2 teams off to strong start


Carlina Maras, seen here running for Saipan International School in last year’s Northern Marianas Athletics’ cross country series, is part of Saipan International School Grade 3 team, which was one of the two squads to first reach the 42-mile mark of the Run The Marianas. (Contributed Photo)

Two teams have reached the first stop in the Run The Marianas, as the newest race in the CNMI continues to draw “off-island” participants just less than a week after the event kicked off.

English Academy was among the squads that signed up for the virtual race, which has attracted 186 runners so far, including those from North America, Oceania, and Europe. English Academy “landed” at the first stop of the Run The Marianas—Maug—after completing the first 42 miles of the 460-mile (740 kilometers) course that would bring runners from Farallon De Pajaros to Rota via Saipan and Tinian and other “island chains.”

Cary Bertoncini, Andy Jiang, Yeawon Kim, I Hou Loi, Kazuma Nakabayashi, Zihuan Shan, Chia Hui Wang, LiTai Wang, and Jeremy Yoon are the members of English Academy. Saipan International School Grade 3 was the other team that “landed” at Maug with LeaAnne Eaton, Aiden Atalig, Selina Chi, Diana Cullwell, Juny Le Kim, Carlina Maras, Jenna Pascual, Yummy Peng, Jude Rayphand, Leilani Ruszala, Marlicarose Sablan, Quido Jambor, and Lucy Woo running for the squad.

A virtual certificate is awarded to English Academy for making it to Maug, the first “landing spot” in the Run The Marianas. (Contributed Photo)

Ron Snyder, headmaster of SIS, which organizes the Run The Marianas with Northern Marianas Athletics, said majority of the individual runners and team just started their “tour” around the Marianaas last Thursday so he expects more participants to reach the first “island chain” this week.

In the individual event, Carrie Lewis from Iowa is the pacesetter, while A Team, made up of Lindsay Nash and Whit and Finn Altizer, is ahead in the non-school team division. Running Ruzsalas, The Proclaimers, The PeanutHeads, SIS Grade 2, Team CzechMate, The Fantastic Five, Team Isla Montessori, SIS First Grade, and Team Goal 50Kg are the other participants in the team event so far, while the individual race category has Steven Manaoakamai Johnson, Hannah Friedrich, and siblings Taylor and Dani Nowicki.

After the Maug landing, the next stop in the Run The Marianas is Asuncion, which represents the 67-mile mark of entire “course”. Runners will then proceed to Agrihan (130-mile mark), Pagan (175), Alamagan (214), Guguan (234), Sarigan (276), Anatahan (300), Farallon De Midinilla (325), Saipan (376), SIS (388), Tinian (397), and Aguijan (410), before completing the course by reaching Rota (460).

Leilani Ruszala is a member of Saipan International School Grade 3 team, which “landed” at Maug yesterday to complete the first 42-mile of the 460-mile Run The Marianas. (Contributed Photo)

The more members a team has, the more mileage the squad will log and the faster they will reach the finish line. Teams and individual runners have until Feb. 14, 2022 to wrap up the race. Team captains will receive a virtual certificate for every landing made, while each member of the team will receive medals if they complete the “course.”

Mileage are recorded a Google Sheet that organizers will provide once registration is completed. Runners can choose any route they want to “run the course” and on Saipan, they can do it along Beach Road, at the Oleai Sports Complex track oval, in the boonies, or even on a treadmill.

Registration forms are available at Entrance fee is $10 per runner, while students running for a school team will pay only $5.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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