American Matt Hammond wins First Annual Surfing Hainan SUP & Run Biathlon
First Annual Surfing Hainan SUP & Run Biathlon
On Saturday, May 14th, on a 32C/90F hot and humid day in Sanya Bay, Surfing Hainan held its first Stand Up Paddleboard and Run Biathlon. The event saw six competitors – three Americans, two Chinese, and one Russian – paddle five kilometers on a Stand Up Paddleboard, return to the beach and then run five kilometers. The event, the first of its kind ever in China, brought together the local community of surfers, watersport enthusiasts, and athletes.
Skull Candy, Billabong, and Rain Tree Hostel came aboard as sponsors to support the event, and provided headphones, boardshorts, t-shirts, and vouchers for competitor prizes. Competitors rode Joe Blair and Virgin Islands paddleboards, varying in length from 8’10 to 10’6 (2.5m to 3m).
The out-and-back course design of the paddle and run allowed for the competiitors to start, transition from SUP to run, and finish, all at the same spot, in front of Wonder Beach Bar in Sanya Bay. Spectators were treated to an almost endless supply of Hainan Beer, making the third time Hainan Beer has sponsored free beer for a Surfing Hainan event.
First place winner, USA national Matt Hammond, said “It was a really good time that was less about serious competition than having fun in this unique event. It’s great to be a part of the race to help bring watersport and beach culture to China.”
Second place winner Kiril Litvinov, from Russia, has been living in Hainan for the past four years, working as a kite surfing instructor. “I think this event is a great combination of two disciplines. My paddling wasn’t great, but I was able to come from third to second place during the run. I’m exhausted now though, having done this in the bright Hainan sun!”
Third place winner, local Hainan resident, Huang Wen, is one of the first local surfers in Hainan, having grown up in a fishing village in Riyuewan, one of Hainan’s best areas for surfing. He said “It makes me proud win third place in this event, to show the world that Hainan is a great place for watersport, and that the locals here are starting to embrace these activities here.”
In addition to the top three prizes, Mona Li, a Chinese native of Liaoning province, and longtime marathon runner, shocked the crowd by finishing her five kilometer run in an astonishing time of 16 minutes! It wasn’t enough to allow her to come back from her last place position in the paddle, but it impressed organizers enough to award her the Spa Treatment prize contributed by the Mandarin Oriental Resort and Spa Sanya.
Event organizer and fourth place finisher Brendan Sheridan said “We’ve been working hard to bring the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding here to China over the last few years, so we are stoked to see it culminate in this great event!”
Surfing Hainan looks to organize another similar event for the Wanning Surf Festival, to be held in November of this year.
Placement as follows
Place Name Nationality SUP Time Run Time Total Time
1 Matt Hammond USA 0:56 0:24 1:18
2 Kirill Litvinov Russia 1:01 0:31 1:32
3 Huang Wen China 1:03 0:38 1:41
4 Brendan Sheridan USA 1:13 0:32 1:45
5 Jym Cotton USA 1:23 0:23 1:46
6 Mona Li China 1:42 0:16 1:58
For more information, please see surfinghainan.com.
SOURCE: Surfing Hainan