Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tinian...2nd visit

I loved Tinian so much, I went back for more.  This time to participate in a race, the Turquoise and Blue Triathlon.  It was scheduled for the same weekend as the annual Pika Festival during which they celebrate, among other things, Tinian's famous hot chile peppers.  There are pepper-eating contests, boat races, musical performances, even a hermit crab race (I missed it, darn).

Sunset view during the 7 minute flight over from Saipan.
Pretty much made the 2hr delay worthwhile.
The triathlon was small, and a lot of fun.  The weather was gorgeous and several people (not me, darn) spotted sea turtles during the swim.  There is a photo of a few of us at the race over at another participant's blog.  And Peter is not kidding when he describes the risk involved during the very brief hop, should you choose to fly with Star Marianas...
Others took the ferry, in order to haul their bikes, but the way back was especially difficult.  The water was so choppy, they had to circle around the island all the way to the south and then back around and up to Saipan.  The dolphin and sea turtle sightings did not make up for the seasickness that was generally endured by all, from what I heard.

This is a teeny tiny empty "building" in the middle of a vacant
lot.  For some reason the Democrats thought it would be a perfect
place for a sign during the recent election. (??)

the water looked like this for our swim
One of the best parts of this race was at the finish line.  I was among a small minority of local racers because most of the participants are Japanese, who travel from Japan just for this occasion.  The race coordinator is Japanese, most of the announcements and orientation are in Japanese, and there is a triathlon club from Japan that composes something like 75% of all racers.

Anyway, while the rest of us cross the finish line with loud and obnoxious hooting and/or fist pumps (or, alternatively, we immediately crumple onto the grass with relief, ahem...), many of the Japanese--most--would cross the line and then pause to bow politely to the cheering hordes.  So dignified, so polite.  During the race, everyone would call out encouragements to each other, too, in whatever language we could manage.  It was a great vibe, for any readers who might stumbled across this post looking for info about the "Tinian Turquoise and Blue," I definitely recommend it.

1 comment:

graMoM said...

You didn't say how you did... Did you place? And there were no little cheerleaders from your fan club there to encourage you??
Glad you got to go and compete!