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HUGO, BUCHER WIN XTERRA GUAM

Early Saturday, the Port Authority Beach in Piti was filled with hundreds of professional and amateur athletes who gathered to compete in the 10th XTERRA Guam Championship with South Africa’s Dan Hugo and Renata Bucher of Switzerland finishing first in the male and female division.

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By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.

Early Saturday, the Port Authority Beach in Piti was filled with hundreds of professional and amateur athletes who gathered to compete in the 10th XTERRA Guam Championship. With support from their family and friends, competitors battled one another in a course that included a 1.5-kilometer swim, followed by a 35-kilometer mountain bike, and concluded with an 8.2-kilometer trail run. After hours of grueling competition, it was South Africa’s Dan Hugo who crossed the finish line in 2:28:40 to claim stake as this year’s champion. In a very tight female division race, Renata Bucher of Switzerland fought her way to the top with a time of 3:03:52.

“A very beautiful day and a very positive finish,” said Hugo. “Everything went as planned, it’s an even better feeling to come back to Guam and win the event this time around. Big thanks to Eric Tydingco and his team for putting together a very organized event.”

From start to finish, Hugo kept the lead despite being challenge by fellow countryman and teammate Bradley Weiss. Coming out of the water, Hugo (19:39) held a slim two-second lead with the mountain biking next up. Battling for third-place after the ocean swim was Nico Sterk and New Zealand’s Oliver Shaw as ten seconds separated the two competitors.

“It was a very competitive race and a good one at that,” said Weiss. “I stayed pretty close with Dan. However, into the biking portion of the event he picked-up a bit of a lead and I knew I just had to continue with the plan at hand.”

Heading up Nimitz Hill and into the terrains of Mount Aluton and through Manenggon Hills, Hugo widened his gap and eventually returned to the transition staging area in 1:24:31. Weiss managed to complete the second portion in 1:29:02. Shaw took over third-place heading out into the run portion of the XTERRA.

As supporters anxiously waited to see who would come out of the bushes and into the home stretch the excitement rose. It took under 45 minutes for Hugo to make his way back and cross the finish line to clinch this year’s title. Shaw claimed second after clocking in an official time of 2:35:43. Rounding out the top three was Shaw who finished in 2:39:12.

It’s a great felling to have won the race and my hat goes off to all competitors in the event,” said Hugo. “Guam is a wonderful place to train and I look forward to many more opportunities.”

Bucher beats Carey by less than a minute

In the female division, Switzerland’s Renata Bucher was at a shock when she crossed the finish line not knowing that she had just won the female division in this year’s event. Heading into the run, Bucher trailed Guam’s Meiko Carey and Austria’s Carina Wasle. However, a mishap by both Carey and Wasle in the middle of the run allowed Bucher to surpass the duo and come home to a title.

 

Dan Hugo leads the pack heading into Channel 10. (photo by Joey Blas)

Dan Hugo leads the pack heading into Channel 10. (photo by Joey Blas)

“I didn’t know that I was first as I came to the finish line,” said Bucher. “I thought Meiko and Carina were both in front of me. I’m so excited and loss for words.”

While battling for the one-two spot, Wasle and Carey misread a directional arrow and apparently went in the wrong direction allowing Bucher to narrow the gap and eventually take the lead.

“When Carina and I were in a certain area I began to realize that there were no more arrows and that things didn’t feel right or look familiar,” said Carey. “It was then that I realize we missed a directional arrow, it was a fault that I have to accept.”

Carey and Wasle would eventually clinch second and third-place respectively. Carey clocked in an official time of 3:04:33, while Wasle crossed the finish line in 3:15:11. While disappointed with making the wrong turn, Wasle sends her congratulations to this year’s winner and runner-up. “Renata and Meiko are great competitors, good job to the both of them.”

Team Tri-No-Mite takes home relay crown

Soloists weren’t the only ones competing in this year’s XTERRA as 16 teams of three duked it out against one another in relay fashion. Taking home the 2014 crown was the mixed group of Tri-No-Mite (Jessica Jones, Jonathan Martin, and Patrick Camacho). The three competitors finished in just under three hours with a time of 2:59:09. Coming out of the swim, Tri-No-Mite found themselves trailing Team Nissan (Shayne Aricayos, Darren Smartt, and Jaden Pangelinan) by more than five minutes.

However, the early deficit didn’t deter as the mountain biking skills of Martin made up for the difference and allowed Tri-No-Mite to take the lead heading into the run. In was from that point where Camacho used up 48:17 before crossing the finish line to clinch first in the relay.

“Our team has our strengths and we compensate for one another,” said Martin. “When we need to lift one another we do in our specific area of assignment. It takes all three of us to compete and win a relay.”

Team Nissan finished in second place with a time of 3:10:38. Rounding out the top three spots was the team of Champ Quinata, Crisens Baguio, and Richard Lin. The trio recorded a time of 3:13:45.

Prize money totaling $15,000 will be distributed to the top male and female professional finishers, while the top finishers in each age division will receive a qualifying slot at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Renata Bucher paces herself uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Renata Bucher paces herself uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Lukess Sos heads towards the hills on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Lukess Sos heads towards the hills on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Makoto Shimamoto sprints towards the top of the hill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Makoto Shimamoto sprints towards the top of the hill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Renata Bucher paces herself uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Renata Bucher paces herself uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Patrick Camacho sprints uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Patrick Camacho sprints uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Mieko Carey heads uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Mieko Carey heads uphill on the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Dan Hugo transitions from the bike ride and heads for the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Dan Hugo transitions from the bike ride and heads for the last leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Tano Lizama heading downhill on the way to Leo Palace.(photo by Joey Blas)

Tano Lizama heading downhill on the way to Leo Palace.(photo by Joey Blas)

Rowena Eastick heads towards Leo Palace for the bike leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Rowena Eastick heads towards Leo Palace for the bike leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Mieko Carey finishes her swim and prepares for the bike leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

Mieko Carey finishes her swim and prepares for the bike leg of the race. (photo by Joey Blas)

David Spelger finishes the swim and heads over to transition to the bike ride. (photo by Joey Blas)

David Spelger finishes the swim and heads over to transition to the bike ride. (photo by Joey Blas)

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