Running community happy with return of Hafa Adai 5K

Posted on Aug 12 2022

Saipan Community Church’s Stephen Dame, right, poses with fellow pastors Eric Abragan, left, of Life in the Son Christian Church and Mathew Furan of Calvary Baptist Church before the start of the Hafa Adai 5K last July 30. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Saipan’s close-knit running community embraced the return of Pacific Islands Club Saipan’s Hafa Adai 5K last July 30.

Saipan Community Church pastor Stephen Dame said he thoroughly enjoyed the running event and even set a personal best during the run.

“It was good. I ran my best time. But as far as the experience, it was the best attendance/involvement at a race that I’ve been to on the island. There was lots of excitement, people and of course color. I’m still getting colored socks when I run! Just a reminder of the fun. The only complaint was that it was hot!” he said.

Jessica Ortizo, who like Dame is a Run Saipan regular, said what made the Hafa Adai 5K more enjoyable was she ran it with some of her favorite people.
“I had so much fun because I ran with my daughter and my friends. Every run for me is a challenge but it’s more fun to be with the crowd than doing it alone. So, I’m always looking forward to every running event. The excitement and the fulfillment to finish the race is also beyond comparable,” she said.

Andrew Estepa said it took him two days to rinse of all the dye from the Hafa Adai 5K. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Like Ortizo, Rosemari Chisato said the Hafa Ada 5K was one for the books since she ran it with her children and running buddies. It’s also memorable because of the different colored dyes that were thrown at them at various stages of the run.

For Andrew Estepa, the return of the Hafa Adai 5K is yet another proof that sporting and social events are slowly getting back to normal.

“It was fun and everyone enjoyed the event. There was also a huge turnout of participants. Events like this not only  promote  wellness but family bonding as well,” he said.

PIC Saipan SEA manager Reymark Castro said that over 800 runners/walkers took part in the “the most colorful event on Saipan.”

Jessica Ortizo, left, and Rosemarie Chisato, right, pose with Kris Romero after the Hafa Adai 5K. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The day began at 7am with stretching exercises followed by a Zumba activity. A high-striker strength test activity was also placed at the venue for everyone’s enjoyment. 

E-Land Group Corporate Social Responsibility manager Lindsay Ahn and PIC Saipan general manager Dennis Seo expressed their gratitude to all participants of the Hafa Adai 5K.

Ahn earlier said all proceeds generated from the Hafa Adai 5K will go to E-Land Community Fund, which will be spent for the betterment of CNMI community under the company’s corporate social responsibility program. 

E-Land has been engaged in diverse community outreach activities and charitable donations to local non-profit organizations

Oceania Athletics Association president and Northern Marianas Athletics general secretary Robin Sapong also was in attendance and emphasized the importance of running events such as the Hafa Adai 5K to the Saipan community and the Saipan tourism industry.

Castro said PIC Saipan also gave away a bunch of gift certificates and room night stays from PIC Saipan, Kensington Hotel Saipan, Coral Ocean Resort Saipan, Hyatt Regency Saipan, and PIC Guam. 

Joeten Shopping Center also gifted amazing kitchen appliances, I Love Saipan gave several gift certificates, Bridge Capital LLC gave out gift certificates and a very fancy Apple Homepod, Atkins Kroll Toyota also donated prizes such as “5 gas burner BBQ Grill and pop-up tents. 

PIC Saipan would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting the return of the Hafa Adai 5K: Kensington Hotel Saipan, Coral Ocean Resort Saipan, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Pacific Trading Co., Bridge Capital LLC, Atkins Kroll Toyota, Joeten Shopping Center, I Love Saipan, Hyatt Regency Saipan, PIC Guam, and Island Apparel.

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

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