=Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races: Taisuke Ueda finishes top half marathon winner

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The Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races wrapped up another successful Ko’ko’ Weekend with nearly 1,500 local and international runners converging at Governor Joseph F.

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The Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races wrapped up another successful Ko’ko’ Weekend with nearly 1,500 local and international runners converging at Governor Joseph F. Flores Memorial (Ypao Beach) Park early this morning. Now celebrating its eleventh year, the GVB signature event welcomed runners from a variety of countries including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Norway, Australia, India and Philippines.

Taisuke Ueda from Japan became the new overall half marathon winner, blazing through the course with a time of 01:13:25. Half marathon female overall winner Asuka Takagi, also from Japan, finished strong with a time of 01:24:26.

Guam’s top half marathon runner Charlie Epperson finished the course in 01:17:58& placed 5th overall. Ryan Matienzo followed closely behind Epperson with a time of 01:23:50, placing 6th overall. Kristina Ingvarsson became the first overall half marathon female finisher for Guam, placing 5th in her division with a time of01:43:41.

A new addition to this year’s Ko’ko’ Weekend—the 10K Run/Walk encouraged people of different fitness levels to participate. The top male winner Kenta Togashi (37:11) & top female winner Manami Iijima (41:10) respectively set the bar high for next year’s competitors.

The ekiden relay race boasted festive teams embracing the Halloween spirit. The Run Guam Elite Men team was the overall ekiden relay winner, with members finishing in a combined time of 01:16:01.

Keeping Ko’ko’ Weekend in line with Halloween, Loconut Entertainment hosted a costume contest and awarded over $3,000 in cash to soloists and teams who wore the best costumes in the following categories – best superhero, most original and scariest.

“On behalf of GVB and our Ko’ko’ partners, we congratulate our participating runners on their successful finish. Their Ko’ko’ training paid off and we hope they enjoyed the course. The Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races continues to support sports tourism by giving our visitor markets another option to experience our island paradise and the warm hospitality of our people,” said Nathan Denight, GVB President & CEO. “Si Yu’os Ma’ase to all our volunteers, first responders, sponsors and the community for their support in making this GVB signature event successful for the past eleven years. Biba Ko’ko’! Biba Guam!”

GVB thanks its gold sponsors for Ko’ko’ Weekend – United Airlines, Pacific Islands Club, T Galleria by DFS, the Stations of KUAM, Hilton Guam Resort and Spa, Hyatt Regency Guam, and Powerade/Fruita+ for their support. This event would also not be possible without the assistance of silver sponsors – Docomo Pacific, Project Inspire, Hotel Nikko Guam, Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort, Pacific Daily News and Heineken Light. GVB also thanks Loconut Entertainment for sponsoring the costume contest and the Guam Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run. Additionally, special thanks is given to the Offices of the Governor & Lieutenant Governor, Bank of Guam, Cars Plus, Run Guam Inc., International Distributors, Inc., G4S Secure Solutions (Guam) Inc., No Ka Oi, Japan Guam Travel Association, Pay­-Less Supermarkets, Department of Agriculture, Department of Parks & Recreation, Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department – Highway Patrol Division and the Mayors Council of Guam.

Official 2016 race results are posted on guamkokoroadrace.com

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