Mamiko completes back-to-back marathons

Mamiko Oshima-Berger waves to the crowd as she negotiates the uphill course of the California-Nevada Marathon last week. (Contributed Photo)

Mamiko Oshima-Berger waves to the crowd as she negotiates the uphill course of the California-Nevada Marathon last week. (Contributed Photo)

Saipan long distance runner Mamiko Oshima-Berger survived marathon races for two straight days and won her age group in both events.

The 44-year-old runner did the Emerald Bay Marathon in California first on Sept. 12 and completed the hilly and high altitude (7,000 feet) course in 4:40:19.7. She ruled the 40 to 49 age group, beating nine other runners and was about 10 minutes ahead of her closest pursuer. Oshima-Berger also finished eighth out of the 48 female runners and 15th overall (of 54 runners). Rachael Theriot (3:55:36.1) and Gary Krugger (2:51:51) were the women’s and men’s overall winners.

Up next for the 2010 Micronesian Games double gold medalist was the California-Nevada Marathon and this time Oshima-Berger ran faster because of the flatter course. She submitted 4:01:12 to top the 40 to 49 age group anew, finishing ahead of 11 other runners in her division. Oshima-Berger was also second overall (out of 48 runners) in the women’s division, just behind by 6:34.3 from 27-year-old champion Adriana Corerch. The Saipan long distance runner was way ahead of the runner-up in her age group, as her closest rival came in at 4:40:46.

Though she prevailed in her age group in both races, Oshima-Berger humbly said her times were slow. However, her husband Joshua justified the times, saying in between the hills and the high altitude no one had fast times in the first marathon.

“On Day 1, there was a road climb in the last 4 miles and Mami ended up walking much of it. Day 2 was flatter, hence 40 minutes faster,” said Joshua, who also raced in the EB Marathon and timed in at 2:26:00 in the half marathon and did the one-mile swim in the cold Lake Tahoe (62 degrees) and placed third overall with his 35:56.6.

Also at Lake Tahoe, Oshima-Berger was supposed to join her third straight marathon, but bad headaches prevented her from doing so and instead she ran with her husband in the 10K event of the same competition. The husband-and-wife tandem crossed the finish line under the one hour mark after timing in at 58 minutes.
“I just could not handle the bad headaches so I decided to run the 10K with Joshua instead of completing the triple race (EB Marathon, California-Nevada Marathon, and Lake Tahoe Marathon),” Oshima-Berger said.

“All races were at about 7,000 feet so the hills took our breath away. Flats were fine,” Joshua added.

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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