South Africa’s Dan Hugo led from wire-to-wire, posting the fastest swim (19:39), bike (1:24:41) and run (44:20) times of the day to capture the 10th annual XTERRA Guam Championship in 2:28:40 on Saturday. In the women’s race the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher edged fellow Aloha Racing team member and island favorite Mieko Carey with a winning time of 3:03:52.
“It’s been a stellar two weeks on Guam,” Hugo said at the finish line. “It is a great training environment for Asian athletes needing to escape winter. Multiple running tracks, 50m pools, quiet roads. It has been great for both Brad and I, and that showed today.”
Renata Bucher is the women’s Guam champ for the third time in five years and collected her 33rd career XTERRA championship title, but it didn’t happen the way she envisioned.
Austria’s Carina Wasle posted the fastest bike split of the day and had the lead into the run but missed an arrow and went off course, as did local favorite Mieko Carey, who was second out of transition.
“Carina was very strong today and when she passed me on the bike I could not keep up,” explained Bucher. “Mieko rode well too, she was so motivated for her home race. So I came into transition in 3rd position. On the run, I just kept it steady and safe through the waterfall and the jungle sections. I didn’t run that fast but I had good sight of all the arrows. I ran a lot with Chuck Fortier (Canadian age-grouper who won mens amateur title) and we quite enjoyed the run. When I came to the finish line, I really thought I was second because the only person I passed on the run was Mieko, who also got off-course but Chuck and I saw it and cried loud to let her know to come back. After I passed the finish line, they put the XTERRA Guam band in my hand and told me I won the race. I was so surprised and asked where Carina is, but nobody had seen her yet. Winning a race like that, it feels different, not like winning, more like a present from the island of Guam and the people here. I love this place.”