Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can Nikki Chapple and Daniel Gitau Win the Marugame Half Marathon? Watch Online! (updated)

Can Australian Nikki Chapple and Kenyan student runner Daniel Gitau of Nihon University run large PBs of 1:08:37 and 1:01:08 to take surprise wins at last Sunday's Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon? Watch Fuji TV's broadcast to find out! Conveniently timed for the hometown crowd, Fuji will air a 55-minute highlight show from 2:38 to 3:33 a.m. on Wed., Feb. 11. International viewers should be to watch online for free using the often-reliable Keyhole TV. JRNLive will unfortunately not be able to provide live English commentary on the broadcast as we will be too busy sleeping and will instead record the race.

Update: Having watched the race this morning and looked through the overall results, a couple of things came to my attention. One, this was a big day for the 18-22 year old Japanese men. Waseda Univ. first-year Shota Hiraga, the 2009 Ageo City Half Marathon winner and a graduate of Saku Chosei H.S., tied the 19 year old half marathon record of 1:02:08. Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. ace Muryo Takase's 1:01:57 was the second-fastest ever by a Japanese 21 year old. Yuichiro Ogawa (Team Kanebo) and Yusuke Takabayashi (Komazawa Univ.) are now ranked 4th and 5th on the all-time Japanese 22 year old list with their 1:01:53 and 1:01:54. Takabayashi knew it, too; even though he was outkicked by Ogawa he was smiling as soon as he finished and clapped Ogawa on the back.

Two, Nikki Chapple looked out of place. Wearing mid-length baggy shorts and a logo-free t-shirt and built like a triathlete it seemed like she was in the wrong race among all the skinny people in singlets and racing shorts. She's a powerful runner. She said her goal was for a 68, so mission accomplished.

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