Fortier completes Saipan Sportsfest sweep


Canadian triathlete Charles Fortier capped his stint in the Saipan Sportsfest with another win as he earned the top non-pro finisher tag in last Saturday’s 2015 XTERRA Saipan Sportfest.

Canada’s Charles Fortier is in a pensive mood before the start of the swim leg of the rain-soaked 2015 XTERRA Saipan Championship last Saturday. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Canada’s Charles Fortier is in a pensive mood before the start of the swim leg of the rain-soaked 2015 XTERRA Saipan Championship last Saturday. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Fortier, who was also the first non-pro finisher in Tagaman, was the fastest, too in his field in last weekend’s off-road race after timing in at 3:23:21 in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 30K bike, and 12K trail run. He ruled the 40 to 44 age group, beating Saipan’s Peter Prestley (3:46:55) and Ernie Moises (5:07:23).

Fortier lorded it over in the non-pro category despite crashing three times along the treacherous bike course. He finished the bike race in 1:56:41, which was still good for No. 12 spot and had split times of 21:48 and 1:04:52 in the swim and bike legs, respectively.

“I crashed three times, the first one on the pavement before the turn to the judge’s property (Navy Hill) on a right corner coming downhill. I slid for 10 feet on my side as my pedals were locked and I thought I was going to hit a concrete barrier with my head. It’s the same place where Olivier Marceau crashed. The second was in a technical section after the judge’s house and I broke a spoke. The last one was near the end steep technical muddy section on the way to a house,” said Fortier, who did not consider quitting the rain-soaked race despite his repeated misfortunes.

“I don’t consider quitting races unless my bike is broken or I’m injured to a point that it’s not safe,” he said, adding that he plans to return to Saipan next year to do both races anew.

Meanwhile, last year’s XTERRA Saipan non-pro top finisher Charlie Sendin of Saipan settled for second place overall outside the pro ranks, but won the 30 to 34 age group. He clocked in at 3:27:50 (split times of 23:32, 1:56:47, and 1:07:31) to beat Japan’s Wataru Takagi, who posted 4:45:47 (21:37, 3:14:23, and 1:09:47).

Other top finishers in the men’s age group were 14 to 19’s Jerome Diyco (4:19:59), 25 to 29’s Tobias Theisen (4:29:59), 35 to 39’s Keisuke Hirano (3:58:53), 45 to 49’s Taro Urashima (3:59:38), 50 to 54’s Yuji Ono (3:35:50), and 55 to 59’s Alex Oviedo (4:34:12)

Theisen prevailed over Will Schroeder (5:09:56), while Hirano won over Leevin Camacho (4:01:53), Nathan Mapson (4:28:59), Joel Phair (4:51:26), and Leo Wania (6:28:32). Urashima also downed four other entries in his age group, which had Tyce Mister (4:00:40), Jun Haneda (4:04:05), Mark Cruz (4:23:49), and Yoshihiro Hiwatashi (4:37:54).

Ono finished ahead of Mark Walters (3:54:55), Tatsuya Sugimori (4:06:43), and Noel Altamirano (4:27:57), while Oviedo edged Florence Antonio (4:36:35). Makoto Katayama (5:08:07) and Manny Sitchon (5:47:23) were the other finishers in the 55 to 59 division.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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