Repeat winners in 10K, half marathon
The 10K race started at the American Memorial Park with runners heading south through Beach Road before making a turn near Hakubotan and returning to AMP.
In the men's division, Japan's Takasahi Aoyama posted the fastest time at 36:36 for back-to-back wins in the shortest race of the day. Guam's Toby Castro finished second with 37:15, followed by Japan's Tsubasa Ito (37:23), Hiroshi Seino (40:33), Mitsuru Kimura (41:56), and Guam's Jorgene Abalos (42:52).
In the age group divisions, ruling their respective categories were Canatsu Kaga (1:03:31/U14); Saipan's Lia Rangamar (59:27/15 to 19); Nozomi Iwama (56:26/20 to 29); Chiharu Sato (53:43 (30 to 39); Jennifer Hreljac (57:35/40 to 49), Kyoko Matsuda (53:02/50 to 59); and Kyoko Inagaki (59:55/over 60).
The men's age group winners were Haruka Oshida (52:21/U14); Ittetsu Shioya (44:35/15 to 19); Junjie Cui (43:36/20 to 29); Takao Yonekura (45:25/30 to 39); Saipan's Yoshi Suzuki (45:23/40 to 49); Saipan's Cesar Danao (43:19/50 59); Sakae Sato (45:21/over 60).
In the half marathon, Amber Sarkkinen clinched her second straight win after completing the second longest race of the day in 1:43:57. The 25-year-old, who ruled the 20 to 29 age group of the race last year, was the top finisher in the women's open division and crushed her 2010 winning time of 1:45:57.
Sarkkinen was the lone CNMI runner to break into the Top 6 in the women's division. Japan's Sayuri Yuyuma finished second with a time of 1:45:33, followed by compatriots Kazumi Suzuki (1:53:17), Nami Okamoto (1:54:46), Mariko Ueda (1:57:39), and Akiko Sasaki (1:58:52).
In the men's division, Guam's Michael Gaitan topped the field with a time of 1:20:18. The 18-year-old runner beat Japan's Kazuharu Muto (1:26:34) and teammate Rico Flores (1:28:17). Rounding the Top 6 were Yoshiharu Watanabe (1:30:06), Keam Bae Ji (1:33:27), and Ryuichi Baba (1:33:45).
In the men's age group competition, Saipan's Joel Tudela (1:52:58) and Tom Linden (1:38:20) prevailed in the 15 to 19 and 40 to 49 division, respectively. Toa Takebayahi (1:56:51) ruled the U14 division, Akimasu Suzuki (1:42:29) won in the 20 to 29, Satoshi Wada (1:35:53) reigned in the 30 to 39, Akihisa Otani (1:45:33) dominated the 50 to 59, and Toshio Yamabe (1:37:00) won the over 60 division.
In the women's division, Saipan's Suzy Kindel topped the 50 to 59 age group with a time of 2:06:39. Joining her in the winners circle were Risa Ueno (1:59:19/20 to 29), Saori Seki (2:01:50/ 30 to 39), and Naomi Amai (2:01:30/40 to 49).
The half marathon course had runners leaving AMP and heading north via Beach Road all the way near the post office in Chalan Kanoa before and going back to the starting line.
In the full marathon, the age group winners were Saipan's Donivan Mendiola (5:02:32/15 to 19), Yosuke Furuno (3:19:59/20 to 29), Izuru Nakashima (3:14:54/30 to 39), Kunihito Shioya (3:36:41/40 to 49), Minoru Suzuki (3:17:07/50 to 59), and Noboru Naoi (3:46:52/over 60); and women's division's Misa Seiki (3:53:55/20 to 29), Yoko Tominaga (4:18:14/30 to 39), Eriko Iyama (4:06:47/40 to 49), Yoshie Sato (4:24:51/50 to 59), and Toyoko Tominaga (4:30:08/over 60).
By Roselyn Monroyo
Reporter Saipan Tribune