Caerni takes Savai’i crown

By Seti Afoa ,

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Bobby Robina Caerni is surrounded by adoring friends after the big marathon win.

Bobby Robina Caerni is surrounded by adoring friends after the big marathon win.

Savai’i has a new queen. Bobby Robina Caerni is the big winner of the inaugural marathon on the big island. 

It was massive game for the new queen, winning the Savai’i in a record time of 4hrs 25mins 56secs. 

It was all out there today, there were no pretensions. Big game Bobby proved the toast of Savai’i and the glory that goes with it. Rightly so that there were no ladies representing in the marathon today, the gender glory was unified on the young American.

It was 5:30 in the morning at the Lava fields in Saleaula where the three marathon runners set off in the cool of the morning.

There were three marathon runners, the other was Samasoni Nimarota who ran his first marathon. Daniel Afoa was the other. 

He was competing in his third event of the 2016 Savai’i Games. Last Thursday he competed in the Upolu-Savai’i Swim with Team Savai’i and last Saturday he rode the Ford 1 Day Savai’i Challenge. 

Nimarota finished second. The Marathon was his second event in the Games. He was also in Team Savai’i for the Upolu-Savai’i 22.3km swim.

In the Half Marathon, Steve Nimarota took it. 

But that was no surprise, he wins more than he does not, in the middle distances. His time of 2hrs 00 58mins is a little long though for what was expected of him. 

In the women’s race, it was visiting Austrian Alex Bennegger who was draped with the victor’s ‘ula.

The 10km was taken by young Australian Owen Fitzgerald for the men and Lisa Wander of Lalomalava won the women’s race. Fitzgerald’s time of 47mins 33secs was reasonable given the increasingly sauna-like conditions.  Fourteen runners contested the 10km.    

The 5km race went to Tina Kaestner of Dive Savai’i. Fa’apopo Pouma’a of Fagamalo won the men’s race. The 3km race went to local Teuila Tiumalu of Savai’i. Mutia Lilomaiava of Savai’i took out the men’s 3km race.

The inaugural Savai'i marathon brought together sixty runners from all around the world and Samoa. 

It was a magnificent race. It drew the curtain on the 2016 Savai’i Games. Bring on 4-8 April 2017.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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