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Semi-annual Triathlon event a success

Winners of Saturday's Triathlon Olympic Division: Scott Alpuerto (first place) and Matt Bracken (2nd place). The Olympic challenge featured a mile swim, twenty-four-mile bike route, and a six-mile run. See story for full details.  [photo Mark Espiritu]Matt Bracken, who took home second place during Saturday's Triathlon Olympic Division, is seen pushing Miracle, one of the Special Olympians on a stroller during the running portion of the competition.  [photo: Mark Espiritu]

The American Samoa Triathlon Association – a collaboration between South Pacific Watersports and American Samoa Prosthetics – held its ‘twice a year’ triathlon this past Saturday.

According to Joe Tavale, owner of American Samoa Prosthetics, "The event started as a way to keep people busy and fit, and also to remind them about good health habits."

He continued, "We want people to be active and healthy, and also to come out and enjoy the sports. It's an open invite to everyone."

The semi-annual triathlon is held every in January and July since 2014 and the goal is to keep people physically active, and at the same time remind them about the importance of healthy habits like exercise.

This event is also dedicated to people with diabetes, to remind them that they are not alone in their fight against a disease that is perhaps the biggest killer in the territory. It serves as a way to band together to prevent diabetes by living and eating right.

Though the program promotes the battle against diabetes and other diseases, the triathlon is gaining more and more attention every year and it can actually be used to create an American Samoa National Triathlon Olympic Team.

It will weed out the island’s competitors and those with a natural gift in sports, and will hopefully result in American Samoa being represented in this event during the Olympics someday.

The triathlon consists of 2 categories: the Olympic and the Sprint.

The Olympic is the more challenging of the two, with the course including about a mile swim, twenty-four-mile bike route, and a six-mile run. The sprint consists of a half-mile swim, a twelve-mile bike course, and a three-mile run.

Over the past years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of participants with twenty showing up last Saturday.

Last year, only three people took on the Olympic course challenge but that number doubled to six this past weekend.

The organizers of the program told Samoa News last Saturday that their hope is to have people come out so the program can continue to grow and with more participants in the future, there is a chance that hidden talents and triathletes amongst our people will be discovered.