by Brett Larner
for photos click here or here
Half marathon national record holder and 2010 double 5000 and 10000 m national champion Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) quietly returned to the half marathon distance without fanfare after a three and a half year absence with a win at the 24th Shibetsu Half Marathon on July 25 in Shibetsu, Hokkaido. Fukushi ran the race together in a pack of three with defending champion and 2010 World Half Marathon team member Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) and marathoner Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren). Akaba fell behind after 15 km while Miyauchi managed to hang on until the final 2 km when Fukushi pulled away to the win in 1:12:25, her slowest time ever over the distance and no doubt a minimum-effort victory. Miyauchi, who was 4th behind Fukushi and Akaba in the Nationals 10000 m last month, was 2nd. Akaba, 3rd at Nationals, was again 3rd. Both women joined Fukushi in going under 1:13 on the hot and sunny race day which saw temperatures of 25 degrees at the start climb to 28 degrees.
Nationals 10000 m runner-up Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) took the women's 10000 m in 33:40. Hirokatsu Kurosaki (Team Konica Minolta), an alumnus of two-time Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University, won the men's half marathon in 1:04:58, his first Shibestu win.
Having taken part in Rikuren's spring marathon training camp in New Zealand and having skipped the summer track season following her pair of national titles in early June, Fukushi's result suggests a serious marathon effort may be in the works for the upcoming winter season following her appearance on the track at November's Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
2010 Shibetsu Half Marathon - Top Results
Women's Half Marathon
1. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 1:12:25
2. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:12:29
3. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:12:57
4. Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya) - 1:14:57
5. Sayuri Baba - 1:15:38
Men's Half Marathon
1. Hirokatsu Kurosaki (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:04:58
2. Tetsuo Nishimura - 1:05:16
3. Sota Hoshi - 1:05:54
Women's 10 km
1. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 33:40
2. Remi Nakazato - 33:43
3. Mai Ito - 33:44
4. Ai Igarashi - 33:51
5. Seika Iwamura - 33:55
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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