At the end of it all, Kathryn Riley (31) and Apisaloma Nimarota (17) were crowned the People’s Champions in the Magik FM People’s Run Series last week.
Kathryn and the younger Nimarota were the most consistent performers. They amassed unassailable leads in the 12-week competition that was held every Wednesday at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum estate.
The Series started way back in January with six runners in the first race. It then increased rapidly to average 30 runners every week. The series reached a peak of 40 runners in the last four weeks of the Series.
The amazing part of the series was seeing young children participate with their parents every week. About a third of runners and walkers was made up of children from Vailima village and surrounds. The magic of the series was the fun nature of the event. But also, every week, each and every runner including the children got their official run times. That gave everyone a focus to run faster the next week, including the children.
Amanda Wheatley who came with her children Mya and Ava commented, “This is the only event my children have wanted to compete in. Every Wednesday they are ready and eager to run. No matter how tired I might be after work, it is the kids that drag me out here.”
Another regular family is the Nicols from the Australian Defence compound. Toni and husband Ben Nicol competed regularly with children Oliver (9) and Riley (7).
“As a family this has been really important to us. We love Wednesdays, and it is really sad the series has come to an end,” Toni said.
“Oliver improved his time every week,” she added.
The other key to the successful series was consistency of event. It was held every week. It started on time. There were no cancellations even when the weather was bad.
Runners came to know the event was on whether there were a few runners or even if it rained hard like it did in two of the races.
In her victory speech, Kathryn was overjoyed with the award. “This is so cool. This will probably be the only time I will ever win a running thing.”
She thanked her partner Ty Feekings for pushing and challenging her. She is a much improved runner from participating in the series.
Apisaloma Nimarota was gracious in his maiden victory speech. Like Kathryn, others usually take the honours in races. However in this case, it is consistency and turning up every week that has made them the Magik FM People’s Champions.
The Magik FM People’s Run is one of the local events Samoa Events organises during the year.
The runners now take focus on the next Samoa Events running fixture on the horizon, which is the Savai’i Marathon in two weeks on 16th April. That event offers all the distances from the full marathon to the 3km race.
Samoa Events Schedule in April – www.samoaevents.com
7 April, Savai’i Games - Upolu-Savaii Swim
9 April, Savai’i Games – Ford Ride Savai’i 1-Day Challenge
16 April, Savai’i Games - Savaii Marathon
23 April, ANZAC Challenge
30 April, TRI Series Race 3