Skip to main content

Freshman Suguru Osako 1:01:47 Jr. National Record at 2010 Ageo City Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
photos by Daniel Seite

Suguru Osako, 2010 Ageo City Half Marathon winner.

Waseda University first-year Suguru Osako ran his biggest performance yet Nov. 21 at the Ageo City Half Marathon, winning his half marathon debut in a new junior national record and junior Asian record of 1:01:47. Running in perfect conditions the 19 year-old Osako, who holds a 5000 m PB of 13:47.29 and a 10000 m PB of 28:35.75, battled it out with Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) for 16 km ahead of a large chase pack before dropping a hard surge with 5 km to go and pulling away for the win with the largest margin of victory in Ageo history, 57 seconds. Following the race he told the Yomiuri newspaper, "That didn't feel like it was very long at all."

Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) leads Osako and 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu) at 3 km.

Osako became only the third man to break 1:02 at Ageo and the fastest-ever Japanese runner to do so, beating Masato Kihara's time of 1:01:50 from the 2006 Ageo Half. Osako's time was also the second-best of the year by a Japanese man behind only pro Tomoya Onishi's 1:01:31 9th-place finish at last month's World Half Marathon Championships.

Perfect form one and all in the chase pack.

A former captain at Nagano's national champion Saku Chosei H.S., Osako is the latest in the steady stream of superb young runners to come out of Saku Chosei in recent years, following in the footsteps of Yuki Sato, Yuichiro Ueno and Akinobu Murasawa. Osako's performance puts Waseda, which won both the Izumo and National University ekidens this fall in course-record times, in an even better position to stop Toyo University from taking a third Hakone Ekiden title come January. Waseda head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe told the Yomiuri that Osako is likely to be put on Hakone's fastest leg, the Second Stage.

Mayhem at the 10 km turnaround.

Among the non-university runners in the field, two elites for next month's Fukuoka International Marathon had widely differing results. 2010 Tokyo Marathon 4th placer Yuki Kawauchi, an employee of the Saitama Prefectural Government, was just outside the top 10 and not far off his PB, running 1:03:48. 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu), debuting at the marathon in Fukuoka, ran the first part of the race with leaders Osako and Ondiba but faded badly to a final time of 1:05:47. Team Honda's Suehiro Ishikawa was the top pro finisher, 6th overall in 1:03:23. While things were fast up front, depth at this year's Ageo City Half Marathon was down somewhat compared to past runnings, when as many as 500 people have broken 1:13:

1st: 1:01:47
10th: 1:03:46
25th: 1:04:21
50th: 1:05:04
100th: 1:06:10
200th: 1:08:10
300th: 1:10:40
400th: 1:14:26
500th: 1:21:27

This may be indicative of a shift in priorities among the university coaches in the Kanto region, particularly in light of the dramatic increase in the number of Kanto runners clocking sub-14 and sub-29 this year. Nevertheless, Ageo remains unparalleled in its depth and level of competition.

2010 Ageo City Half Marathon - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
1. Suguru Osako (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:01:47 - debut, Jr. NR
2. Cosmas Onidba (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:44
3. Kazuya Deguchi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:14
4. Fuminori Shikata (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:20 - debut
5. Takuya Noguchi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:22
6. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 1:03:23
7. Yoshihiro Nishizawa (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:26 - debut
8. Hideki Inomata (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:30 - PB
9. Takumi Honda (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:41
10. Yusuke Mita (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:45 - PB

Click here for more excellent photos courtesy of Waseda University.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved
photos (c) 2010 Daniel Seite
all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
Did you manage to catch the Asian Games 10,000m? Was rooting for the japanese.

Wonderful race to watch, but poor Fukushi! I thought she should've kept the strong pace up, but then again she seemed to struggle with the heat (or humidity).

31:50 for the winner is plenty fast though. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Brett Larner said…
I was at a race and festial in the mountains up north and didn't see it. Two Indian women under 32 is very impressive, though.
TokyoRacer said…
Wow, a freshman! It's going to be fun to watch him at Hakone and in the future.

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…