St. Croix: The Fitness Island
When you think of St. Croix, you probably think of limin’ around the beautiful beaches, soaking up the sun and floating in the Caribbean Sea. If so, you may be surprised to find that St. Croix is quite the fitness island as well! St. Croix boasts over 52 races, open-water swims, marathons, and triathlons each year. In addition to the major fitness events held each year, the island also offers multiple tennis and golf tournaments, many of which are also fundraisers for local charities. So, pick a race, or two, or 52, and join in the fun!
The St. Croix Triathlon, is by far the largest fitness event held on the island each year. Started in 1988, this annual event brings in hundreds of elite competitors per year. The St. Croix Triathlon begins with the first wave of athletes plunging into the water off of Hotel on the Cay for the swim around Christiansted Harbor. After the swim, they take their bikes from the staging area and cycle through Christiansted in front of Fort Christiansvaern on a ride that traverses the island, then they run to the East End and around the grounds of The Buccaneer Hotel. The winners cross the finish line on Kings Wharf roughly four hours later. There is also a Sprint race as well.
The Coral Reef Swim attracts fitness swimmers competing for fun, as well as world class open-water athletes. The race is held each October on St. Croix and includes all ages. The event includes a one mile, two mile, and a five mile race through turquoise water and colorful coral reefs, both ending at The Buccaneer’s palm-lined beach where a steel band and refreshments await. The one mile and the two mile race courses follow the shoreline of St. Croix’s East End, and the five mile race begins at Buck Island. With three distances to choose from, the Coral Reef Swims offer an experience for all level of swimmers.
Marathons, Triathlons and Races are also popular on the island, and there are two organizations that host dozens of races on St. Croix annually – the Virgin Islands Pace Runners and the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation. These organizations offer races of varying lengths, courses, and difficulty levels (for both children and adults) throughout the year. Some of the more popular races include the St. Croix Scenic 50 Ultra Marathon, the Fort-to-Fort Run, the Children’s Race, the Women’s Race, the Toast-to-the-Captain Run, the Wall-2-Wall Triathlon, the Kids Splash-n-Dash, and the Caribbean Classic Triathlon.
Golf and Tennis Tournaments are also played here on the island, hosted by local clubs and organizations. Many of the golf tournaments are played at the Carambola Golf Club’s Robert Trent Jones course, including the popular Red, White & Blue Tournament on July 4th. Many of the tournaments that are open to the public are also fundraisers for community causes including the Queen Louis Home for Children Golf Classic, the VIPD Tournament (which raises funds for the K-9 Unit), and Cuisine on the Green (which raises funds for the St. Croix Foundation). Many of the local tennis tournaments are held at The Buccaneer’s beautiful resort courts, and several of the annual tournaments are also fund raisers for local charities including the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix and VIVA-CASA of the Virgin Islands.
St. Croix offers a unique opportunity to combine a variety of attractions, beautiful beaches, and wonderful cultural experiences, with fun fitness events. With annual events for all ages and fitness levels, there really is something for everyone. So, come and enjoy St. Croix, the fitness island! Check out our Events page for more information on the events listed above. You can also check our Events Calendar where specific dates and times will be posted as soon as they become available.– Jennie Ogden, Editor