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KO’KO’ RACE SET FOR OCT.

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By Errol Alegre, Jr.

The official Guam Rail mascot, ‘Che’lu’, and Cheryl Calaustro from the Department of Agriculture pose with ‘Buenas’, a live ko’ko’ bird that was brought to the press conference. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

As Guam’s runners anticipated the prestigious Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race (half marathon and ekiden relay), its host, the Guam Visitors Bureau announced in a press conference Monday morning that it will be held on October14, 2012 at Ypao Beach Park.

GVB also revealed the $5000 worth of prizes for the 2012 Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race. As a reward to the top Guam resident male and female finishers, GVB will host them to finish the race at the NikkanSports Toyohiragawa Marathon in May 2013, in Sapporo, Japan. The first, second, and third place overall male and female finishers will receive $1000, $500, and $250 respectively.

Massashi Shirotake, is the two-time defending champion clocking in a time of 1:12:43 in last year’s race. Guam’s London Olympians Derek Mandell and Amy Atkinson are two of the expected participants in this year’s race. In 2011, about 1,600 runners ran the 13.1-mile course, with 600 of them coming from Japan. Race projections anticipate a record-breaking year as to the number of participants.

The race begins and ends at Ypao Beach Park, taking runners through Tumon, Tamuning, Asan and Hagatna.

2012 marks the seventh anniversary of the race, that also doubles as a way to raise awareness for the Ko’ko’ bird.

Registration starts at $40 per person for the half marathon and $75 for each ekiden relay team. School Division ekiden teams start at $30.

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