The 2013 Saipan Marathon was the biggest hit in last week's competitions held here.
The annual event drew more than 600 runners with Saipan's very own Mamiko Oshima-Berger leading the winners list. Berger topped the women's division of the 50K race and was joined on the champions circle by fellow female runners Noriko Jim and Terra Allen, who ruled the 10K and half marathon event.
More Saipan runners either won their age group races or made it to the Top 6 in the 10K, half marathon, marathon, and ultra marathon (50K) events, keeping up with the visiting Japanese runners.
Saipan welcomed more visitors last week with professional athletes from the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Switzerland, and Guam coming over to compete in the 2013 XTERRA Saipan Championship.
Other notable events held last week was the CNMI Men's National Team debut in the Asian Football Confederation 2014 Challenge Cup Qualifiers, the opening of the Women's M-League, the Marianas High School's title win in the MISO soccer league, and the selection of the CNMI Team to the 27th Summer Universiade.
The Blue Ayuyus played Nepal, Palestine, and Bangladesh in the AFC qualifier at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu and although they dropped all their matches, they managed to experience how to play in a very competitive level.
Also in soccer, Independents Football Club and Shirley's Football Club started their campaign in the Women's M-League on a winning note after prevailing over Matansa FC and Paire FC, respectively. Tan Holdings FC and MP United also played in the opening week, but settled for a scoreless draw.
Still in soccer, the MHS Lady Dolphins completed a five-feat in the MISO league after shutting out Saipan Southern High School in the 2012-2013 season finale, 5-0.
In volleyball, John Nekaifes and Clay McCullough-Stearns will don the colors of the CNMI in the 27th Summer Universiade that will be held in Kazan, Russia this year.
Summer Universiade director Marc Vandenplas, in an email sent to Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association president Michael White last week, said the CNMI is one of the two countries in the Oceania zone selected to compete in the University Games.
Other ongoing competitions on Saipan continued last week with the NMBA holding Week 2 matches in the Sun Palace badminton tournament, the DLX/Anchor Strong caging having its regular season matches in Divisions A and B, NMIFA pushing through with the boys U18 and girls and boys U15 matches in the youth spring league, and Saipan Little League having matches in Major, Junior, Senior, and Big League divisions.