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Jason Lehmkuhle Wins Ome 30 km Road Race - First American Win Since 1983

by Brett Larner

American Jason Lehmkuhle in a sprint finish against Toyoyuki Abe meters before winning the 2011 Ome 30 km.

Jason Lehmkuhle won a tight sprint finish over Team NTT Nishi Nihon's Toyoyuki Abe at the 2011 Ome 30 km Road Race to become the first American to win the prestigious race since Greg Meyer's 1983 victory. Lehmkuhle was aggressive throughout the race, leading the field of over 15000 through the early kilometers and remaining at the head of the pack over the difficult ups and downs through the middle 20 km.

The pack, initially nine-strong, whittled down to a core of five by halfway. With roughly 5 km to go Lehmkuhle surged, first dropping eventual 4th-placer Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), then frequent leader Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta). Local boy Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) was the next to fall, leaving only Abe at Lehmkuhle's side. The pair rounded the final righthand corner together with Lehmkuhle on the inside, and in the last sprint to the finish Lehmuhle emerged a step ahead in 1:32:08 to take the win over Abe's 1:32:09. Shimizu hung on to 3rd in 1:33:15 with Ikawa just behind after having overtaken a fading Nitta.

Marathon great Hiromi Ominami (Yutic AC), running Ome as a tuneup for next month's Nagoya International Women's Marathon, won the women's race unchallenged in 1:46:27. Saori Makishima (Canon AC Kyushu), paced by her coach, 2:09:11 marathoner Akira Shimizu, was 2nd, with veteran Yoshimi Hoshino (eAthletes Shizuoka AC) 3rd.

In the 10 km division, high schooler Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Kugayama H.S.), the son of 1993 World Championships marathon 5th placer Tadao Uchikoshi, won the men's race in 30:29, just 9 seconds off the course record. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) took the women's race, a virtual matchrace between Nihon ChemiCon and Team Hokuren, in 33:02, the fastest time ever by a Japanese woman on the Ome course.

2011 Ome 30 km Road Race
click here for complete results
Men
1. Jason Lehmkuhle (U.S.A.) - 1:32:08
2. Toyoyuki Abe (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:32:09
3. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 1:33:15
4. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:33:30
5. Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:34:05

Women
1. Hiromi Ominami (Yutic AC) - 1:46:27
2. Saori Makishima (Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:48:20
3. Yoshimi Hoshino (eAthletes Shizuoka AC) - 1:53:29

10 km Division
click here for complete results
High School Boys
1. Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Kugayama H.S.) - 30:29
2. Kajima Nakamura (Takushoku Prep H.S.) - 30:31
3. Yuichi Mihiro (Takushoku Prep H.S.) - 30:42

Women
1. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 33:02
2. Kazumi Hashimoto (Team Hokuren) - 33:28
3. Tomoyo Izumi (Team Hokuren) - 33:38

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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