United Airlines Guam Marathon 2019 sets new record with more than 4,000 participants

United Airlines Guam Marathon

(April 14, 2019 • Tumon, Guam) -- Guam Sports Events Inc. (GSE) announced the winners of the seventh annual United Airlines Guam Marathon (UGM) on April 14, 2019. More than 4,000 runners, representing 20 countries from around the world, took off from Tumon Bay, making UGM 2019 the largest participation in the event’s history.

Ben Ferguson, event director and founder, expressed his excitement about the increase in participation in the 2019 event. He said, “Our international participation numbers remained stable with the increase in participation from Korea. Japan runners made up 20% of total participants and registration numbers from Korean increased to 17%. We also saw a big uptick in resident runners, who made up about 56% of total runners.”

Sam Shinohara, managing director of airport operations, Asia/Pacific for United Airlines noted that the United team was pleased with the event’s growth. He said, “We understand UGM’s valuable contribution to tourism and the economy. We were able to create greater excitement for the event this year. In our source markets, we worked closer with our partners Guam Visitors Bureau and Guam Sports Events, Inc. to leverage our resources in the markets. We have already identified opportunities to grow UGM 2020 through more aggressive goals. We are excited about what we can achieve for next year, and United will have a greater opportunity to anticipate the demand and capacity for 2020.”

MARATHON

From the start, the marathon race was a consistent competition among three runners from Japan – Shun Goroutani, Yoshiki Nakamura and Yasuo Ito. On the return, Nakamura prevailed, winning the men’s marathon race with a time of 2:32:31 and finishing 4:15 faster than second place overall winner, Ito. Goroutani, who is a well-known name at UGM, finished in third place with a time of 2:40:54. Goroutani is the returning winner of the 2018 marathon and the 2017 half marathon. The course record is still held by 2017 winner Hiroki Nakajima (2:30:37). Guam runners Yoichi Inaba (03:05:40, 14th overall) and Ryan Matienzo (03:13:11, 18th overall) were the top resident marathon finishers.

MALE MARATHON - TOP THREE FINISHERS

1.

YOSHIKI NAKAMURA

2:32:31

JAPAN

2.

YASUO ITO

2:36:46

JAPAN

3.

SHUN GOROUTANI

2:40:54

JAPAN

Tomomi Sawahata, a standout from the start, led the female marathoners and finished 3:01:18. Sawahata, who is from Japan, is the returning 2018 winner and set the current women’s course record of 2:47:31 in 2018. Guam runner, Kris Lawrence, finished in second place with a time of

3:11:31. Megumi Matsuii from Hong Kong came in third place with a finish time of 3:31:10.

FEMALE MARATHON - TOP THREE FINISHERS

1.

TOMOMI SAWAHATA

3:01:18

JAPAN

2.

KRIS LAWRENCE

3:11:31

GUAM

3.

MEGUMI MATSUII

3:31:10

HONG KONG

 

 

HALF MARATHON

Takumi Hasebe impressed the crowd with a swift 1:12:00 half marathon finish, taking first place in the men’s overall marathon. Hasebe beat the 2018 winning time by more than seven minutes and dominated the course for most of the race. Second place finisher, Masashi Sasaki from Japan finished a little more than five minutes later than Hasebe, with a final time of 1:17:25.

Guam’s elite runner Derek Mandell, a former Guam Olympian, took third place in the men’s half marathon. He finished with a time of 1:18:01. All top three half marathon male winners slashed the 2018 UGM winning time.

The course record of 1:09:20 was set during the 2017 race by Shun Goroutani, who took third place in the UGM 2019 men’s marathon and first place in the 2018 marathon race.

MALE HALF MARATHON

1.

TAKUMI HASEBE 1:12:00

JAPAN

2.

MASAKI SASAKI

1:17:25

JAPAN

3.

DEREK MANDELL

1:18:01

GUAM

 

Japan runner Rieko Koshi claimed the top spot in the women’s half marathon race. Koshi finished with a time of 1:29:22, a few minutes ahead of the next finisher.

Laura Nadeau, the top finisher from Guam, won second place overall with a 1:31:27 time, besting her 2018 third place time by more than three minutes.

Finishing in third place was Yuko Kusunose. Kusunose finished the half marathon in 1:31:50. She is a returning runner, who won second place overall during UGM 2018.

The current women’s course record is held by Maria Yano from Japan, who won the women’s

overall division in 2017 with a time of 1:22:29.

FEMALE HALF MARATHON

1.

RIEKO KOSHI

1:29:22

JAPAN

2.

LAURA NADEAU

1:31:27

GUAM

3.

YUKO KUSUNOSE

1:31:50

JAPAN

“Considering we had warmer weather early in the races, particularly at the start of the marathon and half marathon, we still saw some impressive times throughout the races. Runners overcame tough conditions on the course, and it turned around later in the day, making it an enjoyable post- race experience,” Ferguson added.

 

10K

The 10K male division welcomed new runners from Japan and Hong Kong as top finishers. Hikaru Kumagai, from Japan, finished the race in 31:53. Wan Chun Wong, a runner from Hong Kong, came in second with time of 33:22. Makae Makoto from Japan rounded out the men’s top three with a final time of 35:55.

The top Guam male runners in the 10K race were Brent Butler (41:31, 10th overall) and Sydney

Talledo (43:41, 12th overall).

MALE 10K

1.

HIKARU KUMAGAI 31:53

JAPAN

2.

WAN CHUN WONG 33:22 HONG KONG

3.

MAKAE MAKOTO

35:55

JAPAN

Guam took all three top spots in the women’s 10K race. UGM Ambassador Rhea Macaluso finished her run in 44:32 only to turn around and meet her family at the starting line for the 5K race. The Macaluso Family, including husband David and five year-old son, Myles, continued their family tradition of running the UGM 5K race together. This is the third year that the Macaluso Family has earned their medals together, proving that UGM is truly a family-friendly sports event. Rhea Macaluso placed first in the UGM 2018 10K Female 30-39 age division and seventh place overall in the women’s division.

Another 10K standout was second place winner, Shakeera Esma, a 14 year-old cross-country star athlete from Jose Rios Middle School. Esma improved her time in 2019 to 44:41, shaving more than five minutes off her time in the 2018 10K race that earned her 12th place overall and second in the 14-19 age division last year.

Guam runner, Yumika Sugahara, took a close third with a time of 45:16. Sugahara is a returning runner who placed fifth overall and third in the women’s 20-29 age division during UGM 2018.

FEMALE 10K

1.

RHEA MACALUSO

44:32

GUAM

2.

SHAKEERA ESMA

44:41

GUAM

3.

YUMIKA SUGAHARA

45:16

GUAM

 

5K

The top spots in the men’s and women’s 5K races were claimed by runners from South Korea. Seokgeun Jeong finished the men’s 5K race in 16:58. Sunok Hwang won the women’s 5K race in

19:50. Hwang is a returning runner who took second place in the 2018 10K race and finishing in the top spot in her age division (40-49)

Fukase Masafumi (17:11) and Kenta Arase (17:32), both from Japan, took second and third place, respectively. Both are well known locally for placing in the 2018 UGM 5K race -- Arase returned to defend his 2018 title and Fukase won second place last year and first in the 40-49 age division. Benjamin Middlebrooke (17:52, 4th overall) and Marc Rajesh (19:36, 5th overall) were top Guam finishers.

For the women’s 5K race, Ayaka Ueda finished in 20:14. Guam runner, Genina Piolo Criss, finished closely behind at 20:48. Criss ran the 10K event in 2018, when she captured third place overall.

MALE 5K

1.

SEOKGEUN JEONG

16:58

SOUTH KOREA

2.

FUKASE MASAFUMI

17:11

JAPAN

3.

KENTA ARASE

17:32

JAPAN

FEMALE 5K

1.

SUNOK HWANG

19:50

SOUTH KOREA

2.

AYAKA UEDA

20:14

JAPAN

3.

GENINA PIOLO CRISS

20:48

GUAM

Pilar Laguaña, Guam Visitors Bureau President and CEO expressed her delight that more than

4,000 runners from 20 different countries participated in the 2019 event. She said, “We hope everyone had a fabulous time along the course, enjoyed the natural beauty of our island, and experienced our hospitality and culture. Un Dangkulo na si Yu'os Ma'åse' to our Maga'håga, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Sigundo Maga'låhi, Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio, Sen. Therese Terlaje, the Guam Legislature, Department of Parks and Recreation, and various government agencies, as well as the many sponsors and the entire community for supporting UGM.”

Laguaña added, “As a group, we would like to thank the Guam Police Department, Guam Fire Department, Visitor Safety Officers and other first responders for keeping us all safe. We also thank the 800 volunteers who supported this event on all fronts, from the planning and execution to manning the 15 aid stations and cheering on the runners on the course.”

“When we look back on this event, we can say that we are blessed with incredible natural beauty and the friendliest people in the world. We are also fortunate to have a community that comes together to support and rally around this event, from the Governor’s office and the Guam Legislature to the Guam Police Department and the Guam Fire Department. We are grateful for their support,” Ferguson concluded.

UGM welcomed back Naoko Takahashi, a 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist for Japan, as the

2019 international race ambassador.

Sponsors and race volunteers took on a total of 15 aid stations, offering runners local snacks such as apigigi and coconut candy. After the race, runners and their families enjoyed a BBQ Beach Party that featured live local entertainment and food and beverages at the Gov. Joseph Flores Memorial Park and overlooking the beautiful Tumon Bay and Two Lovers Point.

Complete race results will be posted on unitedguammarathon.com. Organizers have already set the date for UGM 2020 for April 5.

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