Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. made history last Thursday when he became the first runner in the CNMI to complete a double comma, which is 2,000 straight days of running at least a mile a day.
The 30-year-old Airport Rescue Fire Fighting staff started his 1-mile-a-day journey in the midst of his depression on Jan. 12, 2017.
Dela Cruz Jr., who is now in Eugene, Oregon for the 2022 World Athletic Championships, completed the run streak comma in Marpi with Run Saipan regulars led by Northern Marianas College president Dr. Galvin Guerrero and Saipan International School headmaster Dr. Ron Snyder.
“Just a lot of emotions went through my head today. I never thought I would hold it this long. I just take it day by day now and treat everyday like it’s a new day and go from there. I’m feeling really happy right now, especially since I was able to share it with the people that mattered most since I started this journey.”
Dela Cruz, who just this year became a father, is dedicating his 2,000th straight 1-miler to his wife, Anastasia, and newborn son, Sasha.
“My wife’s been my rock supporting me with running. If I didn’t have her support I don’t think I would’ve lasted as long as I have for this streak. [I’m also] dedicating this to my son now he’s not really going to have a choice once he can start running to follow his dad. Also definitely dedicating this to my friends that made huge impacts on my life since I started this insane crusade.”
He then went on to name Gerald De Guzman, Jonathan Sugutan, Terence Leung, Gerald Galang, Angel San Nicolas, Jalen Lucido, Michael Mancao, Dr. Ron Snyder, Robin Sapong, Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, Sildrey Veloria, Simon Necesito, and Michael Berbes as his go-to sources of inspiration for continuing on his run streak.
“If it wasn’t for any of these guys there wouldn’t be a Run Saipan today. They made me realize running alone wasn’t an option anymore and it was always better to be running as part of a team and a family. Their support is unparalleled.”
Asked when he’ll retire his run streak, Dela Cruz deadpanned and said he’ll end it when the universe says so.
“I can’t predict the future but as long as I have my family and friends supporting me the way they do now, the sky’s the limit. If you asked me years ago I probably would’ve said 100 or 365,” he said.
Seriously, Dela Cruz said he really has no intention of quitting, as the run streak was never about performance, getting better at it, or breaking records.
“If that was the case I would’ve been done after running a sub 2-hour half marathon. It’s been about the journey and purely the enjoyment of running. A great runner in Guam and good friend of mine, 100-miler Nathan Brown, started mentioning this fantastic quote over and over. ‘The real run begins the moment you forget you are running.’ It’s made me realize that’s the moment I live for everytime I lace up my shoes and go for a run. Just for that feeling. People don’t need marijuana. All you have to do is blow a certain mileage threshold to get that runner’s high and you’re good to go.”
Snyder, Run Saipan secretary/treasurer, said the running club Dela Cruz and other like-minded individuals founded years ago saluted their fearless leader in accomplishing the double comma.
“Everyone at Run Saipan is proud of our president. He has set an example for all of us in his running streak. Two-thousand days is an amazing accomplishment and we wish him well in his next 2,000!” he said.