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Mathathi, Imai Take Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler

by Brett Larner

Lost in the shuffle following Tsegaye Kebede's record-breaking run at today's Fukuoka International Marathon, the world's most competitive 10-miler took place across Kyushu at the 2009 Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race. A total of 90 men broke 50 minutes at the race, a tune-up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national corporate championships.

In the "International Division," made up of Japan-based foreigners who run for Japanese corporate teams and are given an inscrutable one-minute headstart, 2007 World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki) won in 44:52, just one second off his course and world junior record of 44:51. In the Japanese Division, former Juntendo University Hakone Ekiden "God of the Mountain" 5th Stage record breaker Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) scored the first big result of his pro career with a 46:40 win by one second over university-era Hakone 5th stage rival Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin). Nissin Shokuhin runners took three of the top five spots, giving even more fuel to the seeming inevitability of a New Year Ekiden win.

2009 Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
International Division
1. Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki) - 44:52
2. John Thuo (Team Toyota) - 45:23
3. Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 46:13
4. Martin Mukule (Team Toyota) - 46:32
5. James Mwangi (Team NTN) - 46:32

Japanese Division
1. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:40
2. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:41
3. Bene Zama (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:45
4. Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) - 46:55
5. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 47:09
6. Koichi Sakai (Team Fujitsu) - 47:10
7. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 47:11
8. Hiroyuki Ono (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 47:12
9. Kenichi Jiromaru (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 47:14
10. Yukiyoshi Kino (Team S&B) - 47:15

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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