Skip to main content

Akaba Sets Course Record at Sanyo Women's Half Marathon, Noguchi 5th

by Brett Larner

Daegu World Championships marathon 5th-place finisher Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) ran an aggressive race Dec. 23 at the 30th Sanyo Women's Road Race half marathon, winning in a 1:09:16 record for the hilly course over a tough field including marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex).

Akaba, Noguchi, 2010's top female Japanese half marathoner Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera), last year's Sanyo 10 km division winner Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko), and Akaba's Daegu teammate Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) took the race out at course record pace.  The pack ran the early stages fast enough that Noguchi, running as a test for her comeback at next month's Osaka International Women's Marathon, lost touch after only 7 km.  The lead four hit 10 km in 32:45, on track for a 1:09:06 finish, before Akaba surged away to mid-68 pace and built a lead that was never cracked.  Fading in the last 5 km, she nevertheless held on to take the course record by 4 seconds.  "I ran this for practice, so I'm pretty happy to get the record," she said afterward.

The remaining three in the chase pack took turns trying to run Akaba down, and all three were rewarded with new PBs for their efforts.  Miyauchi, last year's runner-up, eventually shook Chepyego and Ito off, nearly catching Akaba and missing the old course record by only 3 seconds as she took 2nd again in 1:09:23.  Chepyego also cracked 70 minutes, with Ito just missing by 3 seconds.  Noguchi did not appear to be in distress or pain after losing touch with the leaders, running steadily on to finish in 1:10:48 in her first half marathon since the spring of 2008.  What that bodes for her Osaka match race against half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) for an Olympic team spot remains to be seen, but Noguchi's result was good enough to show that her comeback is continuing to move forward.

In the Kinue Hitomi Cup 10 km, Kenyans Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) went 1-2 against Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) and Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.), with Karindi pulling away for the win in 32:47.  Karindi's former teammate and pre-race favorite Hitomi Niiya (Sakura AC) was a late scratch.

2011 Sanyo Women's Road Race
Okayama, 12/23/11
click here for complete results

Yuko Arimori Cup Half Marathon
1. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:09:16 - CR
2. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23 - PB
3. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 1:09:58 - PB
4. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:10:03 - PB
5. Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) - 1:10:48
6. Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) - 1:11:40
7. Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 1:12:01
8. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 1:12:19
9. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 1:12:34
10. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:12:51

Kinue Hitomi Cup 10 km
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:47
2. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 32:56
3. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 33:04
4. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 33:06
5. Yuka Hakoyama (Team Wacoal) - 33:21
6. Rina Yonetsu (Meijo Univ.) - 33:22
7. Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:27
8. Haruka Igarashi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 33:28
9. Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 33:30
10. Erika Ikeda (Meijo Univ.) - 33:36

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Laimoi and Yoshida Break CR, Nilsson Breaks Swedish NR, Shitara, Kamino and Kawauchi Set Up for Fukuoka at Ageo City Half Marathon

Every year it seems like the question is how much further can Ageo go? The answer still seems to be more. More further.

The Ageo City Half Marathon is the world's greatest half marathon, the place where Hakone Ekiden-bound universities line up most of their rosters to help coaches whittle down the contenders for the final sixteen-man Hakone lineup. Perfect conditions at this year's race meant something special.

Four runners from Chuo Gakuin University led by Takumi Yokokawa took it out hard, splitting 5:47 at 2 km, 1:01:00 pace, well ahead of last year's CR with the entire field in tow. A field that included national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), Hakone uphill hero Daichi Kamino (New Balance), 2017 London World Championships marathoner David Nilsson (Sweden), Kenyans Michael Githae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), Vincent Laimoi (Kokushikan Univ.) and Paul Gitonga (Kokushikan Univ.) and Ethiopian Workneh Derese (…

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kan…

Yoshitomi Breaks Fukuoka Marathon Course Record by Over 7 Minutes

The 2018 Fukuoka Marathon took place Nov. 11 on a course from downtown Fukuoka to Itoshima. In the women's race winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) ran 2:30:09, taking 7:01 off the course record and 7 seconds off her PB. Surprised and elated, she told reporters, "I never thought I'd run this kind of time here!"
Coming in the early part of the marathon season, Yoshitomi said, "This race was mostly about confirming my condition. I wasn't thinking about running a PB." Until 5 km she was running slower than the kind of pace that would make her tired in training. Mid-race she came across one of her regular training partners, Hiroaki Iwanaga (GGRC Kumamoto) and thought to herself, "If you run with him you might be able to just break 2:30." Never slowing down all the way until the end, Yoshitomi's run turned out what she called "unexpectedly" well.
Yoshitomi will run the 4th Saitama International Marathon on Dec. 9 as part of its invite…