TRAC conducts ocular inspection of Mini Games course


Tinian’s West Harbor in Songsong will be the venue of triathlon’s swim portion of next year’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games. (Contributed Photo)

The Triathlon Association of the CNMI has already visited Rota a couple of months ago to conduct an ocular inspection of island where the triathlon competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games will be held.

TRAC president Manny Sitchon said he and TRAC board member Florence Antonio met with Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig in early August and the local chief executive helped tour them on the swim, bike, and run course for next year’s quadrennial event.

Atalig also assured Sitchon and Antonio that the Rota Mayor’s Office will coordinate with the Department of Public Safety, Marianas Visitors Authority, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and Marianas Visitors Authority on road improvements that need to be completed before the triathlon competition next year.

The TRAC official also said the swim, bike, and run course for the Mini Games will not follow the old route of the Rota Blue Triathlon.

“The swim portion of the Rota Blue Triathlon isn’t really good because a bit of bad weather and the swells become big,” said Sitchon. “The plan now is to use the West Harbor in Songsong because the water conditions there are more predictable.”

The Songsong Roundhouse will serve as the finish line of both the bike and run portions of next year’s triathlon competition in the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games. (Contributed Photo)

He added that the bike and run portions of the Mini Games triathlon event will also be held in Songsong with the Songsong Roundhouse serving as the finish line of both the bike and run portions. “It’s nice to do the triathlon within vicinity of the village so residents can watch the race.”

As far as equipment is concerned, Sitchon said they can still use the old ones left by MVA when it used to conduct the Rota Blue Triathlon. “They’re still under the care of MVA so we just need to coordinate with them for usage for next year’s Mini Games.”

Northern Marianas Pacific Games 2022 organizing committee CEO Vicente “Ben” Babauta added they are working closely with the airlines with regards to logistics in terms of the bikes, other equipment, and also the triathletes and national and international officials that are bound for the CNMI’s southernmost island for the Mini Games.

“The national triathlon association and its president, Manny Sitchon, went down to Rota and met with the mayor already. It’s all set there. We’re taking the Rota Blue Triathlon equipment and what have you. They’re still intact,” he said.

Asked how many athletes the organizing committee is expecting from Olympic powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, Babauta said the two countries have still to submit their delegation list.

“We probably will get their numbers [at a later date]. They just got back from competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Definitely will get some athletics, beach volleyball, and weightlifting delegates from Australia and New Zealand. Beach volleyball is also a big thing in Australia and New Zealand.”

The triathlon competition of the Mini Games is expected to attract 50 athletes from 10 countries.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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