The Early Days
The Bermuda Triangle Challenge has its roots in the first Bermuda International Marathon, which was held January 15, 1975. The event is organized by the Bermuda National Athletics Association (BNAA), a registered Bermuda charity that uses funds raised to send local youth athletes to international sporting events such as Carifta, the Pan Am Games, the Island Games, and the Olympics.
The inaugural race attracted 7 competitors, only 5 of which actually completed the course. At the time, the course began at the National Sports Centre, headed east along Middle Road, turned onto North Shore Road at Flatts, looped around Harrington Sound and headed east along South Shore Road before eventually heading back to the stadium. There was no marathon the following year, in 1976, but it has been held every year since 1977.
The Event Grows
A 10k race was added to the race weekend in 1978, the mile race was added in 1989, and the half marathon was added in 1993. During this time, the event was known as the Bermuda International Race Weekend, then Bermuda Marathon Weekend.
In January 2008, the concept Bermuda Triangle Challenge series was created, allowing competitors to sign up for three races in three consecutive days in the Half Bermuda Triangle Challenge (mile, 10k, and half marathon) or the Full Bermuda Triangle Challenge (mile, 10k, and marathon). The male and female competitors with the overall lowest combined time from all three events are declared the Bermuda Triangle Challenge winners. In its first year, there were 55 competitors in the two challenge events, with 35 of these coming from overseas.
The Bermuda Triangle Challenge
In 2020, the event was officially renamed and rebranded as the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. This was also the first year of the new point-to-point marathon course, which started at the Royal Naval Dockyard on the west end of the island, headed east along South Shore Road, looped onto Harrington Sound Road near John Smith’s Bay, passed through Flatts Village, and headed back along North Shore Road into town.
That year, there were 1,292 total participants, with 701 coming from overseas. A total of 523 runners participated in the half and full challenges, with 352 of those from abroad. Runners from 25 countries ran in the 2020 races, with most hailing from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Other countries represented include Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Ethiopia, Kenya, Singapore, and China.
Over the years, the January races have attracted past Olympic and World Champions, as well as former world record holders, including Joan Benoit Samuelson, Steve Cram, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Ron Hill, Steve Jones, Frank Shorter, Geoff Smith, Kathrine Switzer, and Grete Waitz.