Guam Ko'Ko' Road Race
The Guam Ko’ko’ Road 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 Ko’ko’ Road 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.
Last year's race saw 800 runners traveling from Japan to compete in addition to 1,000 others from Guam, Korea, and the Philippines. We look forward to record registration numbers for this year’s event. Local and international media coverage will provide broad publicity for this prestigious athletic event, where records are set and broken every year by runners from across the region. The course record was set at the 2011 Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race by Japan’s Masashi Shirotake, who completed the course in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 43 seconds.
The Guam Ko'ko' Road Race was awarded the Sports Tourism Award from The Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport in 2009.
The 2013 Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race is a half marathon (13.1 miles, or 21.0975 kilometers) and a four-person ekiden relay consisting of four 5K legs.
Both races begin at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park at Ypao Beach. Half marathon runners will ascend JFK hill toward K-Mart before heading south on Marine Corps Drive. The first two kilometers take runners over rolling slopes that flatten out as the course makes its way through the residential village of Tamuning and along the main thoroughfare into the capital city of Hagåtña. Half marathon runners make their turnaround in the village of Asan at the Adelup Governor’s complex. They face hill climbs on the return and finally a downhill slope back down JFK hill to the finish line at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park at Ypao. The entire course is scenic and tranquil with sunrise ocean views and light, cool breezes.
Ekiden relay runners will cover new ground this year. The first runner of each relay team will start at the Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park at Ypao and head through Tumon down to the Sand Castle on the north end. Circling the Sand Castle roundabout, runners will head south returning to Ypao to make the handoff to their next team member. Each relay runner will run this same course, approximately 5K distance, complete with the beauty, lights and excitement of Tumon Bay and cheering squads along the way.
Registration is open through Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. To register and for more information, visit www.guamkokoroadrace.com.