New date, new course for Tagaman

This year’s Tagaman Triathlon will be held on June 24 and will feature a new course.

The road triathlon, which is usually held either in March or April as part of Saipan Sportsfest along with XTERRA Saipan and Saipan Marathon, will move its 1.5K swim leg to the waters of Kanoa Resort (official Tagaman Triathlon hotel) in Susupe from Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio. For the swim-bike and bike-run transitions, participants will have to go to Minatchom Atdao Pavilion. The bike run transition in the past Tagaman was located at the American Memorial Park.

Brad Ruszala, left, and Russ Quinn, right head to the swim-bike transition area at the Pacific Islands Club during last year’s Tagaman Triathlon. This year’s Tagaman will start in the waters off Kanoa Resort.  (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Brad Ruszala, left, and Russ Quinn, right head to the swim-bike transition area at the Pacific Islands Club during last year’s Tagaman Triathlon. This year’s Tagaman will start in the waters off Kanoa Resort. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

From the pavilion, triathletes will head north up to Banzai Cliff and back to Minatchom Atdao for the 40K bike leg, while the 10K run portion will have its turnaround near the Chamolinian Utt in Garapan.

Registration is now open with an early bird fee of $125. Entrance fees turned in after May 10 will be $150 and the fees are the same for the individual and team participants. Cash prizes await the Top 3 finishers in the women’s and men’s open categories. Entry forms are available online at www.saipantriathlon.com.

Ricky Castro of the Triathlon Association of the CNMI, which is working with Northern Mariana Islands Cycling Federation in helping Marianas Visitors Authority handle this year’s Tagaman, said at this early, some Guam triathletes have expressed interest in joining the competition. Castro is hoping to surpass last year’s turnout (120) as TRAC and NMICF reach out to both on-island and off-island athletes. The TRAC official will go the Philippines next week to watch a triathlon event and encourage triathletes to try Tagaman Triathlon.

“Tagaman is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, triathlon events in the Pacific and the CNMI triathlon community hopes to keep the competition running by bringing in more off-island participants,” Castro said.

Aquathlon/10K run tomorrow

Meanwhile, TRAC is hosting a pre-Tagaman Triathlon event this weekend with the staging of the 2nd Aquathlon/10K Run.

The aquathlon will feature a 2.5K run, 1K swim, and 2.5K run with the swim leg to be held in the waters near the submerged World War II tanks in Susupe and the run leg turnaround across the Saipan Mayor’s Office along Beach Road. For the 10K run, participants will leave the Kilili Beach and head north all the way to Bank of Guam (across) and back to the start line.

Registration is only $10 and go time is at 6:30am.

This weekend’s event is supported by Kanoa Resort, Islander CarRental, Ecosure Insurance, Sand Castle Saipan, NMICF Let’s Go Tour, Fiesta Resort & Spa, and PIC-Saipan.

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