|Saipan Marathon kicks off March trifecta|
|Thursday, 17 January 2013 06:01|
By Saipan Tribune
The Saipan Marathon, which features 10K, half-marathon, full marathon and 50K (kanpei course) races, is part of the island's March trifecta, joining the equally prestigious XTERRA Saipan (March 9) and Tagaman Triathlon (March 16)
“The Saipan Marathon, along with the XTERRA Saipan Championship and the Tagaman Triathlon, make March our busiest month and are important promotional tools used by the MVA to publicize the Northern Marianas,” MVA Community Projects manager Martin Duenas said in a press release sent to Saipan Tribune. “These events not only attract hundred of racers and their family and friends, but also provide the opportunity to showcase our beautiful islands through the visiting media.”
Last year, 751 individuals crossed the finish line of the Saipan Marathon at the American Memorial Park and MVA reported that over $2-million in advertising exposure in Japan and Korea were expected, as the 2012 race was shown in TV shows and reported in magazines in these countries.
This year, MVA is hoping to equal, if not surpass, the number of runners (around 800) in the 2012 event and is also counting on the participation of local athletes.
In its bid to maintain the big number of entries to the March 2 race, MVA added it decided to keep the grueling 50K event, which was launched last year.
“We know the ultra marathon or 50K has become a significant race at the international level. In an effort to continue developing and growing the Saipan Marathon, this year's race will still include the 50K kanpei course,” Duenas said.
Former Olympian Eric Wainaina Wahinya of Kenya ruled the inaugural 50K race with a time of 3:32:19 and he was the lone runner out of more than 20 participants to complete the lung-busting event under the four-hour mark
Meanwhile, registration fees turned in on or before Feb. 1 for the 50K and marathon cost only $55 for US and CNMI runners, while entry fees for half marathon and 10K are $45. Entry fees and registration submitted after Feb.1 have additional late fees of $10. Interested participants have until 5pm on Feb. 7 to sign up. Registered runners will receive finisher's t-shirt, certificate of completion, and entry to the awards banquet.
Runners competing in the 50K will start the event at 4:30am, while marathon entries will leave AMP at 5:45am. Start time for half marathon and 10K is 6am.