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Atkinson first overall female to finish
THE streets along Ypao Beach Park were filled with tons of people as the 2012 Guam Ko’ko' Road Race was set for another exciting year of half-marathon and ekiden relay action.
With runners from different parts of the world participating, the anticipation on who would come out this year’s winners was at an early morning high. When runners approached the finish line, the cheers from family and friends could be heard from anywhere in the park.
Cruising through the 13.5-mile course and finishing as this year’s first overall finisher was Japan’s Masashi Shirotake. While wearing bib number one, it was fitting that the native from Japan completed the race first and in a blazing time of 1:11:26. Things were looking as if it was going to be a one-two finish for the Japanese runners. However, in the final moments of the race, Guam’s Christopher Magtoto was able to fight his way to a second-place finish with a time of 1:14:30 and beat out his nearest competitor by about two minutes.
“It’s really great to be back on Guam and putting mileage in me again. Despite the weather this was a great run and Masashi is a very fast, smart runner and I send my congratulations out to him,” Magtoto said.
Not too far behind Magtoto were Japan’s Taiki Kajita and Daisuke Yamaguchi. Kajita and Yamaguchi finished the half-marathon in third and fourth-place respectively and recorded times of 1:16:29 and 1:17:11. Rounding out the top five slots in the men’s division was South Korea’s Byung Sung Kang. Kang made his way through the finish line in 1:18:23.
Guam’s Atkinson takes women’s overall
In the female division, action was filled with excitement and intensity as less than two minutes separated the top finisher from the fourth-place runner. After making her way back to the island, Guam Olympian Amy Atkinson continued to add to her accomplishments as a runner after clinching the overall top spot for the women’s division. Atkinson completed the race in 1:28:05.
“It’s so wonderful to be running back on the island, I honestly didn’t expect anything like this. I just wanted to get back into running and keep at it, I’m normally a middle distance runner and this was an event I wanted to do for fun,” Atkinson said. “The one thing I can say that helped me with the run is I just found some runners on the course that I used a gauge or push for me to finish.”
Atkinson managed to beat out second-place finisher Mami Tani of Japan by about a minute and a half. Tani recorded an official time of 1:29:32. The real race in the women’s division was for third-place as Japan’s Keiko Takeuchi and Guam’s Kristina Ingvarsson sprinted their way to the finish line in a close one. However, it was Takeuchi (1:30:36) who edged out Ingvarsson (1:30:39) by three seconds. Rounding out the top five slots in the women’s division was Japan’s Futaba Aoki. Aoki crossed the finish in 1:33:24.
Top Five Ekiden Relay
- Team Hokkyokusei AC (Japan): 1:10:09
- Team Fedell (Guam): 1:18:52
- Team JFK Islander 1 (Guam): 1:20:26
- Team Koko Track Club (Guam): 1:21:35
- Team Harvest Eagles (Guam): 1:23:36