Sunday, October 16, 2011

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

1 comment:

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.