by Brett Larner
The Sendai International Half Marathon has announced the lineup for this year's 20th anniversary edition on May 9. The top end of the men's field promises a great duel as sub-27 10000 m man and 10 mile junior world record holder Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) makes his half marathon debut against three-time sub-hour half marathoner Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem). Their goal will no doubt be not just the win but Samuel Wanjiru's course and Japanese all-comers record of 59:43, a target that has so far eluded Mogusu by as little as 5 seconds.
With a mixed field of Japanese elites, Japan-resident Africans and Japanese university men there are too many noteworthy runners to mention, but other names on the entry list include 2010 Asian Games marathon team member Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN), multiple World Half Marathon national team member Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko), Tokyo Marathon 4th placer Yuki Kawauchi (unatt.), Kenyans James Mwangi (Team NTN), Harun Njoroge (Team Komori Corp.) and Cyrus Njui (Team Hitachi), and Yu Chiba and Takashi Chiba of two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University.
2009 World Championships marathoner Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) is the biggest name in the women's field, but she faces tough competition from Kenyan Julia Mumbi (Team Universal Entertainment), 2009 Kobe National Women's Marathon winner Misato Horie (Team Noritz), World Half Marathon national team members Chisato Osaki (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) and Team Kyocera's Miyauchi twins among others.
For a complete field listing click here. JRN will publish a more detailed preview including info on how to watch online the week of the race.
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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