by Brett Larner
In its first running as a spring race, the New York City Half Marathon takes place this Sunday, Mar. 21. In the women's field are the 1st and 3rd place finishers from last month's Ome 30 km road race, Japan-based Mara Yamauchi (GBR) and 2009 Hokkaido Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC).
After a fantastic run at the London Marathon last year Yamauchi missed most of 2009, including the World Championships, with an injury. She began her recovery with a decent run at the Marugame Half Marathon in early February before winning her Ome debut. New York will be Yamauchi's major tuneup for next month's London Marathon.
Earlier this week Shimahara was named to the Japanese national team for November's Asian Games marathon, where she will be the defending silver medalist. Shimahara had a very strong fall season last year including a course record win at the Hokkaido Marathon in late August and 2nd place finishes at November's Yokohama International Women's Marathon and December's Honolulu Marathon, all sub-2:30 performances. Her own injury troubles bothered her in January and February but Shimahara will be using New York as a fitness check ahead of April's Nagano Marathon.
The race will be webcast live on universalsports.com and should be available for viewing in Japan. The webcast is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. Japan time on Mar. 21. Click here to watch. For a more detailed preview of the men's and women's fields, click here.
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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