(Saipan, Northern Marianas) - Australian Brodie Gardner and Austrian Carina Wasle captured the 15th annual XTERRA Saipan Championship titles on a picture-perfect day in the Northern Marianas on Saturday.
For Gardner, picking up his first-ever XTERRA World Tour win was all about timing … as in, just in time.
“I had troubles with my visa on Thursday so couldn’t get out of Australia,” he explained. “Worked on the problem all night and the next day and with the help of a lot people back home I was able to catch a flight out yesterday and I just here at about 2am this morning.”
Roughly seven hours later Gardner was the champ.
“I led out of the swim and went as hard as I could not to give it up,” said Gardner, 29, who works full-time as a strength and conditioning coach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
“I got lost in the caves, went right instead of left, bumped into the walls. It was pitch black in there. Then I was trying to enjoy how pretty the beach run was except I was tired and I didn’t know how far I had left to go so just had to keep my focus and keep going through the finish line.”
His winning time of 2:52:46 was more than one-minute faster than runner-up Takahiro Ogasawara from Japan. Joe Miller from the Philippines finished third.
In the women’s race Wasle came out of the water right behind Belinda Hadden and Renata Bucher, got in the lead early on the bike and never let go.
“I felt very good,” said Wasle. “I had a good training camp in South Africa at the beginning of the year and felt really strong today.”
It’s the 12th world tour win in the storied career of Carina Wasle, and her second in three years here in Saipan.
“I love this place, and have friends here that I have to come see every year,” said Wasle. “It’s a really beautiful course. It tests you a lot. The run is very technical. It’s just a very special course with the jungle and the caves. There is no race quite like this one.”
Wasle will now head back to Europe for the XTERRA European Tour season-opener in Malta, then go to XTERRA Reunion before continuing on the Asia-Pacific Tour in Australia and Malaysia. She is one of the most adventurous, well-traveled XTERRA elites of all-time since her debut in 2005.
“It’s part of my life to travel and train and race. I love to visit the countries and experience the culture. It’s a good life,” said Wasle.
Mieko Carey finished 2nd in the women's race, followed by 7-time Saipan Champ Renata Bucher in third.
|1||Brodie Gardner, AUS||2:52:46||15:21||1:33:40||1:03:45||100|
|2||Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN||2:54:14||17:10||1:33:27||1:03:37||90|
|3||Joe Miller, PHI||3:05:03||17:03||1:41:19||1:06:41||82|
|4||Kaon Cho, KOR||3:21:08||17:21||1:50:47||1:13:00||75|
|1||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:05:40||17:16||1:43:06||1:05:18||100|
|2||Mieko Carey, JPN||3:12:40||17:20||1:44:31||1:10:49||90|
|3||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:22:38||17:02||1:52:16||1:13:20||82|
|4||Belinda Hadden, AUS||3:40:21||17:00||2:05:18||1:18:03||75|
|XTERRA SAIPAN ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS|
|2002||Mike Vine||Jamie Whitmore|
|2003||Jason Chalker||Jamie Whitmore|
|2004||Olivier Marceau||Jamie Whitmore|
|2005||Olivier Marceau||Renata Bucher|
|2006||Olivier Marceau||Renata Bucher|
|2007||Olivier Marceau||Renata Bucher|
|2008||Andrew Noble||Renata Bucher|
|2009||Sam Gardner||Renata Bucher|
|2010||Sam Gardner||Renata Bucher|
|2011||Sam Gardner||Shonny Vanlandingham|
|2012||Ben Allen||Renata Bucher|
|2013||Ben Allen||Jacqui Slack|
|2014||Ben Allen||Carina Wasle|
|2015||Ben Allen||Jacqui Slack|
|2016||Brodie Gardner||Carina Wasle|
THE OFF-ROAD TO LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA
XTERRA Saipan was the third of six races in the 2015-2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour where pros and amateurs count their best three scores (the finale in Malaysia counts double).
With the win Gardner moves into second-place in the Tour standings with 182 points (he was third in the Philippines) while Ogasawara continues to lead the men's tour title chase with three scoring races and 247 points.
Reigning XTERRA Japan champion Mieko Carey is in the lead of the women’s tour chase with 272 points followed by Lizzie Orchard and Wasle.
Next up on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour is XTERRA New Zealand (April 16, 2016), followed a week later by the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia (April 23, 2016) and then the tour finale at XTERRA Malaysia (May 7, 2016).
XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR ELITE STANDINGS, tentative after 3 events
|1||Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN||82||75||90||247|
|2||Brodie Gardner, AUS||DNS||82||100||182|
|3||Charlie Epperson, USA||75||69||DNS||144|
|4||Joe Miller, PHI||DNS||49||82||131|
|5||Kaon Cho, KOR||53||DNS||75||128|
|6||Cameron Oneal, USA||63||53||DNS||116|
|7||Courtney Atkinson, AUS||100||DNS||DNS||100|
|8||Bradley Weiss, RSA||DNS||100||DNS||100|
|9||Cedric Lassonde, FRA||90||DNS||DNS||90|
|10||Ben Allen, AUS||DNS||90||DNS||90|
|11||Taro Shirato, JPN||69||DNS||DNS||69|
|12||Taylor Charlton, AUS||DNS||63||DNS||63|
|13||Hsieh Jason, HKG||58||DNS||DNS||58|
|14||Michal Bucek, SVK||DNS||58||DNS||58|
|15||Barry Lee, MAS||DNS||45||DNS||45|
|1||Mieko Carey, USA||100||82||90||272|
|2||Lizzie Orchard, NZL||90||100||DNS||190|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||DNS||DNS||100||100|
|4||Jacqui Slack, GBR||DNS||90||DNS||90|
|5||Renata Bucher, SUI||DNS||DNS||82||82|
|6||Belinda Hadden, AUS||DNS||DNS||75||75|
2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
XTERRA Saipan was the fourth of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 23.
|DATE||WORLD TOUR EVENT||LOCATION or WINNERS
|7-Feb||XTERRA Philippines||Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard|
|21-Feb||XTERRA South Africa||Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy|
|5-Mar||XTERRA Motatapu||Olly Shaw/Mary Gray|
|12-Mar||XTERRA Saipan||Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle|
|20-Mar||XTERRA Costa Rica||Playa Reserva Conchal|
|26-Mar||XTERRA Argentina||Dique Ullum, San Juan|
|3-Apr||XTERRA Malta||Majjistral Nature Reserve|
|16-Apr||XTERRA New Zealand||Rotorua, North Island|
|17-Apr||XTERRA La Reunion||La Reunion Island|
|23-Apr||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship||Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia|
|7-May||XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship||Langkawi|
|7-May||XTERRA Brazil||Ilhabela, São Paulo|
|21-May||XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park||Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA|
|25-Jun||XTERRA Switzerland||Vallee de Joux|
|25-Jun||XTERRA Mine over Matter||Milton, Ontario, Canada|
|10-Jul||XTERRA Victoria||Victoria, B.C., Canada|
|16-Jul||XTERRA Beaver Creek||Beaver Creek, CO, USA|
|23-Jul||XTERRA Parry Sound||Ontario, Canada|
|31-Jul||XTERRA Italy||Lago Di Scanno|
|31-Jul||XTERRA Dominican Republic||Barahona|
|13-Aug||XTERRA Sweden||Hellsgaarten, Stockholm|
|14-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Canmore, Alberta, Canada|
|20-Aug||XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship||Zittau|
|27-Aug||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|27-Aug||XTERRA Korea||Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City|
|4-Sep||XTERRA Denmark||Mons Klint|
|4-Sep||XTERRA Quebec||Quebec City, Quebec|
|11-Sep||XTERRA Woolastook||New Brunswick, Canada|
|17-Sep||XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship||Ogden, Utah, USA|
|23-Oct||XTERRA World Championship||Kapalua, Maui|