Rota race planned as KONQER eyes expansion


Participants crawl as they try to get past one of the obstacles in last year’s KONQER Saipan. The obstacle course race returns this Saturday with the Kilili Beach Park as the new venue. (Jon Perez)

KONQER chief experience officer Kaz Endo is looking to expand the race in other areas and a separate event in the CNMI’s southern island of Rota could be the start.

A possible second KONQER obstacle course race location in the CNMI is in line with the Marianas Visitors Authority’s sports tourism program, which managing director Chris Concepcion and the entire board have been promoting aggressively.

Concepcion mentioned the Rota event during KONQER’s press conference last April 13 at the Chambre Bar of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.

Endo, who is joined by KONQER president Kelli Wedd in the event, told Saipan Tribune that they are keeping details of the planned Rota event under wraps as they are still working out the other aspects of the race.

“We are planning to do an eco-adventure race in Rota this year. We will announce the dates as soon as things are finalized,” Endo said.

“This [Rota race] will be totally different from KONQER Saipan. It is a stand-alone event and will be [held] later in the summer,” he added.

Endo said they are also looking at other areas within the Pacific region and nearby countries, in the hopes of bringing the challenging obstacle course race to new places.

“We’re always looking for exciting destinations. The Philippines, Taiwan (Chinese-Taipei), and South Korea are on our radar. Japan and China, of course, are future goals. Oceania, as a whole, provides great opportunities,” said Endo.

Saipan leg free for tourists
Meanwhile, Concepcion, during the press conference, said that this year’s KONQER Saipan would allow tourists to experience the first leg of the three-circuit racing event that will also have stops in Guam and Palau.

Tourists can join KONQER Saipan for free provided that they show their room key card and valid passport aside from signing a waiver form before participating in the race.

The MVA has been aggressively promoting the CNMI as a sports tourism destination to its five main source markets—China, Korea, Japan, Russia, and Taiwan.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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