Last Saturday I was able to compete in Saipan's annual Xterra triathlon. The race consisted of a 1.5 kilometer ocean swim, a 30k mountain bike with almost 3,000ft of climbing, and an epic 12k trail run that took us through heavy jungle and into caves used during World War II and along beautiful white sand beaches.
I was surprised to see a bunch of my friends out to support me at 6 o'clock in the morning. It was really great having a cheering section at all my transition points.
Feeling excited and nervous.
The night before Japan experienced an 8.9 magnitude earthquake which put Saipan under a major tsunami warning. The people of Saipan fled to the hills for evening. Luckily the extremely deep waters of the Marianas Trench outside of the island took all the energy out of the big wave before it hit. There was literally no damage here unlike the devastation in Japan and the damage in Hawaii and the West Coast. The effects of the tsunami were still present the next morning of the race. It was as if the ocean was breathing currents in and out of our lagoon, pushing swimmers in all directions and changing the depth of the water in an instant. It was a strange and surreal moment paddling through that water.
The mountain bike section was my favorite. Beautiful single track in the jungles, heart pounding climbs, with screaming downhill sections. It was rainy and wet and everything was very slippery, I had two memorable crashes where I luckily found myself in a soft bush.
As I came into my transitions I was always greeted by my friend Josh Franklin who came and took all these sweet pictures. Thanks Josh!
You can check out more xterra pics at http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fjoshfranklin.com%2Fflaunt%2F%3F%252Fset%252F65b0%252Fbrian%252F&h=cc5aaakwI8F3roZJm5_FZx357lw.
My time was better than I expected. I finished 10th overall and I was the 5th man to cross the finish line. I even came in before a few of the pro's. I was stocked!!!
Swim-23:24 Bike-1:56:09 Run-1:13:32
It was really cool to be a part of a race like this. This was my first triathlon and I think I am hooked and I can't wait for my next Xterra race.