by Brett Larner
Six Japanese runners competed in the elite field of the 2008 Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Aug. 31. Each year the 5th and 6th place male and female Japanese finishers in March's All-Japan Jitsugyodan Half Marathon Championships are invited to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, the higher-tier Japanese finishers being selected for other races including the World Half Marathon Championships. This year the invited men were Team Konica Minolta's Kazuyuki Maeda, 7th overall at the 2008 Jitsugyodan Half in 1:02:50, and Team Asahi Kasei's Takaaki Koda, 8th at the Jitsugyodan Half in 1:02:52. The invited women were Team Tenmaya's Kei Terada, 7th overall at the Jitsugyodan Half with a 1:12:11, and Team Sysmex's Megumi Seike, 9th at the Jitsugyodan Half in 1:12:25. Two other Japanese women, Team Shimamura's Aya Manome and Team Wacoal's Miho Notagashira, also ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.
Maeda ran 1:05:18 to take 4th in the men's race behind Kenyan winner James Kwambai, who clocked 1:02:11. Ethiopian Tadesse Tola and Kenyan McDonald Ondara were 2nd and 3rd in 1:02:33 and 1:04:45 respectively. Koda had a weaker showing, finishing 9th in 1:06:47.
The Japanese women were led by Seike's 3rd place 1:13:05, just outkicked by Katie McGregor who finished in 1:13:04 as runner-up behind winner Edith Masai. Masai ran 1:12:54 for the win. Manome was 7th in 1:15:08, and Notagashira also managed to squeeze into the top 10, finishing 9th in 1:15:08. Terada had an off day, 11th in 1:18:33.
For complete results click here.
Note: I missed these results at the time they happened last week.
(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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