Over 700 register for Saipan Marathon

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(MVA) — Over 700 runners from 15 countries and territories have signed up for Saipan Marathon 2020 on Saturday, March 14.

The 13th  Annual Saipan Marathon was held on March 9, 2019.  The 14th  Saipan Marathon will be held on March 14, 2020, and will feature a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, AND 5K.  MVA photo

The 736 registrants include 358 from the Marianas, 122 from Korea, 125 from Japan, 66 from the U.S., 42 from the Philippines, six from Guam, four from Malaysia, three from China, two from Canada, two from Brazil, two from Thailand, and one registrant each from the Federated State of Micronesia, Russia, Taiwan, and Germany.

Saipan Marathon is an annual signature event of the Marianas Visitors Authority aimed at drawing visitors and media attention to the destination. This year’s event adds a 5K course to its 10k, half marathon, and full marathon repertoire.

“We are ready for a great event on Saturday,” said MVA Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo. “Despite the dampening effect of Covid-19, which has led to some cancellations, there is still interest in the Marianas and Saipan Marathon, and this event will help remind other visitors that we are still a clean and beautiful destination. This weekend and always, we are encouraging everyone to observe the extensive public education on how to protect ourselves at this and other public arenas. As part of our collaborative efforts, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. will be on site for health screening purposes. Also, we would like remind drivers to exercise caution and follow all traffic officer directions on the road Saturday morning to ensure a safe event for all participants.”

All competitors are required to pick up their race packets on Friday, March 13, at American Memorial Park. Pickup times are 3-4 p.m. for team/groups/tour groups/etc. and 4-6 p.m. for individuals only.

Powerade returns this year as exclusive sponsor, and Skymark Airlines, which provides direct daily flights from Tokyo to Saipan, is a Platinum sponsor, along with IT&E. Hyatt Regency Saipan and T Gallery by DFS have signed on as gold sponsors, and silver sponsors are Budget Car Rental Saipan, Coca-Cola/Foremost, Grandvrio Resort Saipan, Saipan Apparel, Saipan Plant Center, and Subway. Supporters include Northern Marianas Athletics, Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Memorial Park, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Works, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Division of Parks and Recreation, Saipan Mayor’s Office, and Hawaiian Rock Products.

Saipan Marathon is certified by the International Association of Athletic Federations through the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

The Northern Marianas Sports Association board of directors issued a statement on Wednesday in support of the event.

“Our sporting community continues to prepare and train for next year’s Pacific Mini Games to held here in the CNMI (on) June 18-26, 2021, and this weekend’s marathon competition provides and excellent venue to build stamina and mental preparedness required for the competition ahead among many athletes from many nations,” NMSA stated. “We are thankful for the vigilant effort of the administration and all parties in the tourism and medical community that are doing everything within their power to screen and mitigate for Covid-19…. Good luck to all participants and let’s help MVA welcome all visitors enthusiastically.”

The race start will start and finish at American Memorial Park, starting at 4:30 a.m. for the full marathon, at 5:30 a.m. for the half marathon, at 5:45 a.m. for the 10K, and at 6 a.m. for the 5K. The cut-off time for the full marathon will be 8:30 a.m. at the half-way point. There is no cut-off time for the half marathon, 10K or 5K.

For more information, visit the Marianas Calendar at www.mymarianas.com or contact MVA community projects specialist Ed Diaz at 664-3210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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