Saipan Community School teacher Sarah Vander Wal topped the run-swim-run component of early yesterday morning’s 5th Aquathlon & 10KM Run that started at the Kilili Pavilion in Oleai.
Vander Wal finished the 1km swim split in 18:29 before tackling the run splits (two 5K runs) in 43:49. Her first place finish came as a complete surprise to the eighth grade teacher.
“I was expecting the swim team kids to finish before me,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Vander Wal said after her success in the 5th Aquathlon & 10KM Run, she will now train her sights on next March’s Tagaman Triathlon and the Saipan Marathon.
“My next plan is to do the swim part of the Tagaman on a team with Rommel Tiosejo and Taylor Nowicki. I am also planning on running the half marathon in March. Other than that, I don’t think I have any other upcoming goals,” she said.
Coming in second overall to Vander Wal and first among the male competitors was Shuji Kuroda with splits of 19:47 for the swim and 44:00 for the run. Savita Sikkel and Claire Devey rounded out the top 3 in the women’s division with splits of 20:29 and 46:32 and 22:58 and 49:33, respectively.
For the men, following Kuroda to the finish line were Taiyo Akimaru and Jacoby Winkfield with swim and run splits of 18:21 and 47:04 and 20:12 and 47:07, respectively.
In the relay, the trio of Tiana Cabrera, Jinju Thompson, ad Kuu Nishimura—known collectively as SIS Geckos—was the lone entry in the mixed division and breezed through the race in lightning speed 14:13 in the swim and 38:59 in the two 5K runs.
The swim portion of the 5th Aquathlon & 10KM Run was held in the waters off Kilili Beach, while the run portion started at the Kilili Pavilion and continued north toward the turnaround point at Monika’s Gallery.
A total of 20 athletes and one relay team took part in the run-swim-run component of the 5th Aquathlon & 10KM Run, which was organized by the Triathlon Association of the CNMI and sponsored by the Marianas Visitors Authority and Kanoa Resort. The results of the 10K run will be published in tomorrow’s edition of the Saipan Tribune.
TRAC’s 5th Aquathlon & 10KM Run was the second leg of their series leading up to the 2020 Tagaman Triathlon. The first was their Duathlon event held last Dec. 21 in Paupau Beach. The last of the series will be the Sprint Triathlon set for Feb. 29 that would involve a 750m swim, 20-km bike, and 5-km run.