Nearly 100 runners participated in the Guam Running Club’s 36th Annual Plumeria 10K (6.2 miles) Road Race held in Hagåtña on Saturday morning. Both Ryan Matienzo (37:39) and Kristen Lawrence (41:22) led the race from start to finish to convincingly win their respectful divisions.

Matienzo, who has run the race six times already, said the course is mostly flat, but there are areas that are deceiving, thanks to subtle inclines that can challenge the runners both mentally and physically.

“The turns and corners are the things I am afraid of the most,” said Matienzo. “It’s scary because the roads are a little slippery from the early morning moisture and you could twist or break an ankle.”

Matienzo said this 10K will be one of his last running races of the year, but he is gearing up for this Sunday’s Tour of Guam (Dec. 15th) bike race. He admits his longest ride to date is 51 miles, but he will take on the challenge and ride the Guam Cycling Federation long course that will be a little more than 62 miles. Last year, Matienzo placed third riding on the shorter 26.2-mile Tour of Guam course.

“I try to bike once a week to recover from running,” Matienzo said. “After the Tour of Guam, I will focus on running the full marathon at the Saipan Marathon (March 14). Following that race, I will run the United Guam Marathon in April.”

During the 2019 Saipan Marathon, Matienzo ran his personal best in the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2:44.47, nearly seven minutes faster than his previous record.

For Lawrence, it was a great race.

“I felt really great today because I started training for a marathon in February and I will run another one in April,” she said. “I always feel better on the longer runs rather than a 5K race.”

Lawrence is currently training for the Olympic time trials for the marathon in Atlanta this coming February. Following that race, she will then do the United Guam Marathon.

“I did the Guam Marathon last year, and I really had a lot of fun,” Lawrence said.