Pony Tang and Tania Tan submitted the fastest times in Run Saipan’s Virtual 5K Underground Series 21.9 held over the weekend.
Making his debut on Run Saipan’s underground series, Tang was sensational after smoking the competition in the men’s division with a time of 22:24 while running at the MHS cross country course.
“It feels good because this is my first time winning. I hope I don’t lose my running progress and I also want to say thanks to my family and friends for always motivating me!” said the 15-year-old sophomore at Marianas High School.
Barefoot runner Chong Nam Lee finished second among the men after he completed the race in 23:24, while Saipan International School headmaster and Northern Marianas Athletics distance coach Ron Snyder completed the Top 3 at 25:56. Lee and Snyder ran on Saipan.
Tan, a junior at Fordham University, topped the women’s division after running the cross country meet at Cedarville, Ohio in 20:41.
The 20-year-old said conditions were really not ideal during the meet where she also completed the virtual 5K. “It was really rainy, muddy, and cold. I wish I wore more layers because my hands were freezing the whole time.”
Tan is also grateful to Run Saipan that she was still able to take part in local sports activities despite going off to college in the U.S. mainland.
“I just feel grateful to continue to be supporting events back home in Saipan, even if I’m halfway across the globe. It feels nice to be able to still participate in Saipan-related events, because they are always so much fun. I just want to continue to support our island community in whatever way possible, and I’m glad I got to do so this weekend!” she said.
Audrey Christley settled for second place in the women’s with a time of 22:29, while Evelyn Pangelinan placed third in 27:31. Both ran on Saipan.
Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. congratulated the Top 3 in the men’s and women’s divisions and also thanked everyone who took part in the Virtual 5K Underground Series 21.9. A total of 20 runners took part in the 5K virtual run.
“I was amazed by the last-minute participation from our Run Saipan family near and far. Congratulations and strong work to all our runners during this Halloween weekend going out and getting their 5Ks in…Well done to everyone. I hope everyone takes advantage of our next virtual 5K in the future,” he said.
Dela Cruz said the location of the runs were based off where the runners ran their 5Ks.
“One thing I love about virtual is being able to see where the runners run their 5Ks whether it’s Beach Road on Saipan or right outside the Buffalo Bills stadium. We run together in spirit. The love of runners for Saipan is everywhere. Thank you so much for those that participated in our very first virtual 5K.”
The Virtual 5K Underground Series 21.9 was an 11th hour replacement for the 5K Dash & Splash that was supposed to be held last Saturday at the East Bay of Lao Lao Bay. It was postponed due to the spike in COVID-19 cases on Saipan. The 5K Dash & Splash has now been moved to Nov. 13.
For more information on Run Saipan’s 5K Dash & Splash, contact Run Saipan at 670 287-0891 or email email@example.com. To register, go to https://bit.ly/3iTxL5i.