RENREN Gaviola and Jay-Ann Felipe finished first in their respective divisions in the Hell of the Marianas Race Series 1: Radar Challenge on Sunday.
The challenge took participants from the starting point at the former Mariana Resort then to Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, Banzai Cliff and finally up to the old radar station where the trail ended.
In the road bike male division, it was Gaviola’s time to shine as he cleared the course at 01:06:56 to finish first. Next were soccer coach Mita Michiteru with a time of 01:11:11 and veteran biker Nap Dizon who clocked at 01:11:45.
Gaviola said at one point during the race, he feared he would not do well. “The course was kind of hard because the finish line was at the radar station, and it’s one of the toughest climbs for biking,” he said.
Moreover, “I didn’t train well for this race and I only had one hour of sleep. So I told myself that I must finish the race so I could get some sleep,” he said in jest.
Despite the struggle, Gaviola was happy with his performance. “I'm so blessed. It was hard to get this first place and it’s my first time to get it in the open category.”
Gaviola said he would like to thank The Bike Shop Saipan for sponsoring his jersey.
In the road bike women's division, Jay-Anne Felipe topped the race with a finish time of 01:15:28, beating Kimiko McKagen who came in at 01:15:47 and Robyn Spaeth who clocked at 01:15:48.
Felipe said she was “surprised to make it to the top.”
She added, “I wasn't expecting to even make it to the top three due to the lack of sleep prior to the challenge.”
She said she first heard about the race 20 days before the event.
“There was little time to train, but the challenge was a stimulating and gripping experience for me. However, personally, the most strenuous part was going downhill from Suicide Cliff to Bird Island and Banzai Cliff because the road was wet and slippery. I am grateful that I reached the top of the radar station safely.”
Among the mountain bike riders, Bobax Aguilar led the pack with a time of 01:29:55 followed by Romando Lagrio who crossed the finish line at 01:31:22 and Renzo Avila who clocked at 01:34:19.