Huge turnout in PIC Hafa Adai 5K


issx9999ns155249The Pacific Islands Club’s inaugural Hafa Adai 5K was a big hit with nearly 900 runners in their “colorful” race shirts flooding the San Antonio road and portions of Chalan Kanoa last Saturday.
“We had 883 runners. I was overwhelmed by the tremendous turnout we had at the event. The participants ranged from first time 5K runners to 50K champions and everything in between. PIC would like to thank the entire community for their assistance and cooperation in letting us host this event,” PIC SEA director Glenn Policare said.

Ultra marathon (50K) back-to-back champion Mamiko Oshima-Berger was the first female finisher in the race that started and ended at Pacific Islands Club’s north parking lot with a turnaround across Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods in Chalan Kanoa. She made it to the finish line at the 19:48 mark and placed fourth overall behind men’s top finisher Keith Longuski (17:19), Jesse James (17:44), and Seiya Eda (18:02).

While the race featured a good number of competitive runners, it became more of a family event rather than a contest. Father-and-son, mother-and-daughter, and husband-and-wife pairs and even entire family members joined the fun. Friends, co-workers, church members, students and their teachers, beauty pageant contestants, and even a pet dog and her owner participated in the Hafa Adai 5K.
The event started with a warm-up of Zumba steps with instructor Elitza Stoilova showing some moves to participants, who gamely followed the former’s cues. Then a few minutes before the 7:30am go time, runners began lining up at the starting line with some having their faces and shirts already covered with the blue, yellow, pink, and red cornstarch. Others wore straw skirts, wigs, headdress, and cartoon character caps (Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit), a father and mother ran with their babies on strollers, two raced barefoot, and one was in his zories.

Runners left the starting line by throwing cornstarch in four different colors to the air and as they negotiated the 5K course, they were splashed with the same powder. They were greeted with yellow cornstarch at the water station in front of the San Antonio basketball court, pink at Hopwood Junior High School, and red at the aid station across Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods. Then just a few meters away from the PIC parking lot/finish line, volunteers splashed runners with the blue powder.

Meanwhile, the four schools with the most students joining the race were each awarded with $500 worth of sports equipment, courtesy of the Division of Youth and Service, and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. The winners were Saipan Southern High School, Hopwood, and Garapan and Kagman elementary schools.

The success of last week’s event was made possible through the help of the following sponsors and supporters: Bridge Capital, LLC, DFS Saipan , IP& E, PTC, Delta Airlines, MVA, DCCA, DYS, Let’s Move Marianas, Triple J Motors, Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, MyWave, MTEC, volunteers, Division of Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Public Safety.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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