Skip to main content

Gideon Ngatuny Takes Kumamoto Kosa 10 Miler

by Brett Larner

Two weeks after running a course record 1:00:11 to win the Nagoya Half Marathon in his debut at the distance, Team Nissin Shokuhin's Masai Kenyan ringer Gideon Ngatuny won Kyushu's elite Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race, clocking 45:15 and beating runner-up Hailu Mekonnen of Team Honda by 44 seconds. Teammates Samuel Ndungu and Jacob Wajuki of Team Aichi Steel came in together in 46:32 to round out the top positions.

Curiously, Kumamoto Kosa organizers scored the four African runners, all of whom are based in Japan and run professionally for Japanese teams, in a separate 'International Division' with a one-minute head start over the 'General Division,' which was made up exclusively of professional Japanese runners including many of the African runners' nominal teammates. Although the International Division ran first and the 'winner' of the General Division, Ngatuny's fellow Nissin runner Kosaku Hoshina, clocked only 46:40, slower than the last finisher in the International Division, the race's official results listing displays the General Division results first, with the International Division results tucked away following last place General Division finisher Shogo Murakami's lackluster 59:06.

At any rate, one of Team Nissin Shokuhin's star rookies, half-Filipino former Senshu Univ. leader Bene Zama, took '2nd place' in the General Division, just 4 seconds behind Hoshina and beating Team Toyota Kyushu's ace Yu Mitsuya by 5 seconds. Zama was undoubtedly allowed to compete in the General Division rather than the International Division due to the fact that he took Japanese citizenship before graduating from Senshu, legally changing his name from Benedict to the Japanese name Bene. Mitsuya's teammate Masato Imai, the legendary Hakone Ekiden 5th stage 'God of the Mountains,' was '6th' in 46:53.

Team Nissin Shokuhin, with winners in both Kumamoto Kosa divisions and six finishers in the top fifteen of the General Division, looks to have a solid lineup for next month's New Year Ekiden. With the addition of Zama and fellow rookie Satoru Kitamura to its roster the team is all but guaranteed to improve on its 6th place finish at the 2008 New Year Ekiden and may even give defending champion Team Konica Minolta a scare.

2008 Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race Top Finishers
International Division
1. Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 45:15
2. Hailu Mekonnen (Team Honda) - 45:59
3. Samuel Ndungu (Team Aichi Steel) - 46:32
4. Jacob Wajuki (Team Aichi Steel) - 46:32

General Division
1. Kosaku Hoshina (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:40
2. Bene Zama (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:44
3. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:49
4. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 46:52
5. Yoshihisa Takemura (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 46:52
6. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:53
7. Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) - 46:54
8. Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:54
9. Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 46:55
10. Naoto Morimoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 46:56

Complete results including the high school boys' 10 km, high school girls' 5 km, and junior high school boys' 5 km races are available here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.

The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved