Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hara Returns, Njui Wins Debut at Hokkaido Marathon

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click link above for video highlights

The 2010 Hokkaido Marathon took place Aug. 29 in Sapporo, Hokkaido under exceptionally hot and humid conditions with 27 degree temperatures and 70% humidity at the start. Two-time World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara (Team Universal Entertainment) won the women's race in 2:34:12 in her debut wearing the Universal uniform after a year of inactivity following her sudden departure from former sponsor Team Kyocera. Kenyan Cyrus Njui (Team Hitachi Cable), winner of last month's Sapporo Half Marathon, won the men's race in 2:11:22, his debut over the marathon distance and the second-fastest time ever recorded in Hokkaido.

Njui broke away from leader Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) at 38 km to seal the win in an outstanding time for the Hokkaido course. General division entrant Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) likewise overtook the fading Mogusu for 2nd, while Mogusu staggered in for 3rd to complete the Kenyan hat trick.

Former Team Kyocera ace Hara and the team's current star Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) were pitched in a one-on-one race by halfway. With a surge at 32 km Hara put herself into position for the win. Miyauchi held on for 2nd ahead of Hara's teammate Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Universal Entertainment), the 2009 Tokyo Marathon winner.

This year's edition was the 24th running of the Hokkaido Marathon, an event which lets amateurs run in the same race as top pros. 8861 people entered, 7959 began the race and 5715 finished.

2010 Hokkaido Marathon - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
1. Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) - 2:11:22 - debut
2. Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 2:13:04 - PB
3. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 2:16:38 - PB
4. Masaru Takamizawa (Saku Chosei H.S. AC) - 2:18:17
5. Tetsuo Nishimura (Team YKK) - 2:18:31

1. Yumiko Hara (Team Universal Ent.) - 2:34:12
2. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 2:35:42
3. Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Universal Ent.) - 2:36:07
4. Chinami Fukaminato (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:40:28
5. Ikuyo Yamashita (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:41:19

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