- Written by Frankie Perez
Guam - Pacific Islands Club hosted a press conference this morning along with major race sponsors and local elite runners to announce details of their upcoming 20th annual Pacific Islands Club International Road Races, scheduled for November 13, 2011. Runners from all over the Asia-pacific Region will compete in the 5K, 10K and Half marathon Races with go times at 5:40am, 5:30am and 5:00am respectively. All runs will begin at the Dollar Rent A Car (just south of PIC) and end at PIC and will conclude with an awards banquet at the Pacific Pavilion which is located in the indoor tennis courts of the PIC's spectacular Waterpark.
"The Pacific Islands Club is honored to have hosted this event over the past 20 years for the community of Guam and our international visitors," says Ben Ferguson, Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Club Guam and the 2011 PIC International Road Races Race Director. "We are excited to offer some special items for this year's race to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event with a commemorative microfiber race shirt for the first 1,500 finishers, commemorative finisher and division winner medals and an overnight stay at the PIC for the 20th overall make and female finisher in each race!"
What began as a 5K and 10K fun run in 1991 with only 300 runners has become one of Guam's most sought after competitive races attracting the most serious of runners from all over the region. In 2003 the Half Marathon was added to satisfy the high demand from serious off island runners. Voted by the Guam Visitors Bureau as the Most Outstanding Local Tourism Event event for the year 2000, the PIC Road Races continues to live up to its reputation. Last year over 1,200 runners participated in Guam's longest standing road races.
The 5K event is viewed as a fun run with a distance that is short enough to allow recreational walkers and joggers to compete without much difficulty. In past events, a large number of walkers, parents with baby strollers, and families with small children, as well as those with special needs, have enjoyed this distance. This race also has its serious runners who run to challenge the terrain of the course and other athletes who vie for the top finisher's spot. This year a Manamko (over 70 years of age) division has been added to all three races due to the increased participation of senior runners.
The 10K has been the main event of the competition and the number of participants continues to increase every year. As with the 5K, the 10K will include a Youth and Junior Division. Course record setters will receive an additional cash prize. Course records are for the Overall Male Division set by Mr. Tomonori Onitsuka of Japan at 30:59 in 1998 and 34:03 in the Overall Female Division set by Ms. Maki Kono of Japan in 2009.
The half marathon solidifies the PIC races as one of Guam's largest annual professional sports event. As with the 10K, course record setters will receive an additional cash prize. The course record was set by Mr. Yuki Kawauchi of Japan at 1:09:12 in 2009 and Ms. Naoko Tsuchiya of Japan at 1:19:02 in 2007.
A portion of this year's race proceeds will be donated to the Tourism Education Council (TEC). The Tourism Educational Council was formed in 1988 to educate the community about the social and economic benefits that Guam's tourism industry provides. PIC was one of the three original members of TEC. TEC's mission is "Promoting the Importance of the Visitor Industry with a Special Emphasis on the Importance of Sense of Place."
All Wave Club members are encouraged to run in this year's race and bring as many supporters to run with them. This year's race registration form allows race participants to indicate which Wave Club they are supporting. The Wave Club with the most supporters will win a free day at the PIC Waterpark including lunch in the Skylight Restaurant.
Since 1995, the PIC Road Races have enjoyed a sister-race relationship with the Fujiyoshida Fire Festival Road Race. Taking place in the city of Fujiyoshida in Japan every August, the top male and female resident finishers of the PIC Races are invited to the Fujiyoshida Fire Festival Road Race. In return, the top make and female finishers of the Fujiyoshida Race are invited to compete in the PIC Road Race.
This year's race finishers can win over $20,000 in cash and prizes. First, second and third place overall make and female finishers of each race will receive a cash prize. Race finishers are eligible to win raffle prizes from the many race sponsors. This year's grand prize is a round trip ticket for two to Okinawa courtesy of United Airlines. Special room rates are available for registered runners, just present proof of registration upon check in. Rates are available on the race website at www.picresorts.com.
Registration forms are available at Hornet Sports in Tamuning and PIC Day Guest counter and Front Desk or you can register online at www.picresorts.com. Registration closes Friday, November 11 and there is no race day registration. Join the Facebook page to keep up with race information updates at www.facebook.com/picguamroadraces.
The 2011 Pacific Islands Club International Road Races are proudly supported by major sponsors ASC Trust Corporation, Bank of Guam, Calvo's SelectCare, DFS Galleria, GTA Teleguam, MCV Broadband, mkc, 76/Circle K, 97.5fm Power 98, 570AM K57, 105.1fm The Kat, R&C Corporation, and United Airlines.
Senator Tina Muna Barnes was also on hand to present Pacific Islands Club management with a legislative resolution, recognizing the hotel for the significant contribution their event has made to the community of Guam for the past 20 years.
Information from a press release.