by Brett Larner
While the 2008 Ome Marathon 30 km and 10 km road race was cancelled due to heavy snowfall, this year's race saw unseasonable mid-spring temperatures around 20 degrees. 23280 people ran the two races, with 17959 in the 30 km race and 5321 in the 10 km.
Team Konica Minolta's first-year star recruit Hirokatsu Kurosaki continued to impress, taking the win in the men's 30 km division in 1:32:50, a strong time on Ome's famously hilly course. Veteran jitsugyodan runner Kurao Umeki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) was 48 seconds back in 2nd, narrowly beating out Waseda University's downhill specialist Sota Kato who ran a PB of 1:33:52 for 3rd. 2009 World Championships marathon team member Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) was 4th in 1:34:17, just half a step ahead of American Nicholas Arciniaga who clocked the same time but was 5th.
The women's 30 km race was a three-way battle, with Tomoe Yokoyama (Team Toto) winning in 1:47:01 over Team Hokuren's Yoshie Kitomi and Sumiko Suzuki who were 2nd and 3rd in 1:47:29 and 1:47:44 respectively. The next pack of women, including retired jitsugyodan runners Eri Okubo (Amino Vital AC) and Tomoko Tamamushi (Harriers AC), were another 12 minutes back. Two-time defending Mt. Fuji mountain race winner Yuri Kanbara (Lafine RC) was 10th in 2:02:49.
Fresh from her win at the Feb. 1 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, Japan resident Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) scored her second Ome 10 km win, running 32:27. Team Nihon ChemiCon runners swept the remaining five prize positions, led by 2008 World Half Marathon team member Yuko Machida who was 2nd in 33:16. Ome does not feature an elite 10 km men's race, only high school and masters' divisions.
Complete top ten results are available here for the 30 km race and here for the 10 km race.
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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