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Sea-to-Sea Relay and Ultra Run
ON SATURDAY, the U.S. Coast Guard Running Club sponsored the first annual Sea-to-Sea Relay and 50-Mile Ultra Run.
Thirteen teams of eight runners battled across 50 miles of picturesque trails and sandy beaches under a rising sun to the pools of Inarajan Bay. Ultra Runners started their journey 11 p.m. at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at Ritidian Point and ran throughout the night. The race offered runners and ultra distance competitors the unique opportunity to run trails from the WWII era.
Race director Charlie Epperson offered, “The support of Naval Base Guam and the Guam National Wildlife Refuge made this race possible. It was our goal to offer runners an opportunity to see the beauty of our island by taking a route rarely traveled.”
In the Ultra Run, Rodney Bordallo set a torrid pace that often found his race crew chasing him to the next transition point. Bordallo, a seasoned ultra competitor, was familiar with what it takes to run 50 miles since he completed the Perimeter Relay route solo this past April. Bordallo earned the title of Sea-to-Sea Ultra Run Champion by crossing the line in 8 hours and 35 minutes, but more importantly, he earned the coveted belt buckle – a tradition in the ultra run community.
In the women’s race, three competitors started the race alongside Bordallo. Tina Tainatongo edged Bernadette Schlueter by one minute after 50 miles of running. Temperatures rose to over 90 degrees in the last 10 miles in the women’s race and they depended heavily on their support crews and each other to press on.
In the relay race, Chasing Booty II and EOD quickly distanced themselves from the field. Chasing Booty was hot off setting a new Perimeter Relay record.
Chasing Booty II and EOD both added new talent from their last meeting. In the end, Chasing Booty II was able to hold off a late surge and took the crown at the first annual Sea-to-Sea Relay in 5 hours and 38 minutes.
According to race director Epperson, the real story was the outpouring of volunteers that were necessary to put on an event of this magnitude.
“Without the assistance of our volunteers, it would be near impossible to coordinate an event that includes 50 miles across the island. From the GNWR (Guam National Wildlife Refuge) rangers that opened the park after hours to allow them a serene setting to start the race, to the bicycling safety riders that accompanied runners throughout the course, we were lucky to have dedicated volunteers that support our goals and this race today,” Epperson said.
Teams and runners graciously contributed to the goal of raising funds for a local sporting charity. The Sea-to-Sea Relay was able to provide the Guam Track and Field Association $1,500 to support a local runner’s bid to become a London 2012 Olympian.