Furan named Run Saipan activities director

Posted on Aug 12 2022

Run Saipan’s activities director Mathew Furan has a full slate of weekly activities to keep members of the non-profit busy for the foreseeable future. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. has passed the baton as activities director to Mathew Furan and the Calvary Baptist Church pastor wasted no time with a group 5K yesterday. 

“My plans as the new activities director of the club is to provide a weekly opportunity for members and non-members to form a cohesive bond through a common activity, running. With runners coming from all stages and experience this will allow each of us to challenge one another as well as encourage one another,” said the 51-year-old former U.S. Marine Corps.

As far as his running background, Furan began running cross country in junior high school and competed and ran consistently through his time in the Marines. 

“I was injured during Operation Desert Shield that put a stop to my running for years. It is a miracle to run like I can right now and I am thankful for every breath and step I can take. My last ‘big run’ was a 24-hour Panther Run in Okinawa, Japan.”

Furan already had designs of joining Run Saipan even before landing on island.

“Before moving to Saipan on Aug 4, 2021, I researched running groups on Saipan. I came across Run Saipan. I joined the group the week of the library anniversary run. To me, being part of a group helps me stay accountable to my running goals, disciplined in my efforts as well as forming friendships that I normally would not. Being part of this group challenges me to better myself to be a better runner and learn from others,” he said

Outside of their military service, Furan and his wife have spent the majority of their time overseas serving as missionaries in Sri Lanka. 

“Sri Lanka is a very fast-paced and busy country/island. Coming to Saipan I am learning to slow down and that goes against everything within me. Being pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Oleai keeps me busy and we are loving each day we are here.”

For his part, Dela Cruz said he’s glad Run Saipan members have been stepping up and Furan is just the latest example of it.

“He took the lead from me. I always started the job and did everything alongside Robin Sapong (Run Saipan board member) and Dr. Ron Snyder (Run Saipan secretary/treasurer). However, entering fatherhood has changed that. I started delegating everything I used to do if the person is willing to do the job.”

He said before Furan,  members Trish Cortez, Simon Necesito, Michael Mancao, and Sildrey Viloria have also answered the call. 

“I used to be the one measuring the race courses and doing the course analysis. Michael and Sildrey took that over. I used to be the one making the visual graphics like posters, advertising, being the person contacting members, as well as our social media account. Now it’s Trish  pulling the string as well as being the editor in chief for our Run Saipan newsletters. Simon has started taking over  to create the race roster websites from scratch as well as being the person in charge of results at races and uploading them all for everyone. Each of these people have done an amazing job this past year and I have no doubt Matthew will do an amazing job as well,” said Dela Cruz.

The member of the CNMI’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting unit said Furan now takes the torch for coordinating and leading the non-profit’s group runs. 

“Group runs are something a running club should be doing first but we’ve been so focused at the events first and make sure that’s handled. Once a month is hard enough for me to schedule on top of constantly prioritizing work, family time, and all the things going on for Run Saipan for the year. Matthew is a godsend. I’m so glad he stepped up to take care of our members with the social runs. He is no stranger to running, track and field, and cross country while growing up as well as serving in the United States Marine Corps. He will serve our running community well now,” said Dela Cruz.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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