Endo: Every KONQER event a learning experience

DFS Team members slide down the final obstacle to complete last Saturday’s KONQER Saipan at the Kilili Beach Park. (Jon Perez)

KONQER Sports’ Kaz Endo believes each of their obstacle course racing event has been a learning experience for them, as they aim to improve their three-leg circuit every year.

Endo, who holds the unique position of being KONQER’s chief experience officer, said they always review things after each of their three races—on Saipan, Guam, and Palau—to bring improvement to next year’s event.

“There’s always room for improvement and we aren’t shy from admitting that. It’s the only way to maintain success. I believe everyone that experiences KONQER, whether the sponsors or participants, they understand the massive task that’s being completed,” Endo told Saipan Tribune.

“They [sponsors and participants] are so patient and understanding because they all understand that this is just as important to us as it is to them. The love and support we receive is immeasurable.”

He added that the first KONQER Saipan in September was a huge learning experience.

“On what is possible and not possible to source locally and we must be better prepared on that end. Without getting into the weeds too much, I think we have room to improve the course pace, timing, supply chain, and logistics. Manpower continues to be a challenge both in availability and cost, but we KONQER’D it!” he said.

Endo said the most important thing is that all participants enjoyed their events. “Overall, I believe no matter what we think, it is the opinion of the Brigade that matters most. Many have come up and thanked me for a much improved event.”

“Although they loved K4, Saipan’s first KONQER event [in September 2017], they enjoyed K6 [April 28] even better. Now, we look forward to the Rota Challenge and next year’s KONQER Saipan.”

The Rota Challenge is an eco-adventure race set in the CNMI’s southernmost island this summer.

He said that each of their three races every year has been different, giving participants the unique experience.

“Comparing any of our KONQER events is like talking about your children. The parents who are reading this will know what I mean. It’s hard to say, ‘this is my favorite’ or ‘this is my least favorite.’ The races are all different and they bring a unique and lasting impression on how we move forward,” the KONQER Sports official said.

Endo said the weather cooperated in last Saturday’s race unlike last year when rain provided participants additional challenge.

“We’ve been blessed with a good weather and an awesome showing from the KONQER Brigade. This being said, the weather was so much better to us since we did it in April and we did not face condition one rains and winds unlike last year,” he said.

Tyce Mister topped this year’s race, earning him a free ticket in the Guam leg set for June 16 and the Palau race in October.

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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