Saipan Tagaman


#teamsonictriathlete had a great racation in the weekend of Tagaman Triathlon!

Tagaman Triathlon is actually one of the longest standing triathlon race in the world, together with Laguna Phuket Triathlon, it was originally a mid distance race at 2k swim, 60k bike and 15k run. In the recent year they include 70.3 and standard Olympic distance triathlon to cater the demand!

We arrived at Saipan one day earlier 4am in the morning. Settled down at the official hotel Kanoa Resort, setup our bike and seized time for a quick power nap until 11am. The weather was fantastic, nice cool breeze and sunny blue sky, multiple restaurants and big supermarket are just within walking distance, we had lunch, grocery shopping and we had an hour test ride to part of the race course, it was windy but not crazy. Then we had a test swim to the first tank! Yes a tank! A WWII heritages long standing on the shadow area, yes surprisingly shadow just the waist-level shadow water when low tides. It was just simply amazing, we were having lot of fun around the tank, seeing fishes, taking photos, then volleyball in the pool, even forgot about the race briefing. We just wanted to hang around the beach, having sunset dinner there, watching the show and joining the dance Alex, while we loading up the carbs! It was simply relaxing!

Race day 4am wake up, then we just rode around 1k away to the T1, the setup is just quick and simple then we have to walk back to the hotel for swim start.

It was also a very friendly vibe at the race start when you saw the Marshall keep yelling everyone for a group photo instead of counting down the start time! It just like how we organized the Sonic time trial!

Tank 1 tank 2 then the bouy here we go!

Alex should be no doubt be the lead swimmer, 600m to the first tank then turn to the second one, it was almost follow the sun rise, at some point I even stand up and natvigate where to go, exit the water then a short run to T1.

Bike course was straight forward, 20k out to the north end of the island then back, at some point I felt like how people riding at Kona! First part was just a mild head wind, gentle climb, 2nd half was sweet! Before the turning point I already saw our national team triathlete Tim Law smashing down with motorcycle tailing him as an overall lead. 5-10mins later I saw Alex, then Chris, after turning point I saw Janice and Brandon, Voon then Gigi right behind, all on the road great!!

Steady pace back to T2 and saw Alex already 2.5k on the run, I started counting how many males ahead of me. Off the bike, started the run, I felt fresh and comfortable, nice sea breeze, with big palm tree alongside like running in East Coast Park in Singapore, I caught Chris after 1km and gave his butt a big push, 1.5k per water station nice and sweet! I kept around 5-5:15mins pace in the beginning then maintain a steady 5:30-5:40mins pace till the end, my goal for this race wasn’t push for fast time but keeping at 70.3 effort to see where I am. It was great along the course, remind me my last great OD triathlon in Sanshui ITU in 2012! Finish in 2:47hrs, despite 200m additional swim off course. And you got the whole coconut and wet towel to cool you down when you finished! We all having a great time!!

We didn’t know our result until the award ceremony in the afternoon, we already head out for diving....and always a few surprises!!We all thought Alex won the 2nd overall in OD, then there was a drama at his swim due to missing last buoy, so as DSQ! It was quite disappointing and he was training and pushing hard for this race to see how quick he could reach!

Then Chris Lee, Janice and myself won our age group champion! Our very own national team triathlete Tim Law won overall champion in 70.3 distance and bring home with prize money too!

Brandon finished his proper OD triathlon, and Gigi also finished the race despite her serious cough and allergic conditions.

Voon Lai also finished his second triathlon and very happy with his result as 2nd in AG!

Without a doubt with our party girl FitJan we had a lot of post race fun in the sea, on the beach, in the casino and at the bar that would only stay in Saipan!

Saipan Tagaman is indeed a great destination race with friendly atmosphere, next year they will be 30th year anniversary, we will definitely go back to defend our titles, or make a better result!

Special thanks to Roy JacintoRicky Castro and Pons Corotan for sharing all these cool action shots!

Charles HuiRace