The numbers are on the rise when it comes to triathletes on Guam. In 2019, Guam Triathlon Federation’s first super sprint of the year, there were only 60 athletes. That number doubled during Sunday’s race held at Hoover Park in Piti. More than 100 competitors in addition athletes already on teams pushed the total to 137 participants to kick off the 2020 Super Sprint series.

“The GFT Super Sprints have always been popular because its distance is not intimidating as the Sprint, Olympic or other long-distance triathlons,” GTF Acting President and Triathlete Dave Torre said.

After more than a year on the sidelines due to an injury, Torre joined the 2020 scene with a ticket to the series. He said he holds this event close to his heart, because he first joined the triathlon scene with the GTF Super Sprint back in 1998.

“I was new, and I used my mountain bike on in this race,” Torre said. “It’s a popular race because the athletes can get this race done within one hour, and then go on with their day.”

First-time triathlete Steve Phillips III, who is known for his skills on the gridiron, decided to try something different in the new year. According to Phillips, he heard from his friends how fun the sprints are and he wanted to live a healthier lifestyle.

In the past, Phillips competed in swimming, running and biking races around the island, but during Sunday’s race, he wanted to try combining all of those disciplines in one race.

“I swam the Cocos Crossing (international open ocean swim) and tried the Tour of Guam Road Race (cycling), too,” he said. “I decided to put everything together. It was a lot of fun, and it’s something I definitely want to do more of.”

Out of the 137 competitors, Phillips was able to finish 28th overall with a time of 39 minutes, 59.2 seconds. Phillips said he was impressed with the top performers, which included Manami Martin (30:04.2), Christopher Jack (31:13.9) and Mark Imazu (31:54.4)

“This race was short, but it was an eye opener to see the amount of training these other athletes do year round to be able to compete in locally or regional events,” said Phillips. “ It’s something I want to look into. It’s a great hobby and something to keep me active and healthy.”

The next GTF Super Sprint will be held at 7 a.m. Jan. 26 at Hoover Park in Piti.