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KO’KO’ RACE RECORD BROKEN

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By Patrick Lujan

Despite wet and slippery conditions, Japan’s Masashi Shirotake took home his third straight Guam Ko’Ko’ Race and broke the course record in the process, finishing the half marathon in one hour, 11 minutes and 25 seconds.

Guam’s Christopher Magtoto and Japan’s Masashi Shirotake take the halfway turn of the 13.1-mile run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The 33-year-old from Takamatsu, Japan finished the 13.1-mile course from Ypao to Asan and back with a constant and quick pace from start to finish that no one could keep up with.

“It was dangerous,” Shirotake said about the wet course, especially coming down the hill toward the finish line. “If I speed up, I may slip.” That suggests that dryer conditions couldn’t given him a faster time.

First place solo finisher Masashi Shirotake

Guam’s Christopher Magtoto was shoulder-to-shoulder with Shirotake throughout the first half of the race heading down to the turning point in Asan.

“We kept switching the pace,” the 21-year-old Magtoto said. “Then he pulled away going back.”

http://iconnectasia.com/iconnectguam/Pulled away he did as Shirotake shifted to another gear and slowly widened the gap.

“His breathing was heavy,” Shirotake said about Magtoto. “That’s when I picked up the pace.”

“When he pulled away, it was hard to keep up,” Magtoto said. “It was little by little.”

Over 1800 runners participated in the annual event. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

After the turn, the more experienced Japanese quickly jumped ahead by about 10 meters. By the eight-mile mark, the lead increased to 23 seconds, then a 1:14 lead at the 10-mile mark.

Magtoto, running in only his second half marathon, finished in a respectable 1:14:29.

Shirotake, who has run in more than 20 marathons and about five half marathons, won the $1000 winners prize and another $500 for breaking the course record.

Guam Olympian Amy Atkinson was the first female finisher at 1:28:05.

HALF MARATHON RESULTS

EKIDEN RELAY RESULTS

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