Changes, surprises in KONQER Saipan

KONQER Sports chief experience officer Kaz Endo, seated left, explains some of the new obstacles that are included in this year’s KONQER Saipan during last Friday’s press conference at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Chambre Bar. (Jon Perez)

A lot of changes and other exciting surprises are in store when KONQER’s three-leg circuit kicks of its 2018 season on Saipan.

KONQER chief experience officer Kaz Endo, in last Friday’s press conference at Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Chambre Bar, said they would introduce new obstacles aside from new categories in the first stop of the region’s premier obstacle course race. The KONQER Saipan Obstacle Course Challenge will be held on April 28 at the Kilili Beach Park in Susupe.

Enduro, Completion, Sprints, and Business League divisions will still be contested in KONQER Saipan with the former an individual challenge and the participant that has the best time to be declared the winner. The Completion and Sprints are for those who wanted to experience the race and challenge themselves to finish all obstacles. The Business League is for companies that will use the event as a team building exercise.

Endo said this year they would be offering a Spouses Challenge for couples, whether married or dating, to come out and conquer the obstacle course.

“We’re going to hold this during the one-hour technical timeout, while our crew are checking the obstacle courses. It will be a series of challenges and a different course since it is only an exhibition. This is a special event, but those who wanted to join must be at the venue in order to sign up,” said Endo.

Another new feature in this year’s KONQER Saipan are the tourists who can join for free, as race organizers have coordinated with the Marianas Visitors Authority to have the visitors participate in the event.

MVA managing director Chris Concepcion said that they have included KONQER Saipan in their promotional packages to five source markets—China, Korea, Japan, Russia, and Taiwan.

“We’re again pleased to partner with KONQER to bring this event to Saipan for the second year. Kaz and [KONQER president] Kelli [Wedd] are the great minds behind this. We’re hoping to also bring this to Rota in the next two months. I would also like to acknowledge [MVA community projects manager] Martin Duenas whose been working behind the scenes,” said Concepcion.

“KONQER has been part of our sports tourism portfolio since last year. We’re excited for this year since tourists on Saipan are free to join. All they need to do is bring their room key card as proof aside from their passport. They would also sign a waiver card before they could participate,” the MVA head added.

The Battle of Schools is another new event and organizers are encouraging middle and high school students, and faculty to also form their respective teams. Additional details for the Battle of Schools will be released before the race day.

As of last week, 350 have signed up for KONQER Saipan, excluding the members of the 13 teams in the Business League and the tourists who are expected to sign up on race day. Last year, 496 joined the inaugural event held at the Gov. Eloy S. Inos Peace Park.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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