Last Wednesday evening, we hosted a taco night dinner at our home and invited all the off-island participants for the XTERRA Saipan Championships. There were several pros and amateurs from Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada, Guam and the US. In the photo above, we met Will Kelsay from the US along with Travis, a fellow Saipan resident participating in his first XTERRA.
Oga san is a Japanese pro triathlete and has been to Saipan many times for XTERRA, Tagaman and the Hell of the Marianas. Yoshimi san is in the background, who's an English language teacher in Japan. Kimiko isn't doing the races this year, but she and hubby Steve, are hosting Ben and Jacqui, two XTERRA pros at their home.
Jacqui Slack, from the UK, is a newcomer to XTERRA and Saipan. She placed well in the Guam and Philippine championships and her biggest competitor is our good friend, Renata. Renata calls Saipan her home course as she's won 6 times and loves our little community.
From left to right: Jens (Renata's beau from Germany), Bill, Branden (pro from Colorado) and Trey (from Team Unlimited Honolulu). XTERRA is a great way to get so many people together from around the globe. This is XTERRA Saipan's 11th year, and we've been a part of it since its inception.
Anna joins our group and meets our Saipan friends: Tyce, Wolf (XTERRA Saipan organizer) and Bobbi (trail marker and volunteer).
Russ welcomes Roman and XTERRA Guam and Philippines winner, Ben Allen, to our home.
That night, we had about 50 people in our house and they enjoyed the simple taco fixings. Thanks to Anna for cutting up all the BBQ'd steak and chicken. It was a nice, casual get-together and a chance to show our island hospitality to our off island visitors. This is what XTERRA is all about... warm welcomes and friendship.
Trey is the VP for PR for Team Unlimited, the company that lends its name to XTERRA Saipan. It's important that Team Unlimited see how Saipan operates and we're always happy to see Trey. In the photo below, Bobbi, Tyce and Jay pose with Ben and Sam from Guam.