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GEARING FOR TRIATHLON SUNDAY

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GTF logo 2 (1)PRESS RELEASE – The Guam Triathlon Federation (“GTF”) will be hosting its annual National Triathlon Championship, presented by TakeCare, this Sunday at the Merizo public pier.  Showtime is 6 am and go time is 7 am.  The Olympic distance triathlon consists of a 1,500 meter swim, 40k bike and 10k run and will serve to crown the 2013 male and female national champions.

Race for first heats up

The solo-competitor and relay race divisions are shaping up to be a very competitive field.  Defending national champions Aysha Perez and Gabe Lombard are both returning to this year’s race and are looking to improve on their finishing times from last year.  XTERRA pro Mieko Carey will look to set the pace early, eyeing a first place finish in the women’s division.  Sara Haack, recent second place finisher in the GTF sprint series, is also in the hunt for a podium finish.

2013 Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier Cameron O’neal is sure to be in the mix on the men’s side, as he will officially be eligible for the national championship title after 5 years of continuous residency on Guam.  Coming off of a blazing 1:13 half-marathon in Australia last week, standout runner Charlie Epperson also can’t be counted out of this year’s race.

Relay team favorites

In the relay division, the Olympic team of Chris Duenas (swimming), Derek Horton (biking) and Derek Mandell (running) are the early favorites – although several other strong teams have recently registered that include cyclist Peter Lombard and high-school standout runner John Aquino among others.

National Team Qualification

The race also serves as qualifying event for the GTF national team.  The two fastest male and female resident triathletes will compete to join the current reigning national champions to represent Guam in Papua New Guinea for the Pacific Island Triathlon Championship in August.

“Just to clarify, this race is open to everyone,” GTF President Mark Cruz said, “one person mentioned they thought the race was only for athletes trying to qualify for Papua New Guinea. This race is GTF’s annual Olympic distance race in Merizo and is open to everyone, so come on out this Sunday.”

Race entry fees are $35 (GTF members/students 17 and under) or $45 (non-GTF members) for the Olympic distance race.  Relay teams are also encouraged to join for $15 per person (GTF/students 17 and under) or $25 per person (non-GTF member).

Registration includes a limited edition GTF dry-fit t-shirt, finisher medals, swim cap, buffet lunch, refreshments and more.

“The award ceremony will be taking place right after the race,” Cruz said, “we encourage everyone there to stick around in beautiful Merizo with us for the music, refreshments and a great buffet lunch.”

“We want to give a huge shout out to TakeCare, DCK Worldwide, Ambros, Hornet Sporting Goods, and all of our awesome volunteers that are making our biggest race of the year possible,” added Cruz.

Registration forms must be submitted to Hornet Sporting Goods no later than 4pm Friday.  Forms can be downloaded at triathlonguam.com or picked up at Hornet.  Packet pick up and the race briefing will be taking place at 4pm at the Venue.

Interested relay participants who are looking for athletes to team up with can email Matt Ellis at stackgod35@gmail.com for help in finding teammates.

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