Shimizu, Jim are 5K bests in Saipan Marathon 2022



Soccer player Cody Shimizu and veteran runner Noriko Jim were the top runners among 108 who tackled the 5K fun run of the Saipan Marathon 2022 last Saturday.

Shimizu, who is also an up-and-coming tennis player and member of the Marianas High School track and field team, was the fleetest afoot in the men’s division of the run after clocking in at 18:41. He was followed by Anthony Bergancia and Zachary Flippin who crossed the finish line in 19:10 and 19:15, respectively.

The 15-year-old MHS sophomore said the return of the Saipan Marathon after a one-year absence brought back a lot of memories.

“It was a good but hard race especially since there were a lot of people,” he said.

The organizing Marianas Visitors Authority cancelled the 2021 Saipan Marathon altogether last year and international entries were significantly less in 2020 due to concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It did return this year, but sans the 42-kilometer Saipan Marathon.


Shimizu, who didn’t really train for the fun run, said the toughest part of the 5K was the straight line drive from the fire station in front of the American Memorial Park to the finish line near the entrance to the Micro Beach Pavilion.

Jim, meanwhile, was the first woman to complete the course from just in front of the Club Elan entrance at the Hyatt Regency Saipan to just before the 13 Fisherman Monument and back after timing in at 21:06. Ayano Braxton finished second with a run of 22:29, while Allysa Angeles completed the Top 3 in the women’s division with her 25:08.

The CNMI record-holder in the 10K run said last Saturday’s 5K was pretty good and added that she’s happy that the Saipan Marathon was back.

Asked why she didn’t take on her favorite 10K course or the lengthier half marathon, Jim said she had to beg off from running the longer courses because of lack of training.

“I didn’t train and not ready for 10K and half marathon…[but] had different challenge against younger people.”

All in all, she’s happy with her nearly 21-minute flat finish in the 5K. “About 20 minutes was my target so it was almost the same.”

The age group winners of the half marathon, 10K, and 5K will be reported in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune. The Saipan Marathon 2022 is a signature event of MVA and was organized with help from Northern Marianas Athletics.

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

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