Mieko Carey has no idea on who will be her toughest opponent in the women’s division of the 2014 Hell of the Marianas as the former Saipan triathlete aims to rule the eighth edition of one of the biggest bicycle races in Micronesia.
“I don’t know who are the other riders joining the women’s side but I will push myself hard and give my 100 percent to win,” said Carey, who previously won the women’s crown three times.
“I consider Saipan to be my hometown so I want to perform and be at my best when I compete at home. I will be 100 percent ready on Saturday,” added Carey, who placed second to Australian Jodi Willet last year.
Carey, who moved to Guam in 2012, won the inaugural Hell of the Marianas in 2007 and successfully defended her women’s division title the following year. She last won the crown in 2010.
The 36-year-old two-time XTERRA Japan women’s champion said she is well aware how challenging the Hell of the Marianas’ course is but believes her year-long training plus a brief stop to compete in the XTERRA World in October prepared her for this weekend’s race.
“I trained the whole year. We’re lucky that Saipan and Guam do not have winter so I’m able to train non-stop. I was a bit tired at first after coming back from the XTERRA World Championship but now I’m ready for the Hell of the Marianas,” said Carey.
“It will be another challenge for me in the Hell of the Marianas as we go north first. I hope I can hang on to a group of a few riders on the ride to Banzai Cliff to Pacific Islands Club,” added the top female rider in the 65-mile Tour of Guam held almost three weeks ago.
Carey, who now works as an instructor and personal trainer at Nu-Form Pilates Studio, said she didn’t had a hard time adjusting in Guam since it also has a very active and vibrant multisport community.
“I’m doing well in Guam, which has many great athletes who push and motivate me. Guam has a great sports community. It has clubs for cycling, running, and triathlon. And each club has a lot of great members.”
Carey, whose best time in the Hell of the Marianas is 3:17:00, said she’s been enjoying her training session with her new coach who helped her become stronger and faster physically. The new mentor is also giving her the proper motivation, mentally.
When Carey returns to Saipan this weekend, she will be bringing along 15 other Guam riders and is looking forward to a friendly competition with their counterparts on the island.
“I hope Guam and Saipan riders push each other in this kind of events. I am looking forward to see my friends on Saipan and race with them.” (Jon Perez)