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Kitamura, Tsukisawa Win 15,000-Strong Chiba Marine Half-Marathon

http://photo.sankei.jp.msn.com/kodawari/data/2012/01/0122chiba/
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/120123/spg1201230505006-n1.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 36th Chiba Marine Half-Marathon took place Jan. 22 in Mihama, Chiba.  From the family fun run to the half-marathon division, a total of over 15,000 people took part, enjoying themselves despite the cold rain that fell during the race.

In the federation-registered women's half-marathon division, 2010 champion Saori Kitamura of Juntendo University returned to win again in 1:15:51.  In the federation-registered men's half-marathon division, Tokyo Keizai University senior Sho Tsukisawa won for the first time in 1:06:39. Beijing Olympics triathlete Ai Ueda (Inage Inter AC) won the open women's half-marathon for the third-straight year.  Popular running personalities Mari Tanigawa and Yoshio Koide were also on hand to give a talk to participants and to cheer them on.

Only 11 seconds separated men's winner Tsukisawa from 5th place.  "I don't know where that last kick came from," he said.  "Last year I was 3rd, so I'm really happy with this."  Following his graduation in March Tsukisawa will join the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, which features a corporate-league ekiden team.  "I hope to run in the New Year Ekiden," he said of his future goals as a runner with the Police team.

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