Skip to main content

Okubo Sets Course Record at Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
photo (c) 2011 Dr. Helmut Winter

Just three weeks after running a PB of 2:28:49 at the Berlin Marathon, Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) continued her outstanding year by lopping 3 minutes off her half marathon best with a 1:11:22 course record win at the 30th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon in Ichinoseki, Iwate.  Rain until shortly before the start of the race had little impact on the otherwise good conditions as Okubo clocked the fourth-fastest half of the year by a Japanese woman, admittedly in a year which saw the cancellation of the spring half marathon season following the March disasters.  Okubo's rapid progress this year ranks her as the top member of the Second Wind club following the departure of ace Yuri Kano.

In the men's race, Komazawa University's Takahiro Gunji had a narrow win in 1:06:01 over Koku Gakuin University's Nozomu Hashisaka and pro Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Nissin Shokuhin) who went 1:06:04, and Hashizaka's teammate Shinobu Aoki who ran 1:06:10.  Gunji became the second Komazawa second-stringer to win a half marathon in the last two weeks following Toshiaki Nishizawa's win at the Oct. 2 Sapporo Half Marathon.  Gunji told Komaspo news, "I felt great.  Last year [teammate Akinori] Iida won here, so I ran with the intention of adding to the streak.  Coach [Hiroaki Oyagi] told me, "More than the time I want you to go for the win," so I went into it at a high level and tried to hang on.  I couldn't pull that off, though, so I'm a little disappointed.  Still, I made the team's entry roster for the National [University Ekiden Championships] so now I really want to fight for a place on the starting list."

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
That is crazy pulling out a PB for a half just three weeks after a marathon.

I guess I take too much time off between my hard runs.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…