This year’s Triathlon Turkey Challenge, beginning at Meyuns Sea Plane Ramp on Saturday morning, pit nine Olympic course racers over 1,500 meters of open water, 40 kilometers by bicycle, and ten kilometers on foot.
19 Sprint course racers swam 750 meters, biked 20 kilometers, and ran five kilometers.
The race began shortly after 7am in the morning, in the ocean off of Meyuns Ramp. Orange buoys served as markers in the ocean, with Sprint racers swimming the 750-meter course once and Olympic racers swimming it twice. Safety escorts rowed alongside in kayaks for support.
The Olympic Bike race began in Meyuns and took racers through Koror and up to Ngatpang in Babeldaob and back. Racers then ran ten kilometers from Meyuns to Topside in Koror and back. Sprint course racers biked from Meyuns through Koror to the Korean Church of Airai and back, then ran from the Meyuns starting point to the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) Office in Koror and back.
The winner of the Olympic race in the Men’s category was Mr. Orion Cruz, who finished the Triathlon course in 3 hours and 3 minutes. In second place was Mr. William Tejada, who finished the race in 3 hours and 16 minutes. The winner in the Women’s category was Ms. Young Ran Han, who finished in 3 hours and 34 minutes. In second place was Ms. Mayumi Sone, who finished in 4 hours, followed by Ms. Tung Hsueh Chen, who finished in 4 hours and 18 minutes.
In the “Master’s” category for the Olympic race, comprised of racers 46 years and older, the winner was Mr. Manabu Chibana, followed by Mr. Feng Pei-Chou, followed by Mr. Thomas Blaich.
The winner of the Sprint race in the Men’s category was Mr. Gomer Miguel, who finished in 1 hour and 37 minutes, followed closely by Mr. Philip Salvador, who finished seconds later. The winner of the Sprint in the Women’s category was Ms. Alanna Beck, who finished in 1 hour and 45 minutes, followed by Ms. Imee Santos, who finished in 2 hours and 3 minutes.
Two teams of three members each participated in the Sprint race, one all-male team which finished the race in 1 hour and 43 minutes, and one all-female team which finished the race in 1 hour and 58 minutes.
“In races like this it’s not about winning, it’s about pushing yourself,” one participant said. “It’s pushing yourself in between the swimming and the cycling or the cycling and the running to get up and go again that is the most challenging part. But it’s also the most personally rewarding.”
The event was organized by the Belau Triathlon Federation, and sponsored by the Palau National Olympic Committee.

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