(Tumon, Guam) – Monday, July 1, 2013 — The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), along with presenting sponsors United Airlines and the Pacific Islands Club today announced the 2013 Guam Ko’ko’ Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay will be held Sunday, October 20, 2013 at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park (Ypao). Registration for the race is now open at GVB in Tumon, Hornet Sports in Tamuning or online at www.guamkokoroadrace.com .
“We look forward to welcoming runners from across the globe to this exciting event,” said GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan. “The annual Guam Ko’ko’ Race provides opportunities for the local community and visitors alike to enjoy Guam’s beauty as a top cultural resort and active destination.”
This year marks the eighth anniversary of the race, which is a half marathon solo and ekiden relay (4‐person team) road race. Both races start and end at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial (Ypao Beach) Park. The half marathon solo race course showcases the villages of Tumon, Tamuning, Asan, and the capital city of Hagåtña, while the ekiden relay will remain entirely in the village of Tumon. Additionally, there will be cheering groups along the race course from the community, as well as cultural entertainers. The International Association of Athletics Federation certified the race course as officially 13.1 miles long. Touted as one of Guam’s signature sports tourism events, the Guam Ko’ko’ Race attracts visitors to Guam as well as benefits Guam’s indigenous Guam Rail, also known as the ko’ko’ bird.
Efforts in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources raise awareness of the plight of the flightless bird and help preserve this endangered species. ’Che’lu’ is the official mascot for the Guam Rail and interacts with the community of Guam and visitors endearing them to Guam’s territorial bird.
Over the past fifty years Guam’s tourism product has matured into a world-class destination serving over 1.3 million visitors annually. As GVB celebrates their 50th anniversary, this GVB signature event continues to grow in overseas and local participation, further developing sports tourism on Guam.
Online registration is open through the October 16th closing deadline at www.guamkokoroadrace.com. Early bird registration fees are available for International, Guam Residents & U.S. Military participants in both the Soloist Half Marathon and the Ekiden Relay, with the school division for the Ekiden Relay set at just $20, or $5 per runner, to encourage as many students as possible to participate. In addition, the Guam Ko’Ko’ Ekiden Relay has expanded to include a special rate and division for Government of Guam employees, also set at just $20, or $5 per runner until the August 31st early bird deadline. GVB is also proud to offer a complimentary “In Training” Dri-Fit t-shirt to the first 100 local registrants.