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4th triathlon in A. S.— attendance grows with each event

Some of the visitors on island who participated in the TRI for your LIFE triathlon last Saturday at the Utulei Beach. [photo: Ese Malala]Winners of the Olympic Triathlon Course (1 mile swim, 24.6 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) that took place last Saturday at Utulei Beach: third place Matt Bracken, second place Patrick McEntire and first place Richard Birgander.  [photo: Ese Malala]Zeniah — a 19-year-old female from Pago Pago, who placed 2nd in the Sprint Category for her age group hurries with her bike during the triathlon that was held last week Saturday at the Utulei Beach. [photo: Ese Malala]

Last Saturday morning South Pacific Watersports (SPW) held the 4th TRI for your LIFE triathlon, which is done twice a year in January and July concurrently was the Special Olympics first ever swim meet. The goal is to promote a fit and healthy lifestyle, specifically addressing the issues of obesity and diabetes, as well as other non-communicable diseases.

Everyone who dares to tackle an Olympic or Sprint Triathlon Course has a motivation and a source of inspiration that stirs him or her into action. These reasons are as diverse as tri-athletes themselves, whether racing to honor the memory of a loved-one lost or to battle an addiction; to bring awareness to a noble cause such as diabetes, obesity, cancer; or to simply achieve a seemingly impossible athletic goal. Tri-athletes are mobilized by the idea that anything is possible.

Triathlon is an athletic contest consisting of three different events, typically swimming, cycling, and long-distance running.

There were two different courses held on Saturday, the Olympic Triathlon Course (1 mile swim, 24.6 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) and the Sprint Triathlon Course (.5 mile swim, 12.4 miles bike, 3.1 mile run).

Michael McDonald, co-owner of SPW said to Samoa News, “The attendance was larger than last year. Specifically, we saw a larger number of individual competitors in the Sprint category.”

Locals and visitors registered to compete in each category. Zeniah Sea a 19-year-old from Pago Pago, who participated in the Sprint Category said, “I was the only local female in this competition and still proud of doing it to fight diabetes even though it was very hard.”


1st      Richard Birgander

2nd     Patrick McEntire

3rd      Matt Bracken



1st      Michael Langeliers

2nd     Va’a Mageo


1st      Hope Lattin

2nd     Stephany Martz

3rd      Renee Sattler

Richard Birgander and Patrick McEntire will be participating in the big IRON MAN New Zealand triathlon in March. McEntire will be representing American Samoa during the event.

McEntire has trained and been with SPW since it opened. He also overcame an addiction and obesity through living a healthy lifestyle. He told Samoa News, “I feel really good about myself because I did the triathlon last year and this year I have improved so much especially cutting out 20 minutes on my time.”

Whether you’re a beginner triathlete training for a sprint or an Olympian, SPW invites all who are interested to contact 633-3050 and to begin training for the next triathlon, which is in July.

South Pacific Watersports & Fitness partnered up with American Samoa Prosthetics and the Department of Health to make the triathlon possible.