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ATKINSON FIRST IN JAPAN 5K

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By Patrick Lujan

Guam runners Chris Magtoto and Amy Atkinson finished will in their respective races in Sapporo, Japan. (courtesy photo)

Guam runners Chris Magtoto and Amy Atkinson finished well in their respective races in Sapporo, Japan. (courtesy photo)

Guam Olympic runner Amy Atkinson has recovered from knee injury quite nicely, thank you!

Atkinson, who has struggled with the injury for the most of 2013, was back on her winning ways with a first place finish in the Toyohiragawa 5K run in Sapporo, Japan last weekend in a time of 19 minutes, 50 seconds.

Premier runner Chris Magtoto didn’t do too bad himself with a third place finish in the 10K event with a time of 33 minutes, 18 seconds.

Both runners represented Guam by winning last year’s Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race sponsored by the Guam Visitors Bureau.

“It was a great experience,” Atkinson said.”Although it was definitely not my fastest time, I was so happy to run under 20 minutes and to take first for Guam. It was also fun to run in the cold (50 degrees F).”

The course went through a big park that started and finished in the previous Sapporo Olympic ice track stadium.

“It was very scenic and there was still snow on the mountains and the side of the trails. I raced in my beanie, tights, gloves, and arm warmers. Since it was my first race back from injury, I decided to just go and do the best I could and be satisfied as long as I ran my fastest for the condition that I am in.”

“I also wanted to run well for my track athletes at Jose Rios (Middle School), since I had to miss one of their meets to go on the trip,” said the teacher at Rios Middle.

Despite the cold, Atkinson was all smiles in receiving her 1st place finish certificate. (courtesy photo)

Despite the cold, Atkinson was all smiles in receiving her 1st place finish certificate. (courtesy photo)

“God was so good and Chris ran a great race, too. He was racing hard at the front pack for the 10k and ran an excellent time for the distance, taking third.”

According to Kraig Camacho from GVB,  the bureau signed on to the

Toyohiragawa Marathon Sister Race Agreement was established in 2011. Each year representatives from each race send their delegation to participate at the Sister Race. GVB

 each year sends its top local female and male finishers of the Guam Ko’ko Road Race to the race in Sapporo thanks to airline sponsorship from United Airlines.

The delegation this year was led by Nathan Taimanglo, GVB Board of Director and GVB Sports Committee Chairman.

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