It’s a go for the 34th Annual Mt. Tapochao Turkey Trot Run and participants are encouraged to donate school supplies in lieu of paying the registration fees.
Northern Marianas Athletics Robin Sapong told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the NMA board met last week and after a careful discussion and considering the welfare of the participants, the group decided to push through with the event that has become a tradition on island every Thanksgiving Day. The 4.2-mile race from Lower Base to the fabled highest peak on Saipan will be held on Nov. 22 with registration and start times at 5am and 6am, respectively.
“After seeing how things are improving, the NMA board decided to proceed with our annual Mt. Tapochao Turkey Trot Run on Thanksgiving Day. Proceeds from the event will go toward the post typhoon relief efforts helping kids with schools supplies. We are encouraging our runners to donate school supplies instead of paying the $10 registration fees to support our cause,” Sapong said.
A lot of schools and homes sustained massive damage from Super Typhoon Yutu, which slammed Saipan and Tinian late last month. Schools supplies both at home and in the classrooms were destroyed and majority of the students on Saipan and Tinian have yet to return to school (specifically the public schools).
“This is a very difficult situation for everybody, but we can make things better if we will work together. In NMA’s case, our program is based on grassroots—the school children who are impacted by the super typhoon and they need our help,” NMA president Ramon Tebuteb said.
“I don’t know when will most of the schools resume their classes, but I know it could be soon, so it will be nice to get our children back in school with the needed supplies,” he said.
The NMA head is hoping more runners/walkers will join the turkey Trot so they could raise more school supplies. He added that they will also request support from their generous sponsors to help NMA’s cause.
“Runners/walkers could just come at the registration area and bring the school supplies by themselves. Their support to this super typhoon relief efforts will be much appreciated,” Tebuteb said.
Relay 4 Saipan in Guam
Meanwhile, Guam Central Athletics and Fonene Achoho Sensu Athletics are co-hosting the Relay 4 Saipan that will be held this Saturday in front of the Tiyan High School in Barrigada.
The entire proceeds from the race will be donated to NMA. Registration fees are $50 per team (four-person squad). Each runner will cover a distance of 800m to complete the two-mile relay. Check-in time is at 5am, while the race will kick off at 6am.