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KOREAN HAM WINS MARATHON

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By Patrick Lujan

Yeunsik Ham: 02:43:07

Yeunsik Ham: 02:43:07

South Korean runner Yeunsik Ham was the first ever marathon finisher in the much-anticipated inaugural Guam International Marathon Sunday morning.

The marathon started at 4 a.m. in front of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Tumon, shot up the hill to the Kmart intersection and headed down south, turning around in front of the National Park Service building in Sumay.

Guam Olympian Derek Mandell, running his first ever marathon, led the way throughout the first half and beyond with three international studs drafting right on his tail.

“I didn’t know how many were behind me,” Mandell later commented. “All I know is one of them kept clipping me.”

Mandell led the pack before the three guests made a move after the turnaround and pulled away to make it a three-man race with about seven miles to go.  The group clocked in at one hour, 21 minutes at the halfway mark.

Eunhee Youn was the first female marathon finisher with a time of 03:08:49. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Eunhee Youn was the first female marathon finisher with a time of 03:08:49. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Ham, a 33-year-old veteran of 20 marathons, broke away from the three-man pack of elite international runners at the 37K (23-mile) mark.

“I was nervous going up the final hill (back up to Kmart), but after that I was calm,” Ham said through an interpreter.

After crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 43 minutes, seven seconds and entertaining media from South Korea, Ham mentioned that the course was fun but Guam is ‘hot’. And to think he didn’t even run in the warmest time of the day. Ham takes home the $1500 top prize.

Japan’s Eigo Iwamoto finished second in 2:43:26 with a strong second half of the run. He was running solo  a couple hundred meters behind the lead back in the first half of the race.

Derek Mandell came in fifth overall in the marathon with a time of 02:56:06. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Derek Mandell came in fifth overall in the marathon with a time of 02:56:06. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Satoshi Namai from Japan was third in 2:45:08 while Hi Seoul Marathon winner Jinsoo Choi placed fourth in  2:49:42.

Mandell placed fifth overall in a very respectable 2:56:46.

The top women’s finisher was Eunhee Youn from South Korea, who’s strong stride led her to a 3:08:49 time. Guam’s Emily Cook was second (11th overall) at 3:22:57.

Guam Runners Shine

Chris Magtoto took the half marathon in a time of 1:18:26, beating out Japan’s Yusuke Tokitani (1:19:16). Charlie Epperson was third at 1:21:11.

High school running star John Aquino took second place in the 10K race with a time of 36:03. Fello junior runner Gerald Asuncion was fourth in 39:33.

Olympic marathoner Marie Benito was second place in the female division 10K in 43:53.

Guam runner Gabe Lombard took the 5K race and a cool $500 in a time of 17:32.

NOTES: Ham, a resident of Seoul, South Korea, was asked if he was worried for his homeland over the threats made by North Korea, Ham simply said: ‘No’… He plans to return next year to defend his title…After crossing the finish line, Mandell jokingly said, “Never doing that again”…Derek’s parents Desmond and Gerri were cheering him on throughout the course…Half-marathoner Greg Uncangco, a firefighter with the Guam Fire Department, said after completing the course, “Gonna walk straight to GMH”…Japanese runner Hayato Date ran the marathon wearing a traditional Japanese kimono and getas -, yes he ran with the tradition Japanese wooden slippers! He finished in 5:36:26.

Guam International Marathon Results

The marathon leaders are blessed with a beautiful Asan sunrise as they head down to Agana. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The marathon leaders are blessed with a beautiful Asan sunrise as they head back toward Hagatna. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Derek Mandell leads the marathon at the Piti Power Plant. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Derek Mandell leads the marathon at the Piti Power Plant. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Derek Marathon

Derek Mandell adds a few extra feet to the 26-mile long course by going around the turnaround sign instead of staying in front of it. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Derek Mandell adds a few extra feet to the 26-mile long course by going around the turnaround sign instead of staying in front of it. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jinsoo Choi leads the marathon pack after the turnaround mark. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jinsoo Choi leads the marathon pack after the turnaround mark. Choi would finish fourth overall. Korea’s Yuensik Ham (looking at the camera in 3rd) would go on to win the first ever Guam International Marathon. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Hayato Date competes in the marathon with a unique set of clothing. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Hayato Date competes in the marathon in a more traditional attire and taking photos. He’s running with traditional Japanese getas (wooden slippers) with an extra pair on his waist just in case. Who needs shoes? (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

PNC's Josh Tyquiengco makes a quick smile for the camera. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

PNC’s Josh Tyquiengco makes a quick smile for the camera. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Rodney Bordallo may have lost count of how many marathons he has competed in, but he surely has not lost his stride as he finished ninth overall. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Rodney Bordallo may have lost count of how many marathons he has competed in (he thinks 30), but he surely hasn’t lost his stride as he finished ninth overall. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Robert Bevacqua and Geraldine Koshiba converse as they participate in the run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

64-year-old Robert Bevacqua and Geraldine Koshiba converse as they participate in the half marathon run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Yasushi Komagata and Mari Sawada are all smiles as they enjoy the sunrise. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Yasushi Komagata and Mari Sawada are all smiles as they enjoy the sunrise. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

GSPN writer Colin Leon Guerrero peaces out beofre sprinting to the finish line. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

GSPN writer Colin Leon Guerrero peaces out before sprinting to the finish line of his half marathon run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jose Perez takes a brief moment to pose for the camera at the Maite-Agana intersection. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Jose Perez takes a brief moment to pose for the camera at the Maite-Hagatna intersection in the half marathon. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Layne Fischer takes the family along for the run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Layne Fischer takes the family along for the run. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Astumbo Middle School W.A.V.E. Club motivates runners with sign, cheers, and even a band as well. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Astumbo Middle School W.A.V.E. Club motivates runners with signs, cheers, and even a band as well. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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