Run Saipan incorporated into non-profit

Posted on Aug 24 2021
Run Saipan officers

From left, Run Saipan secretary/treasurer Ron Snyder, vice president Jiayi Kong, president Edward Dela Cruz Jr., and board members Tania Tan and Robin Sapong. (Contributed photo)

A club known for its “underground” 5K fun runs since last Spring has made itself official after Run Saipan was incorporated as a non-profit running club recently.
Last night, they held their first board meeting and are preparing to welcome members.

Edward J. Dela Cruz Jr. has been installed as president of Run Saipan during the club’s first meeting last Aug. 18 in the Saipan International School conference room. Also installed were vice president Jiayi Kong and secretary/treasurer Ron Snyder. In addition, Robin Sapong and Tania Tan will serve on the club’s board of directors.

“We made it official because I along with the others just wanted help do our part to create a healthier CNMI through the sport of running (athletics). I initially started the club as a virtual club to encourage people to walk, jog, and run. Through my friendships with Dr. Ron Snyder and Oceania Athletics Association president Robin Sapong, we saw the opportunity to create something so much more. Something permanent.”

He said everyone should expect big things from Run Saipan now that it’s formally organized.

“We have a lot of great things planned for our club,” said Dela Cruz. “Starting in the new year, we will have a full membership package available for runners and walkers of all ages and will tie them all together through a special Run Saipan Cup.”

Snyder said Run Saipan will also have a number of programs to specifically target the youth and grass-roots development.

“We also look forward to building our youth athletics program in support of the World Athletics Imitative of ‘Giving every child in the world access to our sport.’ We will be starting a partnership with the Atlanta Track and Field Club called Kilometer Kids that seeks to promote running through play-based activities,” he said.

Run Saipan becoming incorporated will also benefit the CNMI’s off-island athletes.

“One of our other initiatives will be to further develop support for off-island athletes like our youngest board member, Tania Tan, who is a cross country and track athlete at Fordham University,” said Sapong, who is also general secretary of Northern Marianas Athletics and president of OAA. “By continuing to work with our federation’s athletes, wherever they are in the world, we will ensure the rapid development of our support and its continued growth in regional events.”

Run Saipan seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle in the CNMI by supporting community projects such as regular 5K races, running and nutrition workshops, sending athletic ambassadors to the schools, and working with Northern Marianas Athletics to increase the opportunities for cardiovascular health available to all residents in the commonwealth, regardless of running ability or experience.

Dela Cruz also assured “members” of Run Saipan that preceded the non-profit club that the virtual club will always be there.

“Run Saipan is a community of runners. It will always be for everyone. For those that wish to pledge to become official members committed to the organization will simply just have to fill out the application and pay the yearly membership fee like the rest of us,” he said.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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