TRAC proud of ‘near perfect execution’ of Mini Games


Triathlon Association of the CNMI president Manny Sitchon, third from left standing, joins other technical officials of the triathlon competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 last June on Rota. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Triathlon Association of the CNMI is mighty proud of helping organize the triathlon competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 last June.

“Like other CNMI sports federations, TRAC’s highlight for last year is our near perfect execution of the Pacific Mini Games 2022 that was held on Rota,” said TRAC president Manny Sitchon.

He emphasized the competition set on Rota made the task even more herculean in an effort to make the Mini Games truly CNMI-wide. It can be recalled that the final classification matches of beach volleyball were held in neighboring Tinian.

“The would-be deal-breaker was the triathlon event was held off-island which made the task more difficult. Considering the logistics and everything, we were able to push through without any glitch. That was because of TRAC members’ teamwork and the help of the Oceania Triathlon representatives Stephen Damien and Peter Aldridge,” he said. 

It was also a bonus that the CNMI National Triathlon Team also medaled in the Mini Games when Isaiah Aleksenko Leo Wania, Kathy Ruszala, and Heather Brook took the bronze medal in the run-swim-run event.

That gave the CNMI a perfect 9-for-9 in events offered in the Mini Games as it eventually medaled in all sports offered in the quadrennial event.

As for 2023, Sitchon said they will again have a full slate of activities for the islands’ triathlon enthusiasts.

“To start the year 2023, we will have a duathlon, aquathlons, and sprint triathlon events in preparation for our athletes’ participation in the upcoming events, particularly the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands this coming November and December 2023.”

To kick off the year, TRAC will hold the 7th Duathlon on Feb. 19 from Banzai Cliff in Marpi. The event will involve a 5-kilometer run, a 20-km bike, and 2.5-km run.

As for challenges in 2023, the TRAC head said some of the CNMI’s top triathletes being ineligible to take part in regional events like the Pacific Games is a major stumbling block.

He said in the Pacific Games only U.S. citizens with five-year residency in the CNMI can represent the CNMI and that drastically limits TRAC’s pool of available triathletes to send to such competitions. 

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

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