Mamiko Berger conquered the Olympic course of the 2016 Tagaman Triathlon in style as she became the top woman finisher among Saipan participants in last Saturday’s race.
Berger registered 2:51:02 in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K bike, and 10K run to lead Saipan female finishers and take the top honors in the 45 to 49 age group. The 46-year-old winner placed ahead of five others, including former pro division participant Kimiko McKagan, who timed in at 3:07:01 for third place. Berger was the only athlete in her age group to complete the course under the three-hour mark as runner-up Kaoru Takahashi clocked in at 3:05:46. Other finishers in the age group were Hiroko Maeda (3:19:00), Shoko Watanabe (3:56:20), and Clare Summers (4:04:26).
Berger, who was fourth overall in the women’s field behind South Korea and 20 something triathletes Gyu Ri Kim (2:19:53), Won Jeong Choi (2:26:38), and Dan Bi Hong (2:39:52), had split times of 31:20, 1:35:35, and 43:57. The 2010 Micronesian Games 5,000m and 10,000m gold medalist was among the few athletes to finish the run leg under the scorching heat in less than one hour.
“I tried to push myself in the run leg after taking it easy in the swim and bike races because I am training for two marathons next month,” said Berger, who will compete in the Saipan and Guam marathons set for April 10 and 16 this year.
“I was also surprised to find out that I am the top female Saipan finisher. It was a hot race, but a good one. The race was a good training for me and I did well in the bike even though I used an MTB,” she added.
Meanwhile, other top age group finishers in the women’s division were Kim, Choi, Shawna Brennfleck, Ayano Braxton, Atsuko Sato, and Yukari Nakajima.
Nakajima prevailed in the 50 to 54 division after clocking in at 3:39:45 and beating fellow Japanese Rika Fujita (3:55:44). Sato also won her one-on-one showdown against Ayumi Kaga in the 40 to 44 age group as the former submitted 3:11:25 versus the latter’s 3:19:20.
In the 35 to 39 age group, Brennfleck was way ahead of Tiffany Lin and Kathy Ruszala after logging 3:08:46. Lin completed the race in 3:47:10, while Ruszala recorded 3:51:52. Kim ruled the 19-and-under age group against Saipan youth athletes Angel Marie Tan (2:59:26) and Coume Kaga (3:08:34), while Choi downed compatriot Hong and Kate Freeman (3:17:07)
SOURCE: SAIPAN TRIBUNE By Roselyn Monroyo