Tomorrow’s 2016 Tagaman Triathlon will be a Saipan Swim Club family affair as the group will have several entries to both the solo and relay divisions of the Olympic course in the road race.
In the Olympic course, which covers a 1.5-kilometer swim leg at the Pacific Islands Club, 40K bike, and 10K run, SSC will be represented by swimmers Christian Villacrusis, Kento Akimaru, Taiga Sato, and the youngest solo participant in the race, the 11-year-old Coume Kaga.
Also attempting to complete the Olympic course (solo) are the parents of SSC swimmers, namely Ayumi Kaga, Kaoru Takahashi, Ayuko and Goshi Sato, and Ayano Braxton.
In the relay, SSC swimmers and their parents will either team up together or join forces with other athletes.
The Takahashis, father Masanori and sons Leo and Rinto will join the men’s relay and will be up against the SSC swimmers trio of Jinnosuke Suzuki, Taiyo Akimaru, and Rintaro Miyawaki. Two more SSC swimmers will compete in the men’s field with Jinnosuke’s older brother, Lennosuke and Salofi Welch teaming up with Marianas High School student Haruya Eda.
Akira Kadokura is another SSC swimmer competing in the men’s relay with Tony Stearns as his biker and runner, while Jinju Thompson is also part of a two-athlete team, partnering with Erico Castro in the mixed relay division. For the three-person team, SSC swimmer R.J. Pierce will have fellow Saipan Community School students Jeffrey Seo and Ken Song as teammates.
In the women’s division, SSC swimmer Ayaka Sato will have David Boyer’s mom Laurie as her biker and another SSC parent Akiko Miller as runner.
The SSC swimmers and their parents have been training for months in preparation for this weekend’s race. Tomomi Sato, Taiga’s mother and a participant in last year’s Tagaman, joined the group’s practice sessions along with Joshua and Mamiko Berger, Ricky Castro, Tiffany Lin, and Stearns.
Meanwhile, 124 participants signed up for this weekend’s race, which will also feature a Half Ironman course that covers 1.9K, 90K bike, and 21.1 run legs.
Swiss pro Renata Bucher, Australia’s Belinda Hadden, and former Saipan resident Mieko Carey will battle for the women’s Half Ironman title, while South Korea’s Kaon Cho is the lone entry in the men’s pro field and will be joined by a couple of Japanese and fellow South Korean age group participants.
Bucher and Hadden arrive on Saipan yesterday and will be conducting a free triathlon clinic this Tuesday at the Napu Room of the Pacific Islands Club at 5:30pm.