Flora Duffy: Bermuda’s Star Triathlete

Triathlete Flora Duffy does it again. An island girl from Bermuda, Duffy continues to take the world by storm with her multiple championship wins.

In March, Duffy finished first in the 2017 MTO Champions Race, Elite Women’s category, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She competed against some of the world’s best mountain bike racers, including last year’s winner, Ariane Lüthi.

The race kicked off at the Kayamandi Sports Fields, with a route that included a bumpy grass field, an embankment, and dusty streets in a suburb set on Pappagaaiberg’s steep slopes.

This win was on the heels of her February victory in the 2017 XTERRA World Championships in South Africa, marking Duffy’s fourth year dominating the race.

Duffy, who made her XTERRA debut in 2013, defended her title with a more than six-minute lead over South Africa’s Mari Rabie.

Not a lot of triathletes venture into off-road racing, but XTERRA was Duffy’s welcome break from ITU racing. And the fact that she has managed to find success in both traditional and off-road formats is beyond impressive.

Duffy believes her XTERRA experience also helps improves her ITU performance. And with the ITU Multisport World Championship Festival—to be held in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada—only four months away, she has her work cut out for her.

Not only is Duffy the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series World Champion. Last year’s win also made her the first-ever woman to win two consecutive ICU cross triathlon world titles. In 2015, she made history in her home country too as the first Bermudian to bag the ITU crown.

Bermuda will actually be hosting three events in the ITU World Triathlon series in the next three years, giving Duffy an opportunity to race and shine in her own turf.

As it is, Duffy is a star athlete in Bermuda and an inspiration to her countrymen. She has been representing the country in the Summer Olympics, starting with the 2008 Beijing Olympics, followed by the 2012 London Olympics. She placed eighth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and in the same year reached the top step of the podium during the World Triathlon Series in Stockholm, Sweden, and earned the overall Series Crown in Cozumel, Mexico.

And yes, Duffy’s stellar record has put Bermuda on the map when it comes to the world of triathlon. She’s now widely known in the country, with locals closely following her career.

In addition, her success story has helped push triathlon in the spotlight, turning it into one of Bermuda’s major sports.

Among triathletes in the international circuit, Duffy has set the bar and taken the lead in the Multisport world, and many are starting to follow her lead. She has, after all, tried various genres of triathlon, including off-road racing. Off-road triathlon has a higher risk of injury and requires riding a mountain bike, so breaking intro this genre can be a challenge.

While Duffy is already an expert cyclist in the off-road triathlon field, she is working on becoming a more well-rounded athlete as well. Her focus: becoming a stronger runner.

Duffy, who is better known for her cycling and swimming skills, is stepping up her running game by spending more hours on biomechanics and gym work.

Consistency in training is another of her priorities. She currently has two training bases—in Stellenbosch and in Boulder, Colorado—where she can improve her running, swimming and biking.

With all the hard work she has been exerting in the past several months and with the great start she has had this season, 2017 is shaping up to be an excellent year for Duffy. Determined to being pride to Bermuda again, this 29-year-old triathlete is out to continue making her mark in the world stage.