A pack of 152 athletes from 13 countries and territories joined the 2018 Tagaman 51.50/70.3 Triathlon last Saturday—42 percent more than the turnout in the 2017 race.
Athletes commenced their endurance trial off the shores of Kanoa Resort, circumnavigating two World War II tanks in the lagoon before heading ashore to the bike and run transition at Kilili Beach Park. Bikers zipped along quiet roads through the unspoiled nature of Marpi, while the run course traversed the picturesque western lagoon shoreline of Saipan.
Leading the Olympic distance pack was Sol Ji Om of Korea (2:27:30), while Chris Nadeau of Guam (2:27:30) was the first male finisher. Leong Tim Law of Hong Kong finished first in the Half Ironman distance after timing in at 4:23:20) and edging out Alesandr Dorovskikh of Russia (4:31:40) and last year’s Olympic distance winner. They were followed closely by the first female finisher, Manami Iijima of Guam (4:34:30).
Participating countries and territories this year were Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan, Guam, Russia, Taiwan, U.S., Guatemala, France, Spain, New Zealand, and the Marianas.
The Tagaman Triathlon, an annual signature event of the Marianas Visitors Authority, was jointly organized with Triathlon Association of the CNMI and aimed at attracting visiting athletes and media coverage for the Marianas.
“The legend of Taga lives on as we see strong support from the community and the number of participants this year,” TRAC president Ricky Castro said. “We see the continuous revival of Tagaman with the introduction of new course and improvement on running the event, and we expect even more triathletes as we celebrate the 30th Tagaman Triathlon next year.”
“We thank all our sponsors, volunteers and supporters who helped make the 2018 Tagaman Triathlon a success,” said MVA Community Project Specialist Ed Diaz.
Platinum sponsors of this year’s Tagaman were Kanoa Resort Saipan, IT&E and TanHoldings. Gold sponsors were T Galleria, MARPAC, Inc., Bridge Capital LLC, JC Tenorio Ent., Brabu Pharmacy, Triple J Enterprises, PowerAde, KFC Triathlon, Islander Rent-A-Car, and Hyatt Regency Saipan. Silver sponsors were Coca Cola, GU Energy, Pacific Insurance Underwriters, Inc., Tri-Tour, Pacific Development Inc., The Shack, and Marianas Health Services. Bronze sponsors were Fiesta Resort & Spa, Saipan Ice & Water, StaR Water Company, Let’s Go Tour, Laolao Bay Golf & Resort, Kingfisher Golf Links, Mariana Resort & Spa, Marianas Medical Center, and RNV Forex. Event supporters include the Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Deparment of Public Works, DPS Boating and Traffic, Division of Parks and Grounds, Elliot Systems, Agape Christian School, Napu Outrigger Canoe Club, 500 Sails, Northern Marianas Athletics, Hawaiian Rock Products, and the American Red Cross NMI Chapter. (PR)