Saipan International School and Northern Marianas Athletics have teamed up to take runners into a “unique” tour around the CNMI with the staging of the Run The Marianas.
The virtual run, which started yesterday, will cover a distance of 460 miles (740 kilometers) and will “bring” runners from Farallon De Pajaros to Rota with “stops” in 13 other locations on Saipan and Tinian.
Participants will have four months (until Feb. 14, 2022) to complete the course by logging miles through running along any location they prefer—could be along Beach Road, in the boonies, at the Oleai Sports Complex track oval, or even on a treadmill.
Each “stop” along the course has corresponding mileage and teams will get certificates upon arrival to a “new island chain.”
The first stop after leaving Farallon De Pajaros is Maug Landing (42-mile mark), followed by Asuncion (67), Agrihan (130), Pagan (175), Alamagan (214), Guguan (234), Sarigan (276), Anatahan (300), Farallon De Midinilla (325), Saipan (376), SIS (388), Tinian (397), Aguijan (410), and Rota (460).
“They will keep track of their miles and input them into a Google Sheet that will add up all of their miles. Every time they hit a new island chain, Run The Marianas will send the team captain a digital certificate with the team name on it, the name of the island they just reached, and some small facts about the island,” SIS headmaster Ron Snyder said.
The virtual run is open to individuals or teams with no limit on the number of runners per squad.
“We originally thought of limiting the number of members per team but now we will allow it to be wide open. The point is to improve cardiovascular health so any activity we can help encourage is worth it. The team can divide the mileage anyway they like and the team captain will input the date and number of miles earned on a Google Sheet,” Snyder said.
The SIS headmaster added that he came up with the idea of having a virtual race at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing an advertisement on advertisement for an Inca Trail Virtual Run (Peru), which covered a way much shorter distance (42K) than the Run The Marianas.
“I thought we could do more. Why not run the entire length of the CNMI? It is ambitious but not impossible,” Snyder said.
Team members and individual runners who will complete the journey around the CNMI will receive a two-sided medal that highlights the culture in the Marianas, as the design features latte stone, mwar, and proa.
Only the first 400 to register will be allowed in the virtual run and so far 77 have signed up. Interested teams or individual runners can register online at https://forms.gle/xJdubmG6aQgm4uwSA or contact SIS to sign up and pay the registration fee of $10. Students on class teams will only pay $5. For more information, call 288-9660.