Come Saturday, the big island of Savaii will be a hive of activity with the start of the Samoa Events 2017 Savaii Games.
The first event of the Games this year is the ANZ Savaii Marathon. The race has five distances including the only full marathon in Samoa this year. The only other event of the Savaii Games this year is the ultra Apolima Strait swim from Upolu to Savaii on Tuesday, 11th April.
Savaii Marathon welcomes aboard the assistance of major sponsors ANZ Bank, SSAB, Samoa Shipping Corporation (SSC) and Savaii Samoa Tourism Authority (SSTA). It is the perfect partnership for the Savaii Marathon.
All races are point to point and will finish at ANZ / SSAB Salelologa complex where the inaugural races in 2016 also finished. SSAB and SSC return as event sponsors this year. ANZ is a long term supporting partner of Samoa Events since 2013.
SSC Ferries play a big part in the race too. All visitors from overseas and Upolu will have booked early enough to travel over on Friday for the weekend.
That is not all, Samoa Events will contribute over 500 passengers for SSC ferries during the course of 2017 across its many events.
In the same way, Samoa Events this year will contribute the same amount of tourists and visitors for the big island starting with the Savaii Marathon this week, Apolima Strait Swim from Upolu to Savaii next week, and many other annual events such as the Samoa Swim Series.
Samoa Events has scheduled a new running race on Savaii for early August on Saturday, 5th. The main event in that race is a Half Marathon, also 10km, 5km and 3km distances. The new event will be based around Fagamalo and Manase tourist belt.
Savaii Marathon next week includes a full Marathon that starts at Saleaula Lava field at 5am, Half Marathon (Pu’apu’a, 7.30am), 10KM (Fogapoa, 8.30am), ANZ 5KM walk (Lalomalava, 9am) and the SSAB 3KM walk starts 9.30am at Salelavalu. Runners will start arriving at the finish from 8.30am.
Last year’s inaugural event was well attended. For this weekend’s race, there are again visitors signed up from New Zealand, Australia and United States. Most of the visitors to the big island next weekend will travel over from Upolu.
Being the first race, last year’s event has all the records to date. Expect a few records to be broken. It is good to see the short distance records are all held by local Savaiians in the 5km and 3km walks.
It is not too late to register for the Event, and very important to register before Saturday. There are no race fees being paid on race day at race starts.
Upolu Registration is at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel at the Village Life Group House by the hotel gates, on 4th and 5th April between 10 and 2pm. Savaii registration is at SSAB on Friday 7th from 2pm to 4pm.
For punters traveling over, it is recommended that you book in to your accommodation and request to be dropped off to your race start on time. It is advisable that you arrive 30 minutes ahead of your race start.
Prize Giving will take place at the end of the races, around 10.30am, and will be hosted by SSTA in front of the ANZ/SSAB complex. SSTA President Tupai Saleimoa Vaai is the MC on the day. In the afternoon, there will be a BBQ dinner for all participants at The Savaiian Hotel.
Marathon, Bobby Carney, 4hrs, 24mins, 56secs, No women runners
Half Marathon, Steve Nimarota, 1:40:58 (Men), Alex Benneger (Austria) 2:03:40 (Women)
10KM, Owen Fitzgerald (NZ) 47:33 & Carly Wander 59:58
5KM, Fa’apopo Pouma’a (Savai’I) 35:36 & Tina Kaestner (Savai’i) 51:46
3KM, Mutia Lilomaiava (Savaii) 26:34 & Teuila Tiumalu (Savaii) 29:25