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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018-3:45:39P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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XTERRA Saipan draws 12 countries

(MVA) — The “crown jewel” of the XTERRA series, XTERRA Saipan championship welcomed 56 athletes from twelve countries and territories on Saturday, March 18, for the world’s toughest off-road triathlon event.

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Sam Osbourne of New Zealand finishes first in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017.Sam Osbourne of New Zealand finishes first in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017. Alexander Cezon of the Philippines takes on the bike course in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017.Alexander Cezon of the Philippines takes on the bike course in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017. Tomomi Sato of Saipan goes on to become the 2nd female finisher in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Sprint held on March 18, 2017.Tomomi Sato of Saipan goes on to become the 2nd female finisher in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Sprint held on March 18, 2017.
Tyce Mister of Saipan goes on to finish 3rd  in the 50-54 age division of the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017.Tyce Mister of Saipan goes on to finish 3rd in the 50-54 age division of the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017. Michel Orin of the U.S. tackles the trail run and goes on the finish 2nd  in the 30-34 age division of the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017.Michel Orin of the U.S. tackles the trail run and goes on the finish 2nd in the 30-34 age division of the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017. Kieran McPherson of New Zealand pushes to a 4th place finish in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017.  MVA photosKieran McPherson of New Zealand pushes to a 4th place finish in the 2017 XTERRA Saipan Championship held on March 18, 2017. MVA photos
Sam Osbourne of New Zealand clearly led the championship pack, finishing in 2:34:29, while Carina Wasle of Australia defending her 2016 title by leading the Women’s Division to finish in 3:18:54. Rounding out the Men’s Division top finishers were Bradly Weiss of Republic of South Africa in 2:42;18 and Ben Allen of Australia in 2:43:16. Finishing behind Wasle were former Saipan resident Mieko Carey of Guam (3:34:29) and Mokoto Kamo of Japan (5:23:44).

Other participating athletes hailed from the U.S. Russia, Austria, the Philippines, Slovakia, the Marianas, and Hong Kong.

Ten competitors in the abbreviated 2017 XTERRA Sprint were all from The Marianas, with top female finishers Ayano Braxton (2:38:57), Tomomi Sato (2:57:33), and Ayumi Kaga (3:00:42). Top Male finishers were Jacob Winegardner (2:52:45), Boboy Aguilar (3:04:51), and Leo Wani (3:14:39).

XTERRA Saipan is an annual signature event of the Marianas Visitors Authority and is the first leg of the nine stops of the Asia-Pacific Tour. Overcast skies and a stiff breeze greeting athletes as they undertook a 1.5-kilometer swim off the waters of Micro Beach, followed by a punishing 30K bike ride up and down the off-road hills, and a 12K epic run going through the tropical rainforest, past World War II relics, and inside secret caves.

“It was a great day for racing, and a great race,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion. “As always, The Marianas community rolled out the red carpet for the athletes, and we can all be proud of the reputation we have in the XTERRA circuit due to not only our incredible course but also the incredible hospitality we offer.   That’s what make XTERRA Saipan extraordinary, and we sincerely thank our co-organizers NMI Cycling Federation and Triathlon Association of the CNMI, all the sponsors, supporters, and the local community for making the event a success.”

Additional sponsors were: Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Northern Marianas Cycling Federation, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Triple J, Fiesta Resort and Spa, TRAC, Pacific Islands Club, Let’s Go! Tour, Saipan Apparel, Marpac Inc. Supporters were: Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire & Emergency Medical Services, American Memorial Park, Division of Parks and Grounds, Marianas Health Services, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Northern Marianas College Nursing Department, Saipan Canoe Club and Miss Teen CNMI.   Volunteer groups included Mt. Carmel School students and Napu Juniors.