Tuesday, March 16, 2010

XTERRA comes to Saipan!

The XTERRA Saipan Championships first came to the island in 2002. It was the first major offroad triathlon race in the CNMI and at that time, it came with a huge media crew, professional triathletes and lots of enthusiasm from the organizers at Team Unlimited.

This year, we just celebrated the 9th Annual XTERRA Saipan Championships. Although the big media crew is gone, participants and pros from all over the globe congregate on this tiny island for a few weeks of fun, sun and races! Here are our favorite Aussie friends from the Gold Coast, Julia and Allan. This is Allan's third visit to XTERRA and Julia's second. Keep on coming back!
Last Thursday evening, we hosted a small barbecue at our home for our special guests. Renata, pictured center, is the reigning XTERRA Saipan Champion from Switzerland!
One of the great things about XTERRA is the friends that we meet. We met Juergen at XTERRA Italy last May and have become friends. We encouraged him to race Saipan, so here he is!
Harley is new to our social life. She is getting to know all of our friends. She loves plants!
On Friday evening, we met up with Kahuna Dave at the Welcome Dinner. Mike Vine, pictured left, is the visiting pro staying with us.
On Saturday morning, the race conditions changed completely due to the weather. It rained most of the night and made the seas rough and trails slippery. Micro Beach was the venue for the race start where the Championship racers swam two laps while the Sport course racers swam one. Here are our friends: Mark, Jake, Tammy & Kai. By the way, Kai (16 yr) beat everyone on the long course including all the pros!
The Swim Start was delayed about 10 minutes due to the buoys and lifeguards getting set. The bike course was wet and slick! Here's Russ riding down the Lamar section.
The last part of the 12km trail run is on the beach.
Unfortunately, Jackie had two big crashes and was transported by volunteers to the compound and then later taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Thanks goodness she's OK, just lots of cuts and bruises!
Kevin had a hard fall on pavement in the Chinatown section. He has major road rash on his leg and arm. Apparently, a van driving down the road hit a cone which rolled into his way. Poor guy!
Julia and Allan at the finish line! Strong work!

This year's Awards Party theme was "Graffiti Party" where everyone can write on each other's shirts. Here, Shonny (2nd Place winner), one of the pros from Colorado, signs Russ' shirt.
Renata (6 time winner) autographs Allan's head!
The Top Five Men: Mike Vine (Canada), Jason Chaulker (Australia), Sam Gardner (UK), Takahiro Ogasawara (Japan), Michael Hiscott (UK)
After the dancing and fun, Russ, Mieko and Renata are sumo wrestling!
Strangely enough, we were the last to close the party that night with Mieko, Kevin, Mike and Kahuna. Cheers!
Sunday was the annual XTERRA BBQ at Obyan Beach and this was Harley's first day to the beach!
Jim Lovell (the race timer), his daughter, Tyce and Lewie sit near the BBQ. There was shrimp, beef ribs, chicken, spam and bratwurst!
GL Brown came all the way from Michigan and he was the oldest competitor (66 yrs). This is his fourth visit to Saipan. Kahuna is looking buff after losing 30 lbs over the last year. Juergen promises to come back next year and bring more friends!
Russ says Harley has cankles. She has a slim body, thick legs and ankles!
She took to swimming OK on her first try.
She's still only 7 weeks old and shivered after her swim.
When we returned home, she slept for a long time! It was her biggest day yet.
On Monday afternoon, she was helping Mike fix the bike. She got the chain oil on her face & back. Very naughty girl! She truly is a Harley!
This week is the Sportsfest with the 21st Tagaman Triathlon on Saturday!


Shannon Quinn said...

I LOVE it! Looks like you had a fun time at the race!

I especially love the cankles! But don't tell Harley that, it'll hurt her feelings ;)

Sean said...

Harley is so cute! Man, I miss the Saipan community more than anything. There are always cool things going on there.

Hope we can get together with you all when we come to visit in two weeks.

Faye said...

Harley looks like she's having a blast! :)