The JP Hero Run had a record field, as more than 1,700 runners/walkers participated in last Saturday’s event.
Family members, students, teachers, co-workers, sports teams, other groups, and even pets joined the run/walk held in memory of TanHoldings Corp. executive John “JP” Pangelinan and to support the Commonwealth Cancer Association and its programs.
“We had 1,706 runners today, breaking last year’s record of 1,500 plus. We are very thankful to all the participants from schools, private companies, the government agencies, families, and everyone who did their share to make this event a success,” said TanHoldings Corp. chief executive officer Jerry Tan.
“It’s great to see the members of our community coming together to support a good cause and at the same time participate in an activity (walking/running) that promotes health and wellness,” he said.
Participants ran/walked from Garapan Fishing Base to past the Quartermaster Road along Beach Road and back (the shorter course had a turnaround across True Value), wearing capes and masks, depicting the event’s theme. Some, particularly those who came with their kids, rounded the course in strollers, karts, and scooters, while children runners/walkers were treated to more fun activities at the finish line, as they played in bounce houses.
The competitive runners, on the other hand, were in their usual form, rounding out the course way ahead of their opponents. Kosuke Sato and Heather Taylor were the overall first place finishers in the 5K men’s and women’s divisions, while Markus Toves and Kaithlyn Chavez topped the 1.5K event. Other first place finishers were 13 to 19’s Bailey Spaeth ad Stella McCallion; 20 to 29’s J. Cheng and Taylor Nowicki; 30 to 39’s Charlie Sendin and Sheila Isla; 40 to 49’s Ronald Villafria and Ayano Braxton; 50 to 59’s Jun Hashimoto and Sakiko Eda; and over 60’s Steve Pixley and Amalia Harris.
The top finishers along with the second and third placers received medals, while the Tan Si Lin Foundation, the charity arm of TanHoldings and organizer of the event, also recognized the schools with the most runners/supporters. Saipan International School won in the private school category and was joined in the podium by No. 2 Agape Christian School and No. 3 Grace Christian Academy. William S. Reyes Elementary School, Garapan, and Marianas High School were the Top 3 in the public school division.
Legacy to the community
CCA executive director Juan L. Babauta was among the participants in the 11th edition of the event and was very pleased with how the community is getting involved in cancer awareness campaign through various activities in the Commonwealth, such as this running event.
He added that the JP Hero Run is close to his heart, as it is held in honor of his godfather.
“JP was a hero himself, as he was a solid contributor to the community. He did things that contributed to the economic, social, and educational development in the CNMI. And even after his passing, he is still helping us, through his JP Hero Run. This is his legacy to the community and CCA would like to thank Jerry Tan and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation for making it happen,” Babauta said.
Pangelinan’s daughter, Cristy, was also present in last weekend’s event and calls on the community to continue supporting the fundraiser.