Former Tagaman, XTERRA participant figures in bike accident
Former Tagaman Triathlon and XTERRA Saipan participant Arland Macasieb figured in a terrible bike accident last Sept. 4 in New Jersey and a GoFundMe account has been set up to help with his mounting medical expenses.
Triathlon Association of the CNMI president Manny Sitchon is rooting for Macasieb’s recovery and said that Macasieb made a great impression on local triathletes during his stints in the Tagaman and XTERRA in the late 2000s.
“He raced in the Tagaman several times and made a decent placing inside the Top 10. In all his participation, he was the one who advised me to install an aerobar or purchase a tri-bike if I am serious with my triathlon,” he said.
Due to his experience, the TRAC official even considered the 46-year-old Macasieb to serve as the CNMI National Triathlon coach for next year’s 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games that the Commonwealth will be hosting for the very first time next year.
“He was helpful with the Saipan triathlon group especially to the Filipinos in promoting the sport and willingly offered to conduct triathlon camps during the time of his visits to Saipan,” added Sitchon.
In a social media post, TRAC secretary general Ricky Castro shared the accident that befell the triathlon bronze medalist in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
“We are deeply saddened to share the news of a terrible accident that happened to our dear friend Arland Macasieb. Former XTERRA and Tagaman Triathlon participant Arland Macasieb met an accident while biking in N.J., USA…let’s help Arland overcome the biggest challenge of his life,” he said.
Macasieb also endeared himself to the CNMI triathlon community with his habit of crossing the finish line by doing handstands and, of course, his infectious smile.
According to the Fairfield Police Department, Macasieb was struck by a motor vehicle on Two Bridges Road near the entrance to Route 46 East last Sept. 4, at approximately 12:45pm.
Preliminary investigation indicates that Macasieb was traveling north on Two Bridges Road and crossing the entrance ramp for Route 46 East when he was allegedly struck by a custom 1959 Chevrolet Corvette operated by John Lehr, 60, of North Caldwell, N.J.
The Corvette was initially attempting to enter onto Route 46 East and apparently Lehr did not see the bicyclist before he struck him. It appears that Macasieb may have been dragged as far as 100 feet before the Corvette finally stopped.
Macasieb was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson for treatment. Lehr was issued a series of summons to include allegedly having an unsafe vehicle, careless and reckless driving, and for making an unsafe lane change.
In the Go Fund Me page set up by Noriel Simsuangco on behalf of Macasieb’s partner, Twinkle Marie Mangabat, Macasieb was described as having been a big influence to the Fil-Am community in U.S. and also in the triathlon community in the Philippines.
“He has been an inspiration to many people and have given so much to many athletes globally. We humbly ask that we give him back the support that he needs during these challenging times.”
The GoFundMe Page can be accessed through https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-arland-fight-the-race-of-his-life?fbclid=IwAR0qLFJFDcmeKWJWTkhA_2rPfDX_cH4KfUVm7z2EcxgndT2cBjGs5NEJRZw