which promised access to tourist transportation were for nought. They traffic ban did not help those who were leaving on planes, snorkeling boats, and island tours, they inconvenienced many,  just like last year, visitors has to scramble, carry luggage, and get upset, because life on Palm beach came to a stand still for the annual event.

Everyone staying on Palm Beach from the Ritz Carlton to the RIU was on home arrest.

Rocky, the volunteer on my street, dropped off early in the morning to direct traffic, was there again. He was better attired this year, but also on his own from the crack of dawn to midday. He is a ukulele teacher in a local after-school enrichment program, and this time he did not tie any pink ribbons to prevent us from leaving our homes, he trusted we knew the drill.

It was fun to watch the fancy bicycles whizzing by, navigated by skinny men and women, in tight spandex, and futuristic helmets. They were chased by even fancier paparazzi motorcycles, the ones with the raised back-seats, where an in-your-face-photographer with a giant camera lives.

This went on for a couple of hours, with Rocky motioning them which way to go.

This is what I wrote last year: If the race takes place again in 2017, it would mean the athletes were satisfied with the arrangements, hotel guests however, were inconvenienced…. stupid planning…can’t close off all the roads to the high rise area and not care about workers and guests!!! What a mess!!!

Anyway, it happened again!

This year the expo at the Hyatt Regency parking lot got some publicity and I trust it was supported!

Challenge Aruba Endurance Festival: This was a 3 day event consisting of a Sport Expo including a food & music festival, the Challenge Aruba RunWalk, the FitVille Caribbean, Seminars, a Kids Splash & Dash race, besides the main event the International Challenge Aruba Triathlon, with competitors from USA, Colombia, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Brazil, Surinam, Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico and Aruba.
Challenge Aruba is member of the Challenge Family. Challenge Aruba is globally broadcast with a possible reach of more than 600 million views.

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October 23, 2017
Rona Coster