by Dave Delgado
Guam - The press conference for the 2014 XTERRA Guam Championship, presented by Guam Visitors Bureau and PIVOT LLC was held at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort this morning. Nearly 130 professional and amateur athletes representing 11 countries are set to compete for a chance at walking away with some of the prize money totaling $15,000 which 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.
Michal Bucek from Slovakia said, "I heard about it a lot and everybody says it's a pretty nice race and it was the location that caught me to want to come here as well as the unique course with the waterfalls and the weather, Just to try something new and different and when I come back, already I see a lot of really nice things here so I'm excited to see the course this afternoon."
The Xterra Guam will take place at 7:00 a.m at Port Authority Beach in Piti this Saturday. Eleven professional athletes, including local pros Mieko Carey and Charlie Epperson are registered for the race. Returning professional athletes are 2013 XTERRA Guam runner-up Dan Hugo and Bradley Weiss of South Africa, XTERRA Guam 2012 top female finisher Renata Bucher of Switzerland and Carina Wasle of Austria. First-time XTERRA Guam pros include Markus Benesch of Austria, Michal Bucek of Slovakia and Oliver Shaw and Mark Leishman, both of New Zealand.
Nico Sterik of South Africa told KUAM Sports, "The people are super friendly and that is something that stands out with Guam. From a race course perspective the bike course is definitely much different from what I'm used to in South Africa and I haven't seen the run course. So it's a much different course than I'm use to and I believe there's a long climb from the start of the bike course so that is something we all have to get use to."
The course begins at Port Authority Beach with a 1.5-kilometer swim, followed by a 35-kilometer mountain bike up Nimitz Hill, into the technical terrain of Mt. Aluton, then down through Mannengnon Hills. Competitors will then return to the transition point at Port Authority Beach to begin the 8.2-kilometer trail run through jungle rivers and slippery waterfalls. For additional race and registration information, visit http://www.xterraguam.com or contact Eric Tydingco at firstname.lastname@example.org.