Mita tops inaugural ‘Star Wars’ 5K run

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Michiteru Mita topped the inaugural May the 4th be With You, CNMI Race 5K without a costume portion last Sunday morning at the American Memorial Park. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

Michiteru Mita topped the inaugural May the 4th be With You, CNMI Race 5K run without a costume portion last Sunday morning at the American Memorial Park.

During the run, which was organized by Run Saipan in coordination with Northern Marianas Athletics, Mita conquered over 40 runners, submitting a time of 22:06.

Closely following Mita was inaugural Women’s Run champ Lily Muldoon who came in just a few seconds later at 22:17. Joining the Top 3 was Marques Dame who finished in 24:17.

Mita, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s technical director and CNMI Men’s National team coach, said he did not expect to take the win since he wasn’t at the lead in the start of the race.

Mita added that he only started to pick up the pace when he got to Smiling Cove Marina which is about halfway through the course.

However, Mita proved that slow and steady wins the race after finding his pace alongside runner-up Muldoon.

“I did not expect to win the run but Lily led me at beginning so I could run with very good pace,” he said.

In terms of the event, Mita said he enjoyed the event and the different Star Wars costumes that he saw.

“It was fun and friendly event. Also I enjoyed the run while seeing different costume runner. I just want to thank the organizers holding the fun event I enjoyed a lot,” Mita said.

In an interview with Edward DelaCruz, one of the event organizers, he said that Mount Carmel School’s Galvin Deleon Guerrero, Saipan International School’s Ron Snyder, and himself have been discussing a Star Wars event for quite some time and they were finally able to pull one off.

“We’ve always been wanting to do a big Star Wars event, me Galvin Deleon Guerrero, and Ron Snyder. Dr. Snyder came to us in December about an event for May the 4th weekend and we were happy to get it through especially through running. It promotes healthy living for the community, they also get to celebrate Star Wars, and I really believe this is the first Star Wars run in the CNMI,” he said.

DelaCruz added that Run Saipan and NMA will definitely do the event again next year, with the hopes of making it an annual event.

Snyder said his thought process was “Kids love Star Wars, May the 4th weekend was coming up, so we decided to put the run into place.”

Aside from the actual race, the May the 4th be With You virtual race is still on until Sunday, May 9. To register, go to https://www.raceentry.com/may-the-4th-be-with-you-cnmi/race-information?fbclid=IwAR0ZFEt4rNwu9oynxkzAQnsuZOYP-TvV6TB dMaeQg3rEtDvBv3aRiouZWg.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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