Taro Shirato of Japan returned on Nov. 7, 2015, to win a second straight championship in the Olympic distance of the Rota Blue Triathlon. Seventy participants joined the 22nd annual race, mostly from Japan with one competitor from Guam.
Shirato took first place with a time of 2:18:30. Following him just a few minutes short was former champion Hideya Miyazuka in 2:23:17. Third place went to Nobuo Ito with a time of 2:45:41. In the female division, in first place was Miyuki Kiyomoto, clocking in at 2:54:03. Behind her taking second place was Kanako Shiotami with a time of 3:27:18. In third was Sonomi Sato, crossing the finish line at 3:42:48.
In the Half Ironman, Takeshi Ito of Japan secured his first win at 5:18:04. Finishing second was Takayuki Hosuyama with a time of 6:06:15, and securing third was Masato Ikeda, who clocked in at 6:11:41. In the female division, first place went to Hiroko Ashikawa with a time of 5:53:59. Ashikawa was followed by Ms. Atsuko Minakata with a time of 5:54:43 and Noriko Kojima in 6:11:27.
“This year’s Rota Blue was another success,” said Marianas Visitors Authority Community Projects manager Martin Duenas. “There were no injuries and everyone enjoyed the race.”
The event commenced at 6:30am at the East Harbor in Rota. Thirty-four participants entered the A Type and 36 entered in the Half Ironman. The awards banquet was held at the Rota Round House at 6pm with an island-style dinner on the same day as the event. Rota Mayor Efrain Atalig and Duenas delivered short remarks and presented the prizes to the top finishers in the overall and the age division for both male and female divisions.
According to Duenas, this will be the last triathlon on Rota that KFC Triathlon will be sponsoring; next year they will sponsor a biathlon, featuring swim and run legs. This is partially due to the expense of flying race bicycles to the event.
Additional supporters and sponsors included Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Office, Ruben Dive Shop, Mark Michael Dive Rota, Rota Resort and Spa, Pacific Development, Inc., and the people of Rota. (MVA)