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Preparations underway for Ko’ko’ Race Weekend

Preparations underway for Ko’ko’ Race Weekend

(Tumon, Guam) With less than two weeks left until race weekend, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) announced more details to celebrate the return of the Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race and Guam Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run.

“We’re excited to reclaim these GVB signature events so our residents and visitors can partake in a family-friendly experience that supports the plight of the critically endangered ko’ko’ bird,” said GVB President & CEO Carl T.C. Gutierrez. “Our team has been hard at work sprucing up and beautifying Tumon as we prepare for hundreds of runners in mid-April. There’s still time to register so we encourage everyone to sign up online!”

Ko’ko’ Weekend kicks off on April 15 with the 14th Guam Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park (Ypao Beach) with different races for three age groups - a 3.3K for 10-to-12-year-olds, 1.6K for 7-to-9-year-olds and .6K for 4-to-6-year-olds. Start times will be at 6:30 am for 10-to-12-year-olds, 7:15 am for 7-to-9-year-olds and 8:00 am for 4-to-6-year-olds. The top three male and female runners will get division award medals. All participants will receive a finisher t-shirt, kid size bib, event bag, and finisher medal. There will be other post run activities for children in attendance. 

The 13th Guam Ko’ko’ Road Race will be on April 16 also at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park (Ypao Beach). The race for 2023 is a 10K out-and-back run/walk course. The course route will start at 6:00 am in front of the GVB office and proceed toward Chalan San Antonio, continuing down to Marine Corps Drive with a turnaround point in East Agana by the Mobil gas station and Vince Jewelers and then returning back to Ypao Beach. Top three male and female winners will receive prizes. More giveaways are anticipated as well as a finisher’s breakfast for all Sunday participants.

Road Closure

The public is advised of road closures for the morning of the Ko’ko’ Road Race on April 16 in the following areas:

Tumon: (4 am – 9 am) Closure of southbound Pale San Vitores Road lanes from the intersection of GVB/Proa to Archbishop Flores Circle.

Tamuning: (4 am – 9 am) Closure of the outermost southbound lane on Chalan San Antonio to the ITC intersection.

(4 am – 9 am) Closure of two outermost southbound lanes of Route 1 Marine Corps Drive from the ITC intersection to East Agana across the Mobil gas station. Northbound lanes are unaffected by this closure and will remain open.

The Guam Police Department and course marshals will be on site for safety and traffic control during the road closures. Lanes are expected to be reopened once the last runners and walkers clear these areas.

Packet Pick Up

Packet Pick Up for participants is scheduled for Friday, April 14 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, April 15 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Micronesia Mall center court. All runners are required to pick up their packets during these dates. Each packet will contain a race bib with timing chip (Ko’ko’ Road Race Only), finisher shirt, and event bag. There will be no race day packet pick up available.

Ko’ko’ support grows

GVB continues to work closely with the Department of Agriculture’s Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources to raise awareness of the ko’ko’ bird or Guam rail. Additionally, GVB will have two of its newest mascots, Kiko and Kika, present during Ko’ko’ weekend to increase knowledge of this flightless bird.

Currently, the status of Guam’s endemic, territorial bird was elevated to critically endangered, which is an improvement to their return to the wild.

“We thank GVB for bringing back these events because it really brings into focus the support that is needed to rehabilitate the ko’ko’ bird population,” said Biologist Anthony Tornito. “We recently lost Buenas, our beloved ko’ko’ bird, who has been a living ambassador for our island for the last 15 years. He is the reason I was inspired to pursue a career as a biologist. It is my hope Ko’ko’ Weekend continues to inspire others to do the same.”

Interested community partners can contact the Department of Agriculture for donations or assistance with the ko’ko’ rehabilitation program.

GVB thanks its partners and sponsors of the Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run and Ko’ko’ Road Race: Guam Running Club, Three Squares, and Run Guam. The Bureau also gives special thanks to the Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatics and Wildlife Resources, Guam Police Department, Guam Fire Department, Visitor Safety Officers, Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Micronesia Mall.

Online registration is ongoing at Runners can also receive event updates by following the Ko’ko’ Road Race (@guamkokoroadrace) and Ko’ko’ Kids Fun Run (@guamkokokids) on Facebook, as well as GVB on Facebook (@guamvisitorsbureau), Instagram (@visitguamusa) and Twitter (@visitguam).


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