Kadena supports 16th Okinawa Marathon Published Feb. 29, 2008 By Senior Airman Jeremy McGuffin 18th Wing Public Affairs KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- More than 300 volunteers and spectators gathered between gates 2 and 5 here Sunday to cheer on the nearly 9,335 runners in the 16th Okinawa Marathon. The first competitors through Gate 2 were greeted with cheers and signs of encouragement. "Kadena has opened its gates for the event since 1993," said Hideaki Sakihama, 18th Wing Public Affairs community relations specialist. "When the 1st Okinawa Marathon was held, the communities around base wanted to include the American community to strengthen ties between the two cultures." Toshimi Kuniyoshi, 718th Civil Engineer Squadron work order clerk, and her daughters handed out fruit and small candy to runners as they came through Gate 5. "I use to run in these events," she said. "I'm too busy to train now, but I want to show my daughters we need to support those that participate. When they join a sport or run in events they will understand what it means to have people cheer them on." There were 9,335 people in the race, including 7,678 in the full marathon and 1,657 in the 10K race. In the full marathon, 6,245 people (81.3 percent) finished the race within the time limit of six hours, 15 minutes. In the men's category, Akira Kubooka from Hiroshima Prefecture won first place with a time of 2:25:01. In the women's category, Mariko Asato from Tomigusuku City won first place at 2:48:46. For SOFA status personnel in the men's category, Trevor Lennard, from Camp Lester, came in with a time of 3:16:34. In the women's category, Valerie Schwindt, from Camp Foster, finished with 3:39:50.