Returning pros Ben Allen and Daz Parker welcomed the change of schedule for Tagaman Triathlon, which will hit the road tomorrow.
For the first time, the longest-running triathlon race on Saipan will take place ahead of XTERRA Saipan Championship, giving Allen and Parker time to warm up for the off-road event without spending so much energy which they really need for next week’s contest.
“XTERRA is tougher than Tagaman because of the terrain and the hills, so in the past I lost a lot of energy and it was hard to recover quickly and do the Tagaman the following week,” said Parker, who is on her fourth trip on the island to take part in Saipan Sportsfest.
She added that with the new Tagaman schedule, it will not be too difficult to do back-to-back races.
“There will be challenges, especially if it rains on race day, but I think there’s nothing that we can’t handle,” the United Kingdom pro said.
“This is what we signed up for and we’re ready. It’s going to be a long day with the Half Ironman event ahead of us, but we’re accustomed to this kind of challenge. We just have to listen to our body and make the adjustments as we go along the course,” added Allen, who will be trying out the longer course for the first time after missing last year’s race. Tagaman’s Half Ironman features a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90K bike, and 21K run.
Allen and Parker attended the press conference for Tagaman last Friday and were joined by Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio, Bank of Guam vice president and CNMI regional manager Marcie Tomokane, Docomo Pacific general manager James Nelson, Pacific Islands Club’s Glenn Policare, and race director Eric Tydingco. The four companies are the major sponsors of the Saipan Sportsfest.
“We would like to thank our off-island participants for coming over to Saipan to race in Tagaman and XTERRA and help boost our tourism industry. We would also like to acknowledge the event’s sponsors and volunteers because Saipan Sportsfest will not be possible without their help,” Tenorio said.
Bank of Guam is sponsoring the Saipan Sportfest for the first time and the company through Tomokane said they are proud to be part of the annual event that challenges the triathlete’s mind and body as they aim to reach the finish line.
Docomo has been a long-time partner of both Tagaman and XTERRA Saipan, while PIC has been serving as host hotel for both races for the past several years.
“Every year, we look forward to our partnership with Saipan Sportsfest to bring together triathletes from around the world. Next year, I hope we could push for more athletes getting involved in the Saipan Sportsfest,” Nelson said.
Around 100, including those entered in the team event, have signed up for Tagaman, which will also have an Olympic-distance course that covers a 1.5K swim, 40K run, and 10K bike legs.