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Fukushi 3rd at Chicago Marathon

by Brett Larner

Fukushi at 26 miles. Photo (c) 2011 Dr. Helmut Winter

Multiple national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) ran a solid performance at her second marathon, running a promising 2:24:38 for 3rd at the 2011 Chicago Marathon.  Fukushi ran the first half of the race shadowing eventual winner Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) at Japanese national record pace but faded after 25 km, slowing dramatically in the final kilometers.  Nevertheless she still finished with the fourth-best time of the year by a Japanese woman and the third-fastest time ever run by a Japanese woman within the United States..  In so doing she also became the 20th Japanese woman to break 2:25 and the 50th to break 2:27.

In post-race comments to Jiji.com Fukushi said, "It was a 2:24, so it was good.  I wanted to take it as far as I could.  I couldn't have done any better.  I was able to move my legs a bit after 30 km.  If I can run more comfortably than this [at the Olympic selection race next year] it would be nice."

Top Japanese man Gokaya at 26 miles. Photo (c) 2011 Dr. Helmut Winter

In the men's race top-ranked men Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) did not perform anywhere near potential, Sato dropping out after 30 km and Matsumiya running a PW 2:22:46.  Developmental Japanese athletes took 7th through 10th, the top Japanese man also being its youngest and least-experienced, Koji Gokaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon) who was just off his PB in 2:12:15 after closing with the 3rd-fastest last 2.195 km split in the men's field, 6:55.  Gokaya told Jiji.com, "Even though I was falling off the pack from the faster runners I was able to really get into my running this time.  My legs were dead in the second half, so that's my mission for next time."

2011 Chicago Marathon Top Results
Chicago, IL, 10/9/11
click here for complete results

Women
1. Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) - 2:18:20 - PB
2. Ejegayehu Dibaba (ETH) - 2:22:09 - debut
3. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 2:24:38 - PB
4. Belainesh Gebre (ETH) - 2:26:17 - PB
5. Christelle Daunay (FRA) - 2:26:41
6. Claire Hallissey (GBR) - 2:29:27 - PB
7. Yue Chao (CHN) - 2:32:57
8. Askale Tafa (ETH) - 2:33:35
9. Cruz Nonata da Silva (BRA) - 2:35:35
10. Jeannette Faber (U.S.A.) - 2:36:58

Men
1. Moses Mosop (KEN) - 2:05:37 - CR
2. Wesley Korir (KEN) - 2:06:15 - PB
3. Bernard Kipyego (KEN) - 2:06:29
4. Bekana Daba (ETH) - 2:07:59
5. Ryan Hall (U.S.A.) - 2:08:04
6. Evans Cheruiyot (KEN) - 2:10:29
7. Koji Gokaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:12:15
8. Hironori Arai (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:13:17
9. Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 2:14:48
10. Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:17:49
-----
29. Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:22:26
50. Yuki Moriwaki (Team JFE Steel) - 2:27:33
DNF - Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku)

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
I was hoping Fukushi would run around 2hrs 22, but in the end it was not a bad run. If you compare her run in Chicago to Osaka this was a lot better.

In Chicago she was over a minute faster at halfway compared to Osaka and although she did not finish that strongly it was a lot better than Osaka. I hope she can run a bit more conservatively in her next marathon and get on the team.

Liliya Shobukhova was amazing yesterday, especially with the second fastest last split FOR EVERYBODY. It goes to show that the pace was a bit hot for most of the men.

It would have been nice to see a bit more of Gokaya and the rest of the Japanese men running, but I am glad most of them ran respectable times.
Brett Larner said…
Agreed. She was good. Not great, but good. Curious to see whether she runs Osaka or Nagoya, but I don't think she'll have too much trouble with the competition either way.

Nice to see Gokaya run well for his level, but of course Sato and Matsumiya were disappointing to say the least. Still only three men have ever broken 2:10 in the U.S.
Franfri said…
Hi Brett. I have a blog of interview to spanish athletes (http://www.misatletas.blogspot.com). Since I watched the Kayoko Fukushi´s videos in Osaka Marathon she has become a hero for me. I would like to make an interview with her. Do you know how is possible to contact her?

Regards from Spain. Your blog is fantastic.
yuza said…
Takaoka, Seko....Who is the third?

If they are fit I think Fukushi and Akaba will make the team. Obviously the big mystery is Noguchi, I hate to say it, but I do not like the chances of her running a marathon again at peak fitness. After that it is a chook raffle, though (and I am sure you know more about this) I hope Niiya runs a marathon next year, because I think she has a very fast marathon in her.

The men are always a mystery. I think it could be a while before we see a Japanese man challenge the elites.
Brett Larner said…
Noriaki Igarashi ran 2:09:35 in Chicago in '01.

No arguments from me on the rest of it. I think things are on the way back, not in time for London but Rio should be interesting.

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