translated and edited by Brett Larner
The 19th edition of the Sendai International Half Marathon takes place May 10. Headlining the women's and men's fields are Beijing 5000 m and 10000 m Olympian Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) and 2004 Athens Olympics men's marathon 6th place finisher Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin). Akaba made her marathon debut this year at the Osaka International Women's Marathon, finishing 2nd overall. This will be her fourth time running Sendai. Suwa was 7th in the 2007 Osaka World Championships marathon and continues to be one of the strongest of Japan's marathon men.
In the women's race, last year's runner-up Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) and 3rd place finisher and Sendai native Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) will return. Joining them are 2009 Osaka Half Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) and former world-class race walker Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren).
Other invited men include 2004 winner Kosaka Hoshina (Team Nissin Shokuhin), 2008 World Half Marathon national team member Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) and Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN). Defending champion Harun Njoroge (Team Komori Corp.) and James Mwangi (Team NTN) will also run.
A total of 1284 runners are entered in the race. 41 further athletes are entered in the wheelchair division including Athens Paralympics marathon gold medalist Kazu Hatanaka (Hyogo Assoc.) and 2008 Tokyo Marathon winner Wakako Tsuchida (Team Sanofi-Aventis).
2009 Sendai International Half Marathon Elite Field
Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:08:11
Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) - 1:08:31
Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) - 1:10:16
Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 1:11:03
Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 1:15:00
James Mwangi (Team NTN) - 1:00:34
Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko) - 1:01:30
Harun Njoroge (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:01:30
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 1:02:17
Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:36
Kosaka Hoshina (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:03:09