The Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago was the title sponsor for Fusion VIII which for the first time was hosted in Tobago on the 31st of May 2014.
The start of the race was announced to the 83 teams one week earlier as Tablepiece Recreation Ground and from 2am on the morning of the event, this serene ground in Tobago was infused with the excitement and energy of the Fusion teams, all eager to begin the race, to test how well their several months of training will serve them; pacing, stretching and doing short runs around the field, warming up for the 4am start. Group photos were taken, timing chips were in place and it was time to begin the first of three legs.
The first leg required all team members to cover a distance of 11.1km and was a foot race along the winding roads through the village of Les Coteaux entering into a jeep trail. Teams continued along this jeep trail into another village and subsequently re-entered into forest to a cavity in the earth referred to as “The Basin” where teams had to answer questions with each incorrect answer resulting in the corresponding time penalty. Teams then had to make their way downhill to the beautiful Highland Waterfall and then follow a trail alongside the river back into the village of Les Coteaux then to Tablepiece Recreation Ground where they started. Teams completed this leg in a blistering time range of 1 to 2 hours equating to an average run pace of 11km/h to 5.5km/h.
Leg 1 was meant to be a warm-up for what was to come! Leg 2 started at 8am and the scorching sun of Tobago would prove to be a formidable force to overcome on the day.
Two team members had to run 1.6km to retrieve a 16 pound token, Fusion Friend, a 2′ cylindrical pipe filled with sand. This run took team members 10 to 24 minutes to return to the start to tag their other team members to begin a scenic but very grueling and technical 11.3km mountain bike ride through Arnos Vale into the Mot Mot trail exiting into Golden Lane Village descending into Les Coteaux. Bikers then had to pedal uphill along Providence Road to Mount Zion Hill and descend to Waterwheel in Arnos Vale and return to the Tablepiece Recreation Ground. Mountain Bikers took 40 minutes to two hours to complete this ride.
When the cyclists return, they must place their bikes on the rack and run to their team-mates to answer questions. After the questions are answered, teams took the Fusion Friend and 2 team members had to give their other team-members a jockey-back to the other end of the transition area with both jockey back groups remaining in connection via the Fusion Friend. Teams then had to proceed as a 4 person unit with the Fusion Friend into the very spectacular Arnos Vale Ridge which provided views from one side of the island to another while traversing the prairie type terrain with its beautiful crests. After 5.9km, teams were given an opportunity to refill their fluids, re-hydrate and cool down for as long as they desire before continuing as a four-person unit to complete the remaining 9.5km with the Fusion Friend in the scorching sun. At this point, everyone realised fully that Fusion is in full flight and is no walk in the park. Teams were able to complete the 15.5km run in a time range of 2 hours 7 minutes to 5 hours.
For the final leg, the race shifted to the scenic Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Firstly, one team members had to cover a distance of 2.5km to hand over to another member to swim in the bay for 200 meters, after which two team members had a 12km cycle which took them into a trail located between the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport and the sea returning to the Pigeon Point Heritage Park to complete a 5km run. With the spectators grown to hundreds, it was a thrilling jostle for vantage point to welcome team after team of amazing racers who were able to toil through the agony and rigours of Fusion VIII to triumphantly finish the course.
- Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
- The Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT)
- THA’s Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport
- Port Authority Sport and Cultural Club
- National Lotteries Control Board
- Blue Waters
- Ecliff Elie Designs
- Red 96.7
- Carib Pilsner Light
- Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Transportation Company Ltd.
- Seamen and Waterfront Workers’ Trade Union
- Gillette Fusion ProGlide
- Charles Chocolates
- Port Employees Credit Union
- Island Fusion Iced TeaAgostini’s Limited
- Pilots’ Association of Trinidad and TobagoMike’s Bikes