Participants in the Run The Marianas logged more than 21,000 miles at the completion of the virtual race.
Race director Ron Snyder said 28 teams and seven individuals completed the 460-mile run that brought runners to 13 island stops since “starting” the race at Farallon De Pajaros in October.
“Participants completed 21,049 miles or 85% of the way around the Earth,” said Snyder, who drafted the course that had runners making it to Maug Landing (42-mile mark), followed by Asuncion (67), Agrihan (130), Pagan (175), Alamagan (214), Guguan (234), Sarigan (276), Anatahan (300), Farallon De Medinilla (325), Saipan (376), Saipan International School (388), Tinian (397), Aguijan (410), and Rota (460). In each stop, runners received certificates with the description of the island they reached.
But more than the thousands of miles earned and brief lesson on history of the islands, Snyder is pleased with how the community came together, took on the challenge, and finished the race amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If I had to sum up Run The Marianas in one word, I would have to say, ‘community.’ RTM brought together a lot of people who would not have met otherwise and this has spun off into other virtual challenges,” the SIS headmaster said.
“The Ekiden relay was filled with RTM runners and I hope that everyone who made this 460-mile journey is proud of themselves. Beyond the local community, many teams were built with friends and family across the world,” he added.
Since Run The Marianas was a virtual race, it was open to off-island runners and drew participation from people from Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia with over 400 signing up for the event.
“The Proclaimers was my team and we had my youngest daughter in Scotland, my oldest daughter and her husband in North Carolina, and my wife and I here on Saipan. This brought us together to share stories and log miles, culminating in my oldest daughter saying, ‘when is the next one?’” Snyder said.
The Proclaimers finished the race early this month, while 10th Graders SIS was the first to complete the course, accomplishing the feat in November or about less than a month after the event kicked off. In the solo event, Rommel Buenaflor led the finishers list, as he reached Rota on Dec. 29, 2020.
Other notable teams in the Run The Marianas were SIS Grade 5/6, which completed the course twice and the Mile High Club and the English Academy, which “ran” the race three times.
“Even though the race is officially over, some runners are still working on it and will receive their medals when they notify the race director they have made it to Rota. RTM was not a small challenge and everyone in it should be proud of their accomplishments,” Snyder said.