Skip to main content

Noguchi and Njoroge Win Sendai International Half Marathon (updated)

by Brett Larner

Athens Olympic marathon gold medalist and Japanese marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) successfully defended her title at the Sendai International Half Marathon on May 11, running 1:08:25 to beat her time from last year`s race by 29 seconds and erase doubts about her fitness level after a spring filled with minor setbacks. The Sendai course, which features a 35 m elevation gain over the final 9 km, played to Noguchi`s strengths as she employed a similar strategy to that she used in winning last November`s Tokyo International Women`s Marathon.

Noguchi went out hard, running course record pace through 15 km despite the cold, rainy conditions which blanketed most of Japan over the weekend. Despited dropping off record pace, she applied pressure on rival Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) of Kenya over the length of the uphill, finally breaking away with an attack around 20 km. Mombi held on to finish 2nd in 1:08:31, a sizeable PB over her previous best mark of 1:09:34 from this past January. The rest of the field was far behind, with 3rd place finisher Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) coming to the goal in 1:11:44.

Noguchi told reporters after the race that she was very pleased with her result and what it means for Beijing. She said her body felt strong and that she is now highly confident for the Olympics.

In the men`s race, Team Komori Corp.`s young ringer Harun Njoroge captured a tight competition, winning in 1:01:55 while rookie Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) ran a massive 3:34 personal best to take 2nd in 1:02:00. It was a near-replay of Njoroge`s victory in February`s Marugame Half Marathon, where he won by a narrow margin in cold and rainy conditions despite moving to Japan only days before.

Half marathon ace Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko) and Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) was close behind Njoroge and Nakao, finishing in 1:02:05 and 1:02:08 respectively. 12 more runners recorded times under 1:03 including marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka who was 9th in 1:02:32. Defending champion Onbeche Mokamba was 32nd with a time of 1:04:44.

Top Results

Women
1. Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex): 1:08:25
2. Julia Mombi (Team Aruze): 1:08:31 PB
3. Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon): 1:11:44
4. Mikiko Hara (Team Nihon ChemiCon): 1:12:38
5. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon): 1:13:26
6. Mai Tagami (Team Aruze): 1:14:47
7. Mizuho Kishi (Team Yamada Denki): 1:15:02 PB
8. Tomomi Higuchi (Team Daihatsu): 1:15:06
9. Miki Oka (Team Daihatsu): 1:15:55
10. Saki Matsumoto (Ritsumeikan University): 1:17:30

Men
1. Harun Njoroge (Team Komori Corp.): 1:01:55
2. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku): 1:02:00 PB
3. Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko): 1:02:05
4. Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku): 1:02:08 PB
5. Joseph Mwaniki (Team Konica-Minolta): 1:02:23
6. Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR East): 1:02:26 PB
7. Takahiro Kitagawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku): 1:02:28 PB
8. Yuki Abe (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki): 1:02:28 PB
9. Toshinari Takaoka (Team Kanebo): 1:02:32
10. Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica-Minolta): 1:02:39

Complete men`s and women`s results are available from the Sendai International Half Marathon website.

The IAAF`s report on Sendai is here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …