If you have ever traveled to a race, you know the race itself is only one part of the entire experience. The pre-ride with friends, site seeing afterwards, or sampling a new restaurant, all adds to the race experience and makes the trip more memorable. All those other activities can sometimes be the deciding factor that drives you to pick which races to do.
Discovering all that an area has to offer can some times be a little overwhelming. Well, don’t worry. We have you covered. You keep training away because we’ve done all the work and found 16 reasons why you should add the upcoming XTERRA Saipan Championship to your race calendar (beside the race itself).
Why 16 reasons? XTERRA Saipan is celebrating it’s 16th year on the XTERRA circuit in 2017. Affectionately dubbed “The Crown Jewel” of the World Tour, these extra curriculars add to the splendor of this iconic race.
1. Kalabera Cave
Located at the northeastern part of the island, Kalabera Cave is said to have been used as a prison during the spanish period. Can be easily accessed by following the road from the Bird Island lookout. The cave has a large opening and a high roof.
2. Swim to Sunken World War II Tanks
The perfect swim workout while you’re on the island, swim out to these sunken World War II tanks that have been sitting in the bay for more than 60 years.
3. Ride to Bird Island and Suicide Cliff
The island of Saipan is less than 45 square miles, so that makes exploring it by bike rather easy for an endurance athlete. Ride up and around the north end of the island to take in Bird Island and Suicide Cliff. Don’t forget your camera.
4. Swim in The Grotto
Make your way down a steep and winding staircase to this hidden ocean pool on the northwest corner of the island.
5. Visit the Garapan Street market
Along with boundless food and crafts, the Thursday nights Garapan Street Market has live entertainment starting at 6pm.
6. Visit the American Memorial Park Museum
If you have an interest in history, you won’t want to miss the museum in the American Memorial Park. Located next to the race venue, you’ll certainly learn a thing or two that you didn’t know about World War II.
7. Warm Weather
By the time March rolls around, who isn’t ready for a little escape to warm weather and beautiful beaches?
8. Hash House Harrier Run
The Saipan Hash House Harriers runs through the streets and jungles of Saipan every Saturday afternoon and every full moon.
9. Cheap Thai Massages
Whether it’s a few days before the race, or the day after, don’t miss out on the fact that Saipan has many inexpensive Thai massage parlors.
10. Hike to the World War II Caves You’ll Race Through
During World War II, Japanese soldiers dug tunnels on the island that are still accessible today. You will get to sprint through them during the race, but don’t miss out on exploring them further with a brief hike before or after the race.
11. Forbidden Island Hike
Make your way down a bumpy road and a two mile hike, to be rewarded by the beauty of Forbidden Island.
12. Pacific Island Club Water Park
What better way to relax after the race than floating along the lazy river or taking a few runs down the water slides.
13. Swim PauPau
The clear waters of Pau Pau beach will give a great view of the underwater world below.
14. Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
Just grab your goggles and jump in, or rent scuba gear and a guide. Either way, you don’t want to miss all the amazing sea life surrounding Saipan.
15. Amazing Beaches
Who doesn’t find that site inviting?
16. See the Whole Island from the Top of Mt Tapochau
Just a short hike to the summit, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world at the tip of Mt Tapochau.
To find out more about the XTERRA Saipan Championship taking place on March 18th, click on the images below.