Tan Holdings, NMA team up for unique relay


Participants in the Tan Holdings 50 Anniversary 10K Invitational Relay Run head out to the Saipan golf course after Tan Holdings CEO Jerry Tan signals the start of the unique race last Saturday. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)

Tan Holdings and Northern Marianas Athletics completed the first-of-a-kind relay race in the NMI with the staging of the Tan Holdings 50 Anniversary 10K Relay Run last Saturday at the Saipan golf course.

Nearly 80 runners joined the race, which challenged teams to complete the two-loop course between 50 minutes and 59:59 to be eligible for the Top 5 award. The two-person teams headed out to the Saipan Vegas-owned course without a timing device, which is usually a must for runners. 

“It was a fun concept, a first for us, and we enjoyed it, as it challenged us to work on our pace,” said Edward Dela Cruz, Run Saipan president and one of the runners that joined the morning race.

“Unfortunately, we still ran too fast as well as the 16 other teams that got DQ,” added Dela Cruz, who teamed up with Dr. Ron Snyder and their squad named Robin’s Angels crossed the finish line at the 49:09 mark.

Do it for the Pringles’ Jenny Chhea and Marjorie Daria met the required time, as they clocked in at  50:09 to take the top award and the $500 cash prize. Joining Do it for the Pringles in the Top 5 are Agape 3’s Enoch Zhuang and Barbara Wang (50:15), Takeru & Jack’s Takeru Jim and Jack Raho (50:40), Agape’s David Zhao and Serena Chen (51:13), and 50 Cents’ Joe Villacrusis and Travis Spaeth (51:24).

Northern Marianas Athletics general secretary Robin Sapong, fourth left, receives the $5,000 donation from the Tan Siu Lin Foundation during a turnover ceremony before the start of the Tan Holdings 50 Anniversary 10K Invitational Relay Run last Saturday at the Saipan golf course. Joining Sapong in the photo are NMI athlete Edward Dela Cruz, TSL Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino, athlete Denise Myers, coach Ron Snyder, and Tan Holdings CEO Jerry Tan. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

KD The Real One not Kevin Durant’s Kaithlynn Chavez and Denise Myers had the fastest time in the relay at 45:26.

“We know there are prizes for those who will meet time set, but we also challenged our runners to try to go for their best time and they did—although they got DQ. This was a fun race, and mentally challenging—something that we look forward to doing again. Thank you to Tan Holdings for this unique event and for allowing NMA to kick start your anniversary celebration,” said NMA general secretary Robin Sapong, who was the race director and was assisted by NMI national team member and record holder Tania Tan.

$5K donation for athletes

Meanwhile, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, the charitable arm of Tan Holdings donated $5,000 to the NMA. Tan Holdings CEO Jerry Tan and TSL Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino handed over the donation to Sapong, NMI Athletics team head coach Snyder, and Dela Cruz.

“We are grateful to NMA for taking the lead in holding this relay run as part of our anniversary celebration. NMA is one of the most active sports federations in the NMI and we acknowledge their continued efforts in developing our athletes and providing them opportunities to compete,” Tan said.

NMA is preparing to compete in the 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games that will be held at the Oleai Sports Complex from June 17 to 25 and in the Oceania Athletics Championships, which Australia will be hosting from June 7 to 11.

“NMA has two big competitions coming up so we would like to support them. We wish the NMA team good luck for the Mini Games and the tournament in Australia and thanked them and other athletes for participating in our event,” Tolentino said.

The Tan Holdings executive also acknowledged the volunteers for their assistance in the event and the management and staff of Saipan Vegas for the free use of the course.

For its part, NMA president Ray Tebuteb thanked Tan Holdings for supporting various programs in the community.

“The NMA extends its sincerest gratitude and appreciation to Tan Holdings for allowing us to take part in this celebration. The celebration is surely a testimony of Tan Holdings’ commitment and dedication to our NMI family. Thank you for all the positive deeds you’ve conveyed to our Commonwealth as amplified by your many community programs,” Tebuteb said.  (PR)

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