Dan Kimball and Dawn Hammermeister emerged from a field of 191 holiday-minded runners on Wednesday evening to finish as the first male and female in the inaugural Jingle Bells 5K Run to benefit the Saipan Swim Club.
There was not an official record of the participants’ time during the fund-raising event, but volunteers and swim club members provided plenty of Yuletide cheer along the beach pathway from the Garapan Fishing Base to AJ’s Restaurant in Susupe.
Runners were given commemorative T-shirts, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and jingle bells for their sneakers prior to the start of the race, and were treated to a candle-lit pathway and three decorated pavilions along the way.
SSC swim coach Mike Stewart said that the idea for the run was one that he came up when he was looking for fundraising opportunities in the mainland.
“We started this when I was a swim coach in Florida. We used alumina candles, and ran through neighborhoods that were all decked out in Christmas lights. Although the weather was not as nice as we had hoped for, we had a great time and we plan to make next year even better,” said the coach.
Following the run, racers were asked to vote on the Saipan Swim Club’s decorated Pala-Palas along the way and the Blue Team and pavilion No. 3 were the winners. The race finished near the parking lot at AJ’s just past Kilili Beach park where they were offered a barbeque.
The SSC would like to give special thanks to co-sponsors; Josh Berger Law Offices, Deloitte, Azuma, Spectrum Electric, Duty Free Shoppers, Inc., EFC Engineers, Coke, Pacific Islands Club, Tony Roma’s and Capriciossia, Dai-Ichi, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Microl Toyota, Joeten’s Susuepe Dept. Store, Church’s Chicken, Verizon, Mike and Julie Majors, AJ’s Restaurant, MVA, Salon de Manila.