Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Race previews Saipan Marathon

02 January 2019, 12pm

The Marianas offer runners an opportunity to clear lungs and minds and to feel the sand between their toes

Cocoon of peace

Saipan Marathon
Sat 9 March 2019

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“Seven shades of blue” is how the ocean waters of Saipan are sometimes described – and that’s just part of the stunning vistas of land, sea, and sky awaiting visitors to this Western Pacific isle.

Along the western lagoon shoreline and through the quiet roadways of the northern part of the island, clean ocean air and historical and cultural sites dot the course of the Saipan Marathon and offer runners the opportunity to clear both lungs and minds.

Through the centuries both the stunning natural scenery and the warm-hearted people of the Marianas have survived and triumphed over adversity, including Super Typhoon Yutu, the strongest storm on Earth during 2018. Against this historic backdrop, the Saipan Marathon offers runners the chance to discover new wellsprings of strength as they push to reach personal goals while enjoying the unique charms of this tropical island.

An eclectic mix of over 20 ethnicities from around the world make their home on this 21-kilometre long island, adding their unique cultures to the strength of a small community that embraces diversity.

Savour the crunch of a deep-fried empanada, a culinary holdover from the Spanish colonisation of the islands that is best infused with the potent island hot pepper “donni sali.”

Pass relics from the colonial past along the marathon course including a pre-WWII church bell tower, Japanese defensive bunkers dotted along the shoreline, two military tanks sitting immobile far out in the lagoon and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral.

Jog past a pre-historic latte stone, a limestone monolith of the indigenous Chamorro people who have retained their culture in these islands through the centuries.

Watch the whirling dance of the Carolinian people who found a new home in The Marianas in the 1800s when their own tiny atolls were devastated by typhoons.

Kick back and feel the sand between your toes at the awards dinner on the beach where an uninterrupted ocean horizon and a vibrant sunset painted across the sky create a cocoon of peace in an often hectic world.

Runners looking to refresh their minds and spirits are invited to experience the quiet, unspoiled nature of this intriguing and welcoming but resilient island community. The island is conveniently served by direct or one-stop flights from Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and other nearby destinations.

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