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EPPERSON KING OF PIGUA HILL

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By Patrick Lujan

Amy Atkinson and Charlie Epperson were the top female and male finishers in Saturday morning's Most Beautiful Run. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Amy Atkinson and Charlie Epperson were the top female and male finishers in Saturday morning’s Most Beautiful Run down south. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Charlie Epperson had climbed Pigua Hill so fast, he was at the bottom of the hill even before most stragglers started their climb.

Epperson ran away with the Guam Running Club’s 28th Most Beautiful Run Saturday morning that started at Fort Soledad in Umatac, headed down to the picturesque village of Malesso right up to the gruelling Pigua Hill to the Trans World Radio Station before finishing back down at the Malesso Pier. His winning time was 31 minutes, 36 seconds.

It is also called the Most Painful Run by some runners. You have to do it to fully comprehend.

“I heard the finishers talk about how tough and painful this course was, so I was curious to race it this year and see what the Most Painful Run had to offer,” said Epperson, who skipped last year’s painful run and volunteered instead.

Many beautiful sites along the way in, including a stroll past the Malesso Catholic Church and Kombento. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Many beautiful sites along the way in, including a stroll past the Malesso Catholic Church and Kombento. (photo by Jesse Castro)

In fact, Epperson barely made the start of this race at the Fort.

“I showed up late this morning,” he said. “John Wigsten gave me a ride this a.m. and we arrived at 5:58, so I didn’t get to warm-up. I used the first two miles to ease into a steady race pace and tried my best not to fall off that pace going up the rather “long” hill in Merizo.”

After getting into his groove and owning the hill, the Tennessee native had to be careful coming down the steep hill, especially at the speed he was going.

“The long downhill takes a pounding on your body. I am extremely careful to run controlled downhill while at the same time not trying to resist the gravity that pulls you down. I run in the grass if it looks flat and even enough not to twist an ankle.”

Last year’s top finisher, Richard Blas, was second overall this year in a time of  33:56, more than a minute faster than a year ago but still two minutes behind the winner.

Epperson said that though no one was really pushing him, the outcome could’ve been different if the big dogs came out to run.

“A number of the local speedsters that normally race were absent today, but I had enough competition to push me. John Aquino hammers from the gun, so I wouldn’t have the opportunity to ease into a pace if he was there today. While Derek Mandell can close with his wicked 800m speed and I likely wouldn’t enjoyed cruising the downhill at the end. In short, the race would have likely been completely different and the outcome may have been a little different as well.”

The top female runner coming in third overall was Amy Atkinson, who’ s coming down to her last few runs on island before her family relocates back to the mainland.

Tyler Thorne won the male junior division and was fourth overall in 35:12. Open runner Justin Pangelinan was fifth in 35:24.

DIVISION WINNERS

Youth

Hayato Moe 49:32; Elizabeth Quintanilla 45:44

Junior

Tyler Thorne 35:12; Emma Martin 46:49

Open

Richard Blas 33:56; Amy Atkinson 34:45

Submaster

Charlie Epperson 31:36; Meedeessa Livingston 44:12

Master

John Wigsten 40:01; Namiko Kawasaki 41:31

Senior

Rodney Bordallo 35:28; Kathy Sgro 44:23

Grandmaster

John Halloran 49:09; Eva Tanag 47:41

Manamko

Richard Harvey 48:26

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Runners exit the Fort Soledad entrance in Umatac and head toward Malesso. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Runners exit the Fort Soledad entrance in Umatac and head toward Malesso. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Runners head down to Malesso with Cocos Island along the horizon. (phto by Jesse Castro)

Runners head down to Malesso with Cocos Island along the horizon. (phto by Jesse Castro)

Richard Blas (black leggings) is among the lead pack as they pass the Malesso Cemetary. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Richard Blas (black leggings) is among the lead pack as they pass the Malesso Cemetary. (photo by Jesse Castro)

GRC's Myra Macagapal and Elaine Kwok pose in front of Malesso's Historic Cook School. (photo by Jesse Castro)

GRC’s Myra Macapagal and Elaine Kwok pose in front of Malesso’s Historic Cook School. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Runners are happy they are done with Pigua Hill as they head back to Malesso Pier. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Runners are happy they are done with Pigua Hill as they head back to Malesso Pier. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Mike Temerowski, who finished in third place of the masters division, sports unique cool down garb. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Mike Temerowski, who finished in third place of the masters division, sports unique cool down garb. (photo by Jesse Castro)

11-year-old Hayato Moe finished first in the male youth division. (photo by Jesse Castro)

11-year-old Hayato Moe finished first in the male youth division. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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