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Njoroge, Morimoto Take First Hokkaido Marathon Titles

by Brett Larner

With a noon start time and temperatures peaking at 34 degrees the 2011 Hokkaido Marathon was a brutal race of attrition.  In the men's race Ibaraki-based Kenyan Harun Njoroge (Team Komori Corp.) broke away from the large pack at 30 km with veteran Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) and the young Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) in tow to form a trio which stuck together to maintain pace until 38 km.  Njoroge then surged again to pull away for the win in 2:14:10.  Defending champion Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) could not stay with the lead trio late in the race and finished only 7th in 2:19:14.

In the women's race 2006 winner Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) frontran at PB pace against a field which included course record holder Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC), former national record holder Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and, returning from injury, 2006 Vienna Marathon winner Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya).  Splitting as fast as 3:23/km Yoshida built up a lead of over 3 minutes, but the heat took its toll and by 37 km she was running with a pronounced limp.  By 39 km her pace was down to 4:14/km as Morimoto rolled up from far behind at 3:32/km.  Morimoto took the lead at 39.6 km and continued on to the win in 2:33:45.  Shimahara and Shibui overtook Yoshida in the final km to round out the top three, Yoshida staggering across the line in 4th in 2:35:49.

2011 Hokkaido Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 8/28/11
click here for complete results

1. Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 2:14:10
2. Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:14:22
3. Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:14.39
4. Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) - 2:16:29
5. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:16:49
6. Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) - 2:18:41
7. Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) - 2:19:14
8. Kenichiro Setoguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:19:20
9. Kenzo Kawabata (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 2:19:56
10. Yuko Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:20:33

1. Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:33:45
2. Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) - 2:34:26
3. Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:35:10
4. Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 2:35:49
5. Emi Ikeda (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 2:36:35
6. Asami Furuse (Team Kyocera) - 2:36:55 - debut
7. Sayuri Baba (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 2:40:49
8. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 2:41:29
9. Chinami Fukaminato (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:43:52
10. Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC RC) - 2:45:51

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


TokyoRacer said…
Good run in the heat by Shibui, who looked a bit plump...compared to the usual Japanese woman runner.

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