Charlie Sendin and Mamiko Oshima-Berger conquered the longer and rain-soaked course of the 7th Annual Marianas Coffee Trail Run held last Saturday.
Sendin, who debuted in the annual tournament last year and finished second in the 10-kilometer race, this timed took the 20K challenge and made an impressive showing, placing first out of the 39 runners. The 32-year-old triathlete completed the run, which started and ended at the American Memorial Park and brought participants to coffee plantations in Navy Hill and some XTERRA Saipan Championship trails leading up to Mt. Tapochao, in 1:48:24 after crossing the finish line drenched in water, as heavy rains poured all throughout the race.
“It was tough, as the course was longer and slippery. I initially thought it was only 15K, just like last year,” said Sendin, who caught up with erstwhile leader Peter Prestley down Mt. Tapochao along the area where ATV bikes pass through.
Prestley ended up sliding to third, as Jesse James also slipped past him. James clocked in at 1:50:52 in his Coffee Trail debut, about three minutes ahead of Prestley’s 1:53:43.
Oshima-Berger missed finishing the race under two hours, but her 2:13:33 still topped the women’s field for her fourth win in the annual competition. The veteran runner ruled two Coffee Trail contests (10K and 30K) held in 2010 and prevailed in the 20K (1:46:38) in 2012 before missing last year’s race.
“It’s nice to be back because I really love this Coffee Trail course,” said Oshima-Berger, who was also greeted by a heavy drizzle when she crossed the finish line.
Oshima-Berger prevailed against Lorie Hutchison and Pipit Ball, who clocked in at 2:20:00 and 2:24:28, respectively, to round out the Top 3.
“I was running with a Japanese tourist and behind Lorie, who may have been lost along the course,” said Oshima-Berger, who also won the Mt. Tapochao Turkey Trot Run with Sendin late last year.
Sendin and Oshima-Berger along with the other Top 3 finishers (overall) and age group champions received prizes from the event sponsors during the awards ceremony at the Micro Beach pavilion last Saturday.
Joining Sendin and company in the awards ceremony were U18’s Hyun Taeo Choi (2:26:27) and Agnes Khang (2:51:28); 19 to 29’s Steven Johnson (2:12:40); 30 to 39’s Goshi Sato (2:12:42) and Kathy Ruszala (3:05:54); 40 to 49’s Tyce Mister (2:04:36) and Maki Narita (2:34:19), and over 50’s Joshua Berger (3:06:10).
Meanwhile, results in the 10K race later this week. This year’s Coffee Trail Run was supported by Marianas Coffee Company, Pacific Development, Inc., Department of Public Safety Traffic, B.J.
Attao and Jesus Attao, Frank Camacho (Turkey Farm), Department of Public Lands, Parks and Recreation, Saipan Shipping, Co., Pacific Islands Club, Canton Restaurant, and Marine Tech (S2Club).