MVA introduces Saipan Tropical Ekiden


The Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) is marking its 40th anniversary with the introduction of a new signature event for the Northern Marianas—the Saipan Tropical Ekiden.

The Saipan Tropical Ekiden set on June 4 will be a 3-hour relay marathon featuring two categories: General division for any age (at least one member age 18 or older is required when minors are included on the team), and composite division for ages 18 and older.

“Ekiden” is Japanese term referring to a long-distance relay running race. The racing style is popular among schools in Japan.

“The Marianas Visitors Authority is very excited to be introducing a new annual signature event aimed at drawing more visitors to the Northern Marianas, and this type of sporting event is highly recommended by our Japan office,” said MVA acting managing director Judy Torres. “We hope local runners will also be attracted to this unique team race format, which encourages both children and adults to exercise together for health and enjoyment.”

Each team will continuously run a 2K course from 5pm to 8pm, beginning at Garapan Fishing Base and through downtown Garapan, switching to the Saipan Beach Pathway for the latter part of the race into the evening. General division teams may have two to 10 members. Composite division squads may register in groups of up to four members, who may be combined with other groups to form teams of five to 10 members.

Registration for CNMI and U.S. residents is $20/person for high school students and adults and $10/person for elementary and junior high students. A U.S. or CNMI Driver’s License of CNMI ID is required. Entry fee includes the awards ceremony and barbecue following the race, memorial towel, and certificate of completion.

The race is organized by the MVA and Japan-Saipan Cultural Exchange Association and supported by Hori Production and ORLAIGH.

“It’s a new type of race for Saipan, emphasizing friends and family, fun, and camaraderie,” said MVA community projects manager Martin Duenas. “We encourage interested participants to review the race fact sheet on our website to get familiar with the format, and give us a call if you have any questions.”

Applications and fact sheets are available at MVA’s calendar of events at For more information, contact MVA community projects specialist Ed Diaz at or call 670-664-3200/01. (MVA)

Press Release
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