Lighting the Running Fire

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RUNNERS: Fa’afoi, Peresitene, Opeta.

RUNNERS: Fa’afoi, Peresitene, Opeta. (Photo: Nynette Sass.)

Three young boys from Toamua and Leauva’a were all smiles on Saturday at the Digicel Extraordinary Run. 

Ten year old Fa’afoi ran a brilliant race, coming in third in the Junior  2.5k and the Peterson brothers, nine year old Peresitene and eleven year old Opeta both placed in the Top 10.

 All three also scored Digicel school packs in the lucky spot draw. Opeta’s father, Peresitene Peterson was a race volunteer  and he works at Young Steel which sponsored the children’s entry. They had to get up at 4am to make it by the 5am set up. 

He explained, “I really wanted my kids to participate. This is a chance for them to get excited about running. They were so happy to come to town and mingle with the other kids.”  When asked about his race, young Opeta said he wants to run more races, “Because I won a new school bag and because I had fun.”  Fa’afoi was so enthusiastic that after completing the 2.5k, he wanted to keep running and do another!

Organized by the Samoa Triathlon Federation, the purpose of the funrun was to promote an active, healthy lifestyle and encourage running at the grassroots community level.  President Nicola Mills said that’s why it was essential that the funrun be enjoyable AND affordable. 

“Thanks to our generous sponsors, we were able to only charge $5 for adults and $3 for children. It was good to see several companies sponsoring entry for their employees and their children.” Many participants found the lively DJ music and after-race refreshments a big plus.  

“I’m here for the breakfast,” joked one.  Others proudly sported their free race T.shirt from Eveni Carruthers, a souvenir and evidence they’re fabulous 5k Finishers. Lots of photos were taken at the Siva Afi sponsored finish line.  (That will no doubt be flooding your Facebook feed shortly.)

Race Director and Vice-President of the Federation, Darren Young was very encouraged by the young talent on show at the event.  

“The times these children ran at were impressive.  The lead pack all came in under fifteen minutes and the winner did it in only eleven minutes, and the winning girl at fifteen min. If we can keep these kids excited about running, we could see some excellent results for Samoa athletics and triathlon in a few years.” 

The organizers expressed their appreciation for all the sponsors and the families who participated.  Nicola Mills said, “We’re absolutely delighted to see so many people all ranging in different abilities, coming down and taking part.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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