Skip to main content

Shimahara, Ozaki, Yoshida Top Honolulu Marathon Field

by Brett Larner

The Honolulu Marathon is one of the biggest draws for the average Japanese runner. Prior to the Tokyo Marathon it was the race for those who wanted to say they had done a marathon in their life. It's still a major attraction, and in recent years Japanese runners have consistently been on the podium in at least the women's race thanks in large part to the Second Wind AC team. Second Wind runners are back again in force, with defending champion Kiyoko Shimahara, 2007 runner-up Akemi Ozaki, and former club member and 2008 runner-up Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) on the line. Second Wind runner Yuko Manabe, a 1:09:36 half marathoner, is also acting as pacemaker in the women's race.

Shimahara and Ozaki went 1-2 in the heat of August's Hokkaido Marathon, Shimahara setting a course record in a PB of 2:25:10 and Ozaki likewise recording a new PB of 2:27:33. Ozaki went on to win the Athens Classic Marathon in November in a controlled effort, while a week later Shimahara was 2nd in the inaugural Yokohama International Women's Marathon. How the pair fares a month later in Honolulu, never known as a fast race, remains to be seen. It's likely that Ozaki will be targeting Honolulu as her peak race of the season, with Shimahara along in more of a support role.

Their former teammate Kaori Yoshida has not performed up to the same level since leaving Second Wind in the spring but is still running well enough to be a challenge if the race runs in the mid-2:30's. Others in the women's field include two-time winner Svetlana Zakharova (Russia) and strong Kenyans Pamela Chepchumba and Margaret Okayo.

In the men's race, 2008 winner Patrick Ivuti (Kenya) is back to go for two in a row against the young Benson Cherono (Kenya) and a pack of other up-and-comers. Six-time winner Jimmy Muindi (Kenya) also returns for his 16th-straight Honolulu Marathon after being out of competition all year.

Click here for complete details on this year's elite field.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Shitara Wins Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler

In a year that saw him deliver one of the most memorable debut marathons in history, a half marathon national record, 10000 m and marathon PBs and more, Yuta Shitara (Honda) ended 2017 on a high note, beating three-time defending champion Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) to win the 42nd Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler. Shitara, Karemi, London World Championships marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), Ethiopian Abayneh Degu (Yasukawa Denki) and track ace Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) ran together in a lead group through the early going, but Shitara was just too much for the others to handle.

Shitara broke the tape in 45:58, only the fourth Japanese man to ever clear 45 minutes. Karemi was well under last year's winning time but nowhere close to catching Shitara, finishing 2nd in 46:10 and Inoue only 2 seconds behind him. With many corporate and university teams using Kosa to tune up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden and Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, it regularly produces the deepest 10 mile results i…