Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel proved he still has what it takes to win a race after prevailing in the half marathon of last Saturday's Hyatt Run For A Cause.
Kabiriel, nicknamed Road Runner Bunny, timed in at 1:37:39 in the 21.097-kilometer race that began at Micro Beach up to the Pacific Islands Club and back to the starting line, posting his first big victory in nearly two years.
“I either quit a race due to asthma attacks or get beaten in the past two long distance races I joined in, so it's good to be back and win this Hyatt run,” said Kabiriel, adding that the switch in sports made him slowed down in running, as he spent little time cruising along Beach Road for practice runs.
“I am into canoe racing now and in fact right after this run, I am going to Susupe for another race. I am really happy that I was able to finish this half marathon and win it too,” said Kabiriel, who just placed third to Ronald Villafria in the half marathon during the Saipan Festival of Runs in March this year.
Kabiriel and Villafria were together at the PIC turnaround, but the latter slowed down on their way back to Micro Beach due to cramps to settle for second place with a time of 1:45:25. Cramps hit Villafria as soon as they made their turn at the fire station in front of the American Memorial Park, but he decided to go on and pace himself to complete the race.
Joining Kabiriel and Villafria in the Top 3 was Doug Hartig, who submitted 1:53:04.
Mamiko Oshima-Berger came in third overall, and first in the women's division, despite a two-monthlong layoff from road running. The veteran runner timed in at 1:52:05 and was the lone female entry to complete the race under two hours. Women's second placer Pipit Survaningsin recorded 2:19:10, more than four minutes ahead of third finisher Roxie Lamar (2:23:36).
The Top 3 placers in the men's and women's divisions received medals and gift certificates from Hyatt Regency Saipan during the awards banquet held at poolside of the Garapan hotel.
Age group winners also got medals and gift certificates. The list include 60-and-above winners Fred Camacho (2:09:30); over 50's Joshua Berger (2:20:10), and 30 to 49's Paul Anthony (1:55:59).
Other half marathon finishers were Adam Hardwicke (2:03:36), Tamio Nishikido (2:17:33), Jude Loste (2:20:20), Manny Sitchon (2:21:43), Brad Ruzsala (2:49:11), and Ben Babauta (3:03:03).
Last Saturday's half marathon also had a team competition with four runners combining their times to determine the Top 3 winners.
The quartet of Oshima-Berger, Anthony, Kabiriel, and Villafria ruled the team event with a total time of 6:90:28. Camacho, Hartig, Hardwicke, and Loste finished second, while Berger, Sitchon, Lamar, and Nishikido rounded the Top 3.
Meanwhile, winners in the 10K race will be published in Saipan Tribune's Tuesday edition.