Skip to main content

Mara Yamauchi and Mekubo Mogusu Win Marugame Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

Mara Yamauchi in Marugame. Click photo to visit Yamauchi's blog.

Japan-resident British runner Mara Yamauchi's strong 2008 continued on into 2009 as scored a resounding victory at the 2009 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon on Feb. 1, running a sixteen-second PB of 1:08:29 on the event's new course to win by almost a minute over her strongest competitor Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC), winner of the 2008 Sapporo and Rock 'n' Roll San Jose half marathons. General division runner Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) rounded out the top three, while Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), running Marugame as a preparation run for her final race at next month's Tokyo Marathon, was a surprise 4th in 1:10:58. Times were fast overall with two women in the top eight besides Yamauchi clocking PBs and another three recording fast debuts.

In the men's race, Marugame record holder Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) led rival Kenyan student runner Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) through the early stages of the race before easily dispatching him for a perfunctory 1:00:37 win nearly a minute off his 2007 time. Although Mogusu and Gitau said prior to the race that they were targeting 59 minutes, both runners are scheduled to run the Feb. 20 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and may have been saving themselves for that race's more competitive field. Mogusu showed continued development as he did not overreact to the pressure of having Gitau tailing him through the first half of the race.

Asian half marathon record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) was a distant 3rd, winning a sprint finish against a dense pack of top Japanese runners, every single one of whom ran a PB. Sato never attempted to lead the pack, tailing the pack leaders throughout the race and then easily outsprinting all with 300 m to go. "I'm in the middle of marathon training," commented Sato afterwards. "I cleared my target for this race, so I'm satisfied. I could feel that I need to work on my stamina, though."

Complete results for the Marugame Half Marathon are available here.

2009 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon Top Finishers
Women
1. Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) - 1:08:29 - PB
2. Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) - 1:09:22
3. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 1:10:24
4. Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:10:58
5. Yumi Hirata (Team Shiseido) - 1:11:18 - PB
6. Rieko Sakane (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:11:29 - debut
7. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 1:11:35 - debut
8. Yoshie Uehashi (Team Toto) - 1:11:39 - PB
9. Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal) - 1:11:47
10. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 1:11:49 - debut

Men
1. Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:37
2. Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) - 1:01:34 - debut
3. Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:02:24
4. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:26 - PB
5. Makoto Tobimatsu (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:26 - PB
6. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:27 - PB
7. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:29 - PB
8. Sota Hoshi (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:30 - PB
9. Yuki Nakamura (Team Kanebo) - 1:02:32 - debut
10. Hideyuki Anzai (Team JAL Ground Service) - 1:02:33 - PB

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Frank Stebner said…
Where can we find full rests for the Marugame Half Marathon?
Frank
Anonymous said…
HOLA BRETT
¿EN QUE POSICION TERMINO NAOKO TAKAHASHI?
GRACIAS
MARCOS
CHILE
Anonymous said…
What the hell! Reiko Tosa has good form. Why don't she run the world championships?
Brett Larner said…
Marco--
Long time no see. Takahashi ran 1:26:18. Her place wasn't counted as she was a guest runner, but she was the 43rd woman to finish. There's a picture of her running here:
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/090201/oth0902011813013-n1.htm

I guess she is doing Nagoya next month, also as a guest runner.

Dennis--
Tosa said beforehand she was going to run 1:17, so everybody was surprised by her 1:10. I don't think she's strong enough to make the World Champs team any more, but it looks like she could run 2:27 or so in Tokyo, which seems like a good way to go out.
Brett Larner said…
Frank--

There's a link to results in the article, but the results page is hard to use if you don't read Japanese. When you go to the results page, two links appear in the middle of the page if you scroll down a bit. Choose the upper one. After that you have to input the bib number (1st box - ignore it) or place range (2nd and 3rd boxes, from place A to place B), then chose the division on the right (pro men, pro women, amateur men, amateur women), then click the button and the results, all in Japanese, will come up.
Anonymous said…
Brett, love your blog. Has me very interested in running a marathon in Japan.
I am Canadian and a big fan of Jon Brown. I know he was on the startlist for this race, but I can't decipher the results to find him. Any chance you can pick him out of the results for me?
Many thanks.
Anonymous said…
Maybe this sort of form will maybe convince Tosa to carry on competing. I don't want her to retire!
Frank Stebner said…
Apparently Jon Brown had a not so good day and ran 1:17:48.

Not sure what happened but he was hoping for 1:03.

Frank (also a Jon Brown fan.)
Brett Larner said…
Jon was up front with the pack of guys who ended up around 1:02:30 until about 15km. Looks like the next 5km was pretty rough:

5km: 15:02
10km: 29:47 (14:45)
15km: 44:44 (14:57)
20km: 1:12:29 (27:45) (!)
finish: 1:17:48

I guess he is running in the Chiba Int'l XC meet next week as well. Better luck then.

Most-Read This Week

World Athletics' Rapid About-Face on Shoe Regulations Leaves Runners in Confusion: "It's Like They're Playing With a Stacked Deck"

On Aug. 10 World Athletics announced that revised regulations on competition footwear that it had released on July 28 had already gone into effect on that date for track events. At the time of the new regulations' announcement WA had initially said that they would take effect on Dec. 1. The regulations effectively ban the use of thick-soled shoes Nike's dominant Vaporfly and Alphafly on the track and disallow any performances run in them.

WA's July 28 announcement of revised regulations was made in preparation for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games. The new regulations specify the thickness of the sole that may be use in shoes for various disciplines, with field events apart from the triple jump and track events up to 400 m limited to 20 mm, the triple jump, track events 800 m and longer, and cross-country up to 22 mm. Nike's current models, which dominate the long distance market, have thicknesses of 36 mm for the Vaporfly and 39.5 mm for the Alphafly.



The revised reg…

Running The Original 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon Course Part Two - Men's Marathon

Pre-corona, today would have been the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, originally in Tokyo, then bumped off to Sapporo. For the sake of completion, for the third year in a row I ran most of the Tokyo course at the time that the race would have happened, starting at 6:00 a.m., taking temperature and humidity measurements every 30 minutes, and finishing back at the Olympic Stadium at 8:15 a.m. around the time that many of the top men would have been coming in.


Like last week's run at the original time of the women's marathon, conditions today wouldn't have been a problem for anyone who had done any kind of preparation to run a summertime marathon. Counter to the forecast, which predicted sunny skies the whole way, right before the schedule start time cloud cover rolled in over the city, helping to keep temperatures down. Humidity was high, but as per the forecast the temperature actually went down over the first 90 minutes. The humidity rose in relation to the cool…

Study Finds 63.9% of Elite Japanese Track and Field Athletes Use Supplements

The degree to which elite-level Japanese track and field athletes utilize supplements has become clearer. Nearly 2/3 of athletes regularly use a supplement, with higher usage among women than men, higher usage among seniors than juniors, and higher usage in long distance than in other disciplines. Those are the findings of a paper by Shogo Tabata of the Keio University Sports Medicine Center published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Supplement usage is higher among athletes than in the general population, with some studies suggesting a typical usage level of about 60%. There are a wide variety of supplements such as vitamins and minerals, but few have clear evidence of efficacy. At the same time, some products have been known to include banned substances, creating the risk of "unintentional doping" by those who use them carelessly.

Although the number of reported cases of Japanese athletes caught for doping is small, the proportion of them d…