translated by Brett Larner
The organizing committee of the 29th Sanyo Women's Road Race, to be held Dec. 23 in Okayama, have announced the fields for this year's running. 88 women are entered in the Yuko Arimori Cup Half Marathon and 220 in the Kinue Hitomi Cup 10 km, making for the race's largest-ever overall field, 308. A large number of experienced international-level athletes will wrap up their 2010 on Okayama's local streets.
Headlining the half marathon are defending champion Yumi Hirata (Team Shiseido) and 2009 World Championships marathon 7th placer Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC). Locally-based Team Tenmaya will supply Athens Olympics marathoner Naoko Sakamoto, 2010 Berlin Marathon 3rd place finisher Tomo Morimoto and last year's runner-up Kaori Urata. Other top women include Noriko Matsuoka and Kaori Akagawa (both Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), Mika Okunaga (Team Kyudenko) and this year's fastest Japanese woman over the half marathon distance, Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera).
The 10 km is split into two division, with 182 women in the elite division and 38 in the general division. The emphasis in the elite division is on the younger runners. At the top of the high-level field are 2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 2009 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara and 2010 Asian Games 10000 m 5th placer and 10000 m national university record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (both Bukkyo University). Also scheduled to compete are 10000 m national junior record holder and Sendai Ikuei H.S. graduate Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), 2008 Sanyo runner-up Risa Shigetomo and 2008 Beijing Olympics marathoner Yurika Nakamura (both Team Tenmaya), and 2010 World Half Marathon team member Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera).
Both races will begin at Kanko Stadium. The half marathon is scheduled to start at 10:00 and the 10 km at 10:15.
Translator's note: Nishihara and Yoshimoto's presence, along with that of any other top university women, is a by-product of the cancellation of the National University Women's Invitational Ekiden originally scheduled for the same day. Also expect to see larger than usual fields at the Dec. 25 Nittai University Women's Long Distance Time Trials track meet.