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Sato, Mogusu, Yamauchi and Others to Headline Marugame Half Marathon (updated)

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Jan. 15 the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon announced the field for its 63rd running on Feb. 1. 49 elite athletes including 31 men, 18 women and 7 invited foreign runners from 6 countries will compete in the first edition of the race's new international format. Beijing Olympics men's marathon national team members Tsuyoshi Ogata and Asian half marathon record holder Atsushi Sato of Team Chugoku Denryoku are scheduled to appear, while Beijing Olympics women's marathon entrant Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) will run Marugame as a preparation race for her final marathon before retirement, March's Tokyo Marathon.

Men's course record holder and Hakone Ekiden star Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) will return to Marugame, challenged by his Hakone rival Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.). The foreign field also includes two-time Marugame winner Laban Kagika (Team JFE Steel), Beijing Olympics women's marathon 6th place finisher and 2008 Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) and two-time Olympic men's marathon 4th place finisher Jon Brown (Canada/U.K.).

Other top domestic talent includes 2008 Tokyo International Women's Marathon 2nd place finisher and 2008 Sapporo International Half Marathon winner Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) and Ryuji Matsushita (Team Fujitsu), who won a thrilling sprint finish to deliver Team Fujitsu the win on the anchor stage of this year's New Year Ekiden. Matsushita's teammate Takayuki Ota will also run, as will 2009 Hakone Ekiden 8th stage winner Yusuke Takabayashi (Komazawa Univ.), 2008 Kumanichi 30 km Road Race winner Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal), 2007 World Half Marathon national team member Kenji Noguchi (Team Shikoku Denryoku), Noguchi's female teammate Rieko Sakane (Team Shikoku Denryoku) and half marathon debutante Yuka Kakimi (Team Daiichi Seimei).

Marathon great Naoko Takahashi will run in the general division after retiring from professional running last year. The day before the race Takahashi and famed race commentator Tetsuhiko Kin will give a free seminar on better training for beginners.

2009 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon
Partial Listing of Elite Field
Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 59:48 (Marugame 2007 - course record)
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:00:25 (Udine 2007 - Asian record)
Laban Kagika (Team JFE Steel) - 1:01:36 (Marugame 2005)
Jon Brown (Canada / U.K.) - 1:01:49 (1997)
Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:01:50 (Jitsugyodan 2002)
Ryuji Matsushita (Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:57 (Jitsugyodan 2005)
Kenji Noguchi (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:02:20 (Udine 2007)
Takayuki Ota (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:38 (Marugame 2005)
Yusuke Takabayashi (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:43 (2007)
Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) - debut - 27:44.73 (10000 m, Yokohama 2007)

Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) - 1:08:45 (Sapporo 2007)
Naoko Takahashi (general div.) - 1:08:55 (Chiba 2000)
Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) - 1:08:57 (Sapporo 2008)
Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:09:36 (Palermo 1999)
Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal) - 1:10:25 (Marugame 2005)
Rieko Sakane (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:12:42 (Marugame 2007)
Yumiko Kinoshita (Second Wind AC) - 1:12:52 (Matsue 2007)
Yuka Kakimi (Team Daiichi Seimei) - debut - 15:25.95 (5000 m, Oita 2006)

Translator's note: Mekubo Mogusu and Daniel Gitau are also on the entry list for the Feb. 20 Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the U.A.E.


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