It was one for the books as 38 of Saipan’s most daring runners—along with one dog— took on the ultimate, leg-destroying, and lung-busting,
challenge of running three consecutive races in the Inaugural Run Saipan Trinity ‘23 during the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend that spanned a total of 20K through Saipan’s most scenic routes.
The participants of the inaugural race along with the Top 6 overall runners Chad Taflinger, An Bang, Joel Buco, Rosemarie Chisato, Chong Nam Lee, and Terra Allen, were James Abuy, Margarita Santos Bamba, Jeane Bracken, Marilou Carlos, Kim Church, Elizabeth Church, Hernando Cristobal, Stephen Dame, Megan Dame, Edward Dela Cruz Jr., Floro Derexes, Juanita Fajardo, Jay Anne Felipe, Vhoie Francia, Matthew Furan, Marjorie Ganacias, Loremel Hocog, Sheila Mabutas, Simon Necesito, Jessica Ortizo, Aaron Paul Pamintuan, Theo Rodgers, Kathy Ruszala, Joseph Mundo Santos, Maria Sablan Santos, Dr. Ron Snyder, Kurt Songsong, Angela Taflinger, Kathleen Tolentino, Raymund Tolentino, Pamela Walsh, Adam Walsh, and Dr. Snyder’s dog, Gilligan.
All 38 runners plus man’s best friend started their journey on Day 1 in the early morning of Saturday, Jan. 14 from the Kensington to Marpi and back 10K course.
In the late afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 15, Day 2 had them trodding up the Mt. Tapochau 1-way 5K course.
Not 12 hours later, in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 16, they took their weary, jelly-like legs to Day 3’s Oleai Beach Road Pathway 5K course, which finally capped off the three-day running event inspired by the three-day Isle of Man Easter Festival of Running in the British Isles.
Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. said after the event that this will not be the first and last time he will put Saipan’s runners through a three-day consecutive race. “We’re doing this every single year, every January, every MLK three-day weekend. We’re going to try to make this the next jewel race of the Pacific.”
Dela Cruz added that for next year’s race, the courses will most likely be changed but that he would like to keep the Mt. Tapochao 5K course.
He also said, “Everyone came here with destroyed legs but they did an amazing job to get this done. Not only did the runners do an amazing job, but our race staff volunteers from Northern Marianas Athletics and Run Saipan did an outstanding job being able to run three back-to-back races as facilitators every day and staying here earlier than the runners and leaving way later than the runners.”
He then thanked the sponsors, namely Run Saipan, Saipan International School, the Marianas High School Running Club, volunteers, Kensington Resort and E-Land Group, the Marianas Visitors Authority, Saipan Tribune, Marianas Variety, and KSPN.