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KAWARAI TAKES KO’KO’ RACE

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By Jeff Ochavila

The 26 year old Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Kawarai crosses the finish line with an unofficial time of 1 hour and 12 minutes. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The 26 year old Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Tsukasa Kawarai crosses the finish line with an unofficial time of 1 hour and 12 minutes. (photo by Jesse Castro)

It was the biggest race of the year for Guam: the 8th annual Guam Ko’Ko’ Road Race.  This race just so happened to have the biggest turnout with the most people coming from Japan, other Asia countries, and especially the locals here on Guam. The whole area was filled with people, either competing, watching, or assisting early in the morning at the Ypao beach. It was definitely a site to see.

There were two different races: the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, and the 4 person Ekiden Relay which totals up to same distance at the half-marathon.

The race started with those who are competed in the half-marathon then the relay teams followed after. However, they made the course somewhat different this year. As the half-marathon runners will have to pass village of Tamuning, Hagatna, Anigua, and turn around at Asan. The relay will stay in Tumon as their turnaround is at the SandCastle and the exchange is in front of the GVB intersection.

Despite the drizzling rain, the race was still exhilarating to see. The race was competitive overall, but it was the runners from Japan that scorched the entire competition. It was lead by the first runner of the whole entire race, Tsukasa Kawarai. Watching him, he seemed to have the entire race in his hands without showing a sign of exhaustion or weakness. With that, he came in first in the half-marathon at a time of 1:12:18.

Tsukasa Kawarai says, “this race was hard for me because the condition. Usually in Japan, it’s much colder there but on Guam, the weather was very hot ” about the difficulty of the race. He includes, “but it was very fun. I wouldn’t have finished this with support,” about the whole race.

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners are cheered and greeted by fans along Marine Corps Dr. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners are cheered and greeted by fans along Marine Corps Dr. (photo by Jesse Castro)

As two other Japan runners come in 2nd and 3rd, with the big efforts of Guam’s own Derek Mandell, he was able to finish the whole half-marathon at 4th place at a time of 1:17:55. He did the best he possible could be in the top three but he fell a bit short in the end.

Derek Mandell had a few words about the race today, “overall, I think it was good. There was a lot of competition from Japan and also local competition as well. Also, I’m please with my performance.” For him, he states, “The front pack took off too fast and I had to let them go in the beginning because I knew that if I went with that them, I would have faded in the end. I had to play smarter and be more conservative in the beginning. I was able to catch some in the end but not the top three.“

Soon after, many more people starting to come in and finish the race from both the relay and the half-marathon. There were mixed of winners from different places that topped the different divisions. The whole race was a complete success with many

breathless runners coming out of the chute tired but happy that they were able to finish. You can hear that commotions and whole in the area about how much fun everybody had this morning.

Top Finishers

Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Kawarai first place male runner. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Tsukasa Kawarai first place male runner. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Overall male:

  1. Tsukasa Kawarai (1:12:18)
  2. Yutaka Naito (1:13:52)
  3. Hisroshi Kuwakado (1:17:05)

Juniors Male:

  1. John Aquino IV (1:22:05)
  2. Benjamin Middlebrooke (1:43:43)
  3. Brian Tsuji (1:49:17)

Open Male:

  1. Derek Mandell (1:17:55)
  2. Daisuke Yanaguchi (1:19:22)
  3. Kazuya Miyamoto 1:21:15)

Sum-Master Male:

  1. Charles Epperson (1:19:35)
  2. Yukinori Hirata (1:21:32)
  3. Shishin Miyagi (1:34:20)

Master Male:

  1. Mark Jolin (1:36:59)
  2. Takashi Kano (1:39:31)
  3. John Wigsten (1:42:22)

Senior Male:

  1. Yuichi Yoshizai (1:29:37)
  2. Rodney Bordalle (1:34:34)
  3. Shigeru Fukuda (1:36:37)

Grandmaster Male:

  1. Yutaka Takeshige (1:48:29)
  2. Kenichi Otani (1:50:48)
  3. Robert Navarro (1:57:19)

Overall Female:

    1. Satoka Uetani (1:23:45)
    2. Marie Benito (1:34:10)
    3. Namiko Kawasaki (1:47:25)
Junior’s Female:
  1. Emma Martin (2:03:30)

Open Female:

  1. Yusika Sugahara (1:48:33)
  2. Kirsten Kennon (1:49:11)
  3. Diobelkis Ozuna (1:52:47)

Sub-Master Female:

  1. Stephanie Clark (1:49:48)
  2. Erika Parker (1:52:35)
  3. Tamasi Smith (1:53:38)

Master Female:

  1. Mylene Garcia (1:57:34)
  2. Letitia Lujan Shimizu (2:02:44)
  3. Yuka Hechanova (2:02:54)

Senior Female:

  1. Kathy Sgro (2:02:29)
  2. Rebecca Jones (2:03:21)
  3. Yusiko Kino (2:03:43)

Grand Master Female:

  1. Eva Tanag (2:05:18)
  2. Namiko Goto (2:16:24)

Manamko Female:

  1. Miyoko Nishikawa (2:08:37)

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners take in the scenic view of East Hagatna Bay as they continue to run towards the finish line. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners take in the scenic view of East Hagatna Bay as they continue to run towards the finish line. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners head towards the last leg of their run along Marine Corps Dr.

Ko’ko’ half marathon runners head towards the last leg of their run along Marine Corps Dr.

Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Tsukara Karawai runs past the Marine Corps Dr. and Ypao Rd. intersection heading into the final leg of the marathon. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ko’ko’ half marathon runner Tsukara Karawai runs past the Marine Corps Dr. and Ypao Rd. intersection heading into the final leg of the marathon. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Finishers of the Ko’ko’ Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay race gather at the finish chute to cheer on fellow participants. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Finishers of the Ko’ko’ Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay race gather at the finish chute to cheer on fellow participants. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Fans and volunteers cheer the participants of the Ko’ko’ half marathon as they enter the last leg of the course. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Fans and volunteers cheer the participants of the Ko’ko’ half marathon as they enter the last leg of the course. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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