Saturday, 25 April 2009

Tagaman road tri, Saipan

Writing this very tired and weary from Saipan airport. Not looking forward to 48 hours travelling home.

It's been a great trip, we've made many new friends and caught up with old friends too. Thanks to Tyce and Angie Mister and Joshua and Mamiko Berger for putting us up in home stays and making us feel so welcome. Thanks also to two of the best hotels in the Pacific, the Hyatt in Guam and the PIC in Saipan for housing both us and the races.

Tagaman road triathlon consists of a 2000m swim, 60km bike and 15km run. I've got to admit, that after winning both Guam and Saipan Xterra's it was hard to totally motivate myself for this event. Fatigue was catching up from all the racing and travelling, and 4 days scuba diving doing our PADI course didn't help!

However the prize for doing the 'double' of fastest combined time in Xterra Saipan and Tagaman is return flights to here for next year and 7 nights accomodation for 2 at the PIC including a gold card for all meals and also another $500 cash. So it was essential to defend the 12 minute lead I had over Australias Andrew Noble and win this challenge.

In the swim I lost about 4 minutes on the leaders and exiting the perfect Pacific waters for the last time I set about getting this time back. I managed to catch Andy Noble at about 1/2 distance but I was still 2 minutes behind the flying Japanese competitor Masauki Matsumaru. I worked so hard in the searing heat, but only inched closer to Masa. I had the quickest bike split, but was still 2.5 minutes down as we entered Transition 2. After a terrible transition losing my shoes I set about chasing Masa on the run. After about 6 km, he was well in my sights and I was only a minute down. With another 9km of running to go I thought I had the better of Masa. Andrew was not closing on me and I knew i had the 'double' crown, barring any major problems.

However I didn't manage to get any closer, Masa ran the last half superbly and I faded slightly. With a mile to go, the gap was still one minute and I resigned myself to 2nd place and jogged home.

It was a great end to the Saipan sports festival and I urge any Brits wanting to do the races to join us there in 2010.

My main goals on returning to the UK are the 2nd round of the Mountain bike National points series, and then Xterra Italy in 5 weeks time. Let's hope the season continues as it's started.

1 comment:

Rick "man of leisure" Vircavs said...

Well done. Say the Siapan video and it looks amazing there. Glad to see all your efforts paying diviends. I'll be watching with high expectations for the rest of the year. Good luck.