Skip to main content

Keizo Yamada Completes Final Boston Marathon

by Brett Larner

81 year-old Keizo Yamada, the 1953 Boston Marathon winner, returned to this year's race on Apr. 20. Yamada successfully finished his 18th Boston in 6:16:56 after a first half of 2:33:29. Universal Sports reports that Yamada intends this year's running to be his last.

A laughably slow women's race gave Team Toto's Tomoe Yokoyama and amateur runner Hiroko Sho some unexpected international camera exposure as they ran at the head of the elite women's pack in the earliest stages of the race. Yokoyama had suffered injuries since winning February's Ome Marathon 30 km road race and hoped only to break 2:40, meaning that the lead pack's speed throughout the first 10 km of the race suited her fine. As the pace crept glacially forward Sho drifted away, but Yokoyama moved to the front and alternated the lead with veteran American Colleen de Reuck. Only nearing halfway, for which Yokoyama clocked 1:19:59, did she begin to lose contact, eventually fading to 2:47:57. Sho ran more evenly and was not far behind in 2:49:37.

Team Chugoku Denryoku's Kurao Umeki ran Boston just shy of a month after a disappointing run in the windy Tokyo Marathon, but his luck did not improve overseas. Umeki, arguably the most prolific overseas marathoner among Japan's professional runners, needed to break 2:10 to have a chance of making the Berlin World Championships team under Rikuren's new selection policy but a 1:06:33 first half meant even this time was out of reach. He faltered dramatically in the wind and hills in the second half of the race, finishing in 2:26:27. Umeki briefly made the broadcast coverage of this year's Boston as he rounded the final corner, waving to cheering spectators along the course.

Japan's wheelchair athletes in Boston had stronger showings than its runners. Wakako Tsuchida took her third Boston title in the women's race, covering the course in 1:54:37 and winning easily by a margin of nearly 7 minutes. Paralympian Masazumi Soejima took 2nd in the men's race behind 7-time winner Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, recording a time of 1:36:57 to Van Dyk's 1:33:29.

Complete listings of top finishers and searchable results are available here.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asah…

2019 Japanese Distance Rankings

JRN's 2019 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Distances will be added as the season progresses. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2018 ・ 2017 ・ 2016・ 2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Aoyama Gakuin First Year Takayuki Iida Leads Weekend Half Marathon Action

The National Women's Ekiden was the weekend's biggest race, but across the country four half marathons saw decently competitive men's action.

At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, as in the last few years Hakone Ekiden runner-up Aoyama Gakuin University ran its B-team of Hakone non-starters, this year with company from the team that beat it, Tokai University. AGU swept the top ten, first-year Takayuki Iida taking the top spot in 1:03:10 with teammate Shuya Iwami also getting under 64 minutes. Tokai seemed to treat the day more as a workout, but head coach Hayashi Morozumi, 52, took the chance to get in on the action too, running the 10 km division in 43:04.

In Tokyo, the High Tech Half Marathon celebrated its 20th running with the edition of a marathon division. Independent Hideyuki Ikegami (Aminosaurus) won the men's half in 1:05:08. Club runner Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) ran the fastest women's time of the weekend, 1:19:34, to win…