CNMI athletes eye World Championships


Six CNMI athletes will head to Guam later this month to compete in a qualifier for the 2019 Obstacle Course Races World Championships. (Contributed Photo)


Five athletes will try to represent the CNMI for the first time in the 2019 Obstacle Course Races World Championships in London next month.

Team CNMI’s James Lee, Joe Villacrusis, Joey Tudela, Rodney Camacho, and R.J. Aquino will be competing in the Trench Challenge in Guam on Sept. 29 and are eyeing to complete the Trench Challenge Elite Division course to qualify for the World Championships set for Oct. 11. Ando Agulto is also joining the Guam event, but is entered in the recreation class.

“Trench Challenge is the only obstacle course race within Micronesia that is affiliated with the World OCR Federation as well as the only event qualifier to the OCR World Championships,” Lee said.

The qualifier will take place at the Guam International Raceway in Yigo and features 20 obstacle courses.

“We have been training consistently since the beginning of this year and most of the time, twice a day. Most of our training is conducted in Latte Built Gym starting at 5am, concentrating on strength and endurance while cardio out on the field. A big portion of OCR deals with cardio so we have been doing a lot of running as well. We’ve participated in the half marathon run in March of this year and have been working on the terrains at the beach and up hills of Mt. Tapochao, Navy Hill or anywhere around the island to get some good mileage,” Lee added.

Before preparing for the competition in Guam, Lee also joined an OCR event in the Philippines last month.

“I had the opportunity to race at the 2nd Asia OCR Championships held in Manila last month, competing against other countries such as Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, just to name a few. Now hope to carry our flag to Europe as well. The CNMI has never had a representation at the OCR world championships and we would like to be the first one to do so,” he said.

The 2019 Obstacle Course Race World Championships will be held in Kelvedon Hatch and will have a 15-kilometer run plus 100 obstacle course. So far 67 countries are represented in the competition.

“CNMI’s representation at OCRWC will make it 68. We look forward to James Lee and his team earning their spots at the World Championships,” Trench Challenge director Tom Akigami said.

Meanwhile, Lee would like to thank the following for supporting their team: Michelob Ultra IT&E, Brabu, Safehouse, Marianas Visitors Authority, Latte Built Gym, MO.DE Ftness, Monkey Biz Production, and Salty Skin Pacific.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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