Saipan Tropical Ekiden relay race set for Aug. 29
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands – Toward the goal of attracting more visitors and expanding its sports tourism image, the Marianas Visitors Authority will host the Saipan Tropical Ekiden on Aug. 29, stretching its legs with the popular Japanese relay race. “Ekiden” writtenin Japanese combines the characters for “station” (駅) and “transmit” (伝). The term originally referred to a horse or stagecoach that transmitted communication by stages.
The inaugural Saipan Tropical Ekiden will introduce two categories: Family Run and 4-Hour Relay Marathon. Under the Family Run category, a family of up to five runs a full 2K course together. Under the Relay Marathon category, a team of two to 10 members (including at least one adult) runs a full marathon, switching off every 2K.
The race will be held beginning in the late afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. at Garapan Fishing Base. The first two hours will be run along Beach Rd. through downtown Garapan. Around sunset at 6 p.m., the course will shift to Saipan Beach Pathway.
“Ekiden is pretty popular in Japan, especially among school groups that compete against each other,” said MVA Community Projects Manager Martin Duenas. “We’re interested to introduce the event here in the Northern Marianas and hope to see at least 100 off-island visitors participate alongside our local runners.”
Mandatory orientation and race packet pick-up will be race day (Aug. 29) at 1:30 p.m. at
Garapan Fishing Base. Each participant must pick up their own packet. This will also be the deadline to register.
The registration fee for the Family category is $50/family. The registration fee for the Relay category for U.S. and CNMI residents is $15/each for runners 18 years and older and $10/each for runners under age 18. Registrations must present a valid US or CNMI ID to qualify for the U.S./CNMI registration fee. The entry fee also includes entry to the awards banquet, a memorial towel, and a certificate of complete.
For more information, contact MVA Community Projects Coordinator Ed Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 670.664.3210.