Ultimate Star Wars fan Edward Jr. Dela Cruz and the mother-and-daughter pair of Doemiko and Miriam Flores topped the May the 4th be With You, CNMI Race organized by Run Saipan in coordination with Northern Marianas Athletics yesterday morning at the American Memorial Park.
Coming in first in the 5-kilometer costume portion was Dela Cruz who crossed the finish line in just under 20 minutes dressed as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker from the new trilogy films.
“I am a very big Star Wars fans. I was a Star Wars fan since the age of 4. My first movie was ‘A New Hope.’ The minute I saw Darth Vader walk in, with all the Stormtroopers, I was hooked. Them Luke Skywalker turned on his light saber and my life was never the same ever again,” he said.
When asked about his costume, Dela Cruz said it embodies everything he knows about Star Wars.
“I chose him from the ‘Last Jedi’ because I just believe this costume is the maturity of my ‘nerdism.’ I’ve loved Star Wars since I was 4, I memorized everything about the films, the books, the video games, I feel like this costume embodies how much I know about Star Wars,” he said.
Doemiko and Miriam Flores finished first with a time of 13 minutes for the 1-mile course while both dressed as Princess Leia. To top it off, the pair took less than 24 hours to prepare for the event.
Miriam, who has never ran a race before, said the course was good but it was long. However, she said it wasn’t hard. She said she ran and walked and she never stopped.
According to Doemiko, she and her family recently moved to Saipan and wanted a way to introduce her daughter to running while also picking the sport back up herself.
“We recently moved to Saipan and my daughters have never ran a race and I haven’t ran in a while and we love Star Wars so we thought this would be a great way to kick start our running lifestyle here and introduce her to races,” she said.
In terms of the race, she said she was focused on having fun with her daughter but it was a pleasant surprise that they came in first.
“I don’t really know if we were leading from start to finish but our focus really was to have fun. For us it wasn’t about running or winning, it’s about having fun so when we got to the end we were a bit surprised. We were pleasantly surprised,” she said.
Saipan International School headmaster Ron Snyder teamed up with Dela Cruz and Mount Carmel School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero and not only did they work together to organize the event, they also ran as a team as a rebel team alliance.
“I am with Dr. G and Ed as the Rebel Alliance for the team event so I figured if I’m going to come as a rebel, I better come as a rebel and came as an X-wing fighter and all X-wing fighters need an R2-D2 unit and that’s why my dog is R2-K9 this morning,” he said.
Snyder said although he isn’t as big of a fan of Star Wars as his teammates, he saw the first film that came out in 1977 and it also made a huge impact in his life and stuck with him through the years.
Aside from the actual race, the May the 4th be With You virtual race is still on until the rest of the week. To register, go to https://www.raceentry.com/may-the-4th-be-with-you-cnmi/race-information?fbclid=IwAR0ZFEt4rNwu9oynxkzAQnsuZOYP-TvV6TB dMaeQg3rEtDvBv3aRiouZWg.