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Guam Ko'ko' Half Marathon & Ekiden Relay
Location: Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park, Ypao Beach
Address: 401 Pale San Vitores Road, Tumon, GU Guam 96913
Times: Showtime: 4AM | Go time: 5AM
The Guam Ko'ko' Race is Guam's elite ekiden relay and half-marathon, so named to raise awareness of the plight of Guam's territorial bird, the Guam rail or ko'ko'. A flightless bird endemic to Guam, the ko'ko' population was decimated to near extinction by the brown tree snake, pesticides and other introduced detractors. Efforts to save the ko'ko' from extinction are ongoing and public awareness and community involvement inspired by events such as the Guam Ko'ko' Race have made a remarkable impact. A signature visitor attraction, the race was first held in 2006 and participant numbers and prestige have grown with each succeeding year.
The course is an out-and-back that starts in Tumon in front of the Guam Visitors Bureau, heads north on San Vitores Road for about a quarter mile before turning right up Route 14A (or commonly known as JFK hill), reaching its highest elevation. Cresting the top of the hill, runners will then head south on Marine Corps Drive (Route 1), encountering their only real incline on the way to the turnaround point. The race route remains on Route 1, passing through the village of Tamuning, Hagatna, and Anigua. They will reach the turnaround point which is just inside the boundaries of the village of Asan. The real test starts as the return leg is deceptively more difficult as it is a gradual uphill back to the highest point on the course at JFK hill. The course ends with a short descent down Route 14A, a slight incline in front of the Guam Marriott Hotel and then a final stretch to the finish line.
The Ekiden Relay will consist of a 5k course that travels the same route as the half marathon, turning around after reaching the 1.5k mark in Tamuning near the United City Ticket Office (Century Plaza). On the return, the runners will stay in the inside south-bound lane until reaching the starting the GVB intersection at which point runners will make a right turn down the hill into the Ypao Beach parking lot where the finish line/relay exchange point is located.