Fast, Mieko fastest out of ‘Hell’

From left, Russia’s Konstantine Fast and Alexander Dorovskikh and Japan’s Ryutaro Nakamura slow down as they head toward Bird Island during last Saturday’s 8th Annual Hell of the Marianas. (Jon Perez)

From left, Russia’s Konstantine Fast and Alexander Dorovskikh and Japan’s Ryutaro Nakamura slow down as they head toward Bird Island during last Saturday’s 8th Annual Hell of the Marianas. (Jon Perez)

Konstantine Fast and Mieko Carey survived the slippery and treacherous 100-kilometer ride around Saipan to rule the 8th Annual Hell of the Marianas century cycle race held last Saturday.

An early morning downpour did not dampen the spirit of more than 170 riders, who braved the 6am start time, with Fast and Carey recording the fastest times in the the men’s and women’s pro/open category.

Fast, who has been competing in the century race every year since 2011, pedaled his way at an average of 21.96 miles per hour to finish the race with a time of 2:49:22. He was 1:19 ahead of compatriot Alexander Dorovskikh (2:51:41), while Japan’s Ryutaro Nakamura completed the Top 3 with his 2:56:13.

The 38-year-old cyclist from Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East shattered Japan’s Kasuhiro Yamamoto’s 2:56:38 time last year when organizers decided to change the starting and finish line from Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio to Marianas Resort & Spa in Marpi. Dorovskikh finished second behind Yamamoto last year with Korean Kaon Cho rounding up the Top 3 male finishers.

Australian John Anderson holds the event’s record (2:44:52) when the original route began and finished at PIC two years ago. His 2012 time shattered his 2011 record of 2:57:47.

“I liked the route this year because of the steep hills after the first five kilometers. This is the kind of route that I love,” said Fast through an interpreter. “I enjoyed the Suicide Cliff route. Riding up was also the most difficult time since the muscles are not warmed up yet.”

Nakamura held the early lead going to the four corners—Banzai Cliff, Bird Island, Grotto, and Suicide Cliff—with Fast and Dorovskikh not far behind. The three helped each other by alternately holding the lead.

Fast then made his move and broke away from that three-person lead group after the ride out of Kingfisher. Not even the road construction work along Isa Drive could slow him down.

“I’ve competed in a lot of races and definitely there are places like that (construction or renovation) based on my experience so I had no problem at all,” said Fast, who is a member of Singha Thailand’s international pro cycling team.

Guam’s Peter Lombard finished fourth (3:11:19), while Korean Cho, who also joined this year’s XTERRA and Tagaman triathlon races, dropped to fourth with a time of 3:12:35. Park City, Utah native Chris Peters came in at sixth (3:43:17).

The Top 3 male and female winners received medals and cash prizes—$1,250, $750, and $500.

While Fast got his first Hell of the Marianas men’s championship, Carey reclaimed the women’s crown she last won in 2010 and in the process clinch her fourth title overall.

Carey, who relocated to Guam two years ago, was the fastest female rider to go around the island, clocking in 3:30:36. Her time was slower compared to the 3:17:00 she recorded in the same race a couple of years ago.

Australian Jodie Willet, who failed to join this year and defend her title, holds the best time in the women’s division, recording 3:03:44 last year when she defeated Carey (3:15:09).

Saipan’s Kimiko McKagan, a regular fixture in various racing events on Saipan, came in at second place with a time of 4:11:44 while Guam’s Lynn Matix finished third after crossing the finish line in 4:36:56. (Jon Perez)

Jon Perez Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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