Tumon, Guam — August 23, 2016 - Guam Sports Events, Inc. (GSE) and United Airlines, Inc. announced today that United has become the official title sponsor for the 2017 marathon event. Effective immediately, Guam’s premier annual running event has been renamed and rebranded as the “United Airlines Guam Marathon” (UAGM).
Sam Shinohara, United’s Managing Director, said “United Airlines, Guam’s hometown airline, has been a strong supporter of the Guam International Marathon since its inception in 2013. We are proud to be the official title sponsor in the fifth year of this event. United’s global team stands ready to support the UAGM through our network of 80,000 employees, and particularly through our six sales offices in Japan, to help make this the biggest and best event in its history. I am confident that the UAGM will provide another great sports tourism experience for our customers, who can enjoy a premier running event in a beautiful beach destination.”
“We are honored to partner with one of the most prestigious airline brands in the world” said GSE Managing Director Ben Ferguson. “We believe that the strong recognition of a world-class airline such as United will help propel the event to new international heights at this point in its lifecycle. Locally, United has been such a great supporter of the marathon and sports tourism in general, and we look forward to working even closer with their team to make this event a greater success for Guam!”
Ferguson attributes the great strides in the marathon’s growth to the continued support it has received from the Guam Visitors Bureau and community partners, along with valuable, longstanding relationships with other key marathon sponsors.
The 2016 marathon event welcomed nearly 4,000 runners from 21 countries, of which nearly 1,000 runners were from Japan. Each year, registration numbers continue to significantly grow from the previous year. Organizers also announced that registration for the 2017 event is now open online on its new website, guammarathon.com.
Race Ambassador Naoko Takahashi Returns for 2017 Event Olympic Gold Medalist Naoko Takahashi will be returning as this year’s Race Ambassador. In her capacity as Race Ambassador, Ms. Takahashi will appear at the event Expo on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, 2017 and will host running clinics on both days. Ms. Takahashi’s participation will continue on race day as she serves as the official race starter.
Supremely popular throughout Japan, Ms. Takahashi is lauded for winning the gold medal in the women’s marathon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. At the 2001 Berlin Marathon, Takahashi became the first woman in the world to break the 2 hour 20 minute barrier while setting a world record with a time of 2:19:46.
About the United Airlines Guam Marathon
The United Airlines Guam Marathon (UAGM), in its fifth year, is organized by Guam Sports Events Inc., a non-profit organization that hosts annual running and cycling events to promote Guam’s Hafa Adai spirit to grow sports tourism on Guam.
The United Airlines Guam Marathon, Guam’s first IAAF approved marathon race, will take place on Sunday, April 9, 2017. Considered Guam’s premier running event, the UAGM 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 details and registration can be found on the official event website at guammarathon.com. The UAGM is also sponsored by the Guam Visitors Bureau and the Pacific Islands Club.