Records fall at Guam marathon


Records fall at Guam marathon

by: Aubriene Merfalen | .
Guam International Marathon | .
published: April 13, 2016

Guam Sports Events, Inc. (GSE) along with Gold Sponsors Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), United Airlines and Pacific Islands Club (PIC), announced today that the Guam International Marathon has hit record breaking registration numbers and established new course records during the 2016 event held on Sunday, April 10th.

The fourth annual event with 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon race distances, was the largest international road race to take place on Guam. About 3,908 runners from 21 countries converged in Tumon from Bulgaria, Canada, China, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Czech Republic, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Macao, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Taiwan and the U.S.A. GIM 2016 welcomed 664 more runners than the 2015 event – 3,244 runners – which was also a significant increase from the year before.

Hiroki Nakajima from Japan won the men’s division in the marathon with a time of 2:30:38, shattering the course record set in 2014 by almost eight minutes (2:38:06). Sunghwa Ryu from South Korea won the female division in 3:03:37, breaking the course record set in 2014 (03:04:44) and besting her 2015 GIM win time of 3:08:42 by five minutes. Ryan Matienzo (5th place men overall) and Meara McCarthy (4th place women overall) were the first local male and female runners to cross the marathon finish at 2:57:11 and 3:40:24, respectively. A total of 725 runners took part in the marathon.


GIM 2015 Half Marathon winner Sho Matsumoto from Japan is this year’s male half marathon winner with a time 1:10:44. This is Matsumoto’s second consecutive GIM win. 2015 GIM Half Marathon Winner Manami Iijima from Guam took the female half marathon title again this year with a time of 1:31:24, finishing more than four minutes faster than the previous year, 01:35:47.  Guam’s Derek Mandell was the first local male to finish the Half Marathon with an overall fifth place finish and a time of 01:21:30. There were a total of 944 participants in the half marathon race. Guam’s Ashalynn Perez secured third place in the women’s overall half marathon and second in the women’s 20-29 division with her 01:39:49 finish.


Yoshiki Takahashi from Japan won the male 10K in 35:29 and Haruka Noda from Japan took the female 10K in 40:34. Guam’s Brent Butler was the first local male runner to finish in the 10k race, fifth overall, with a time of 40:51. Yumika Sugahara, who was the second place female overall and in the 20-29 division, was the first local female runner, finishing at 44:20. There were a total of 977 participants i n the 10K race.


Impressive thirteen year-old Shunki Niwase from Japan won the male 5K race in 16:59, finishing ahead of the second place runner, Yoshiyuki Kubodera from Japan, 17:03, by only four seconds.  Niwase also bested his 2015 fifth place finish of 18:21. Minami Aizawa won the female 5K in 20:03.  1,260 runners came out for the 5K race this year.  Complete race results are posted on the Marathon website and can also be found at

“On behalf of the GIM, we thank our partners GVB, United Airlines and Pacific Island Club for their continued support in helping us grow Guam’s signature international event. Congratulation to our participants, volunteers, community partners, supporters and sponsors for an incredible race weekend!” said Ben Ferguson, GSE Managing Director. “Guam’s entire community came together to make this a great Håfa Adai experience for our participants. We’re beyond thrilled to have another year of record participation and impressive course records. We encourage everyone to join us again for the 5th Annual Guam International Marathon in 2017.”

Runners participated in start parties featuring a LED light tunnel, DJ Pogi, PIC cultural fire show and motivating remarks from Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Naoko Takahashi, 2000 Sydney Games Olympic gold medalist and GIM Ambassador. After the race, runners lined up to capture their unique GIM Dip, a new tradition that encourages runners to finish their race in Tumon Beach by dipping their feet, or entire bodies, in the Guam’s crystal waters.

“We congratulate our partners GSE on an incredible 2016 Guam International Marathon, Guam’s largest international sporting event to date. In its fourth year, GIM continues to grow and provide incredible economic benefits and extensive exposure in our source markets for our island,” said Nathan Denight, Guam Visitors Bureau General Manager. “We warmly welcome thousands of international participants, their families and supporters, and most of all, thank our local partners, participants and volunteers for extending their Hafa Adai spirit to our visitors.”

About the 4th Annual Guam International Marathon

The fourth annual Guam International Marathon 2016 is organized by Guam Sports Events Inc. and took place on Sunday, April 10, 2016. The 2016 GIM includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and Marathon (26.2 miles) race distances. All courses have been officially certified by the IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations) and AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races). This designation means that marathon runners may use this as a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.  Complete event results can be found on the official event website at or

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