First-timer, birthday girl top 10K
Visiting Jason Carman and birthday girl Ann Bang won the run portion of the 8th Saipan Aquathlon and 10K Pathway Run held early Saturday morning along Beach Road.
Carman, a first-timer on Saipan from Eugene, Oregon, tore the two-round course from the Kilili Beach Pavillion to Hardt Eye Clinic and back in a flat 48 minutes. Run Saipan member Simon Necesito came in second in 51:38 overall, while Raymund Tolentino completed the Top 3 in 52:28.
The 50-year-old training strategist of Rural Communities Assistance Corp. said he found out about the 10K run as well as the CHCC Happy Hearts 5K Fun Run & Walk the day before during a training session with Commonwealth Utilities Corp. water operators.
Carman, who is more of a marathon runner but admits busting out a few 10K runs a year, said he absolutely enjoyed his back-to-back runs on the island.
“Today’s run was great and the weather was amazing as it was a little bit cooler. It’s still a bit humid for me and I’m not used to it. If I stay here a couple more days I’ll probably be better off… I love Saipan, it’s amazing, and my favorite place out here,” he said.
Carman said he used to be a trail bike enthusiast but got hooked into running due to the start of the COVID-19 lockdown 2 ½ years ago.
Bang, for her part, celebrated her 49th birthday a couple of days early by topping the women’s division in 53:33. She was followed by Jessica Ortizo and Kathleen Tolentino in 56:23 and 58:50, respectively.
“Ran the CHCC 5K Happy Hearts Run last night and did my best this morning. I had no sleep and it was unbelievable as it’s really hard and tough doing back-to-back runs with 10K [as the cool down run],” said Bang, a mother of two.
The veteran runner said she’s pretty familiar with Saturday’s 10K course as it’s her usual route in her morning runs.
“All my friends and neighbors, I saw them all and they cheered for me…even the dogs,” joked Bang.
She admitted not keen in joining the 10K at first given she registered for the 5K first, but Triathlon Association of the CNMI secretary general Jojo Valencia egged her on and now she’s happy she gave in to the request.
Bang will be off-island from May to June this year as she is going on vacation to her home country of Korea before going on a cruise to Italy.
She dedicated her 10K win to her Run Saipan family. “I progressed [a lot in running] after joining the club,” she said.
Age group winners include the following: Jeane Bracken in the women’s U30 (1:08:34); Adam Walsh (55:38) in the men’s 30-39; Pamela Walsh (1:02:41) and Vhoie Francia (59:37) in the 40-49; and Andrzej Szefler (1:16:52) in the men’s over 60.
The 8th Saipan Aquathlon and 10K Pathway Run was sponsored by IT&E, TanHoldings, and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation.