Skip to main content

Hakoyama, Ugachi Take Kumanichi as Japan's Two Big 30 km Races Line Up on Same Day

by Brett Larner

Traditionally held one week apart, the world's two top 30 km races, the Kumanichi 30 km in southern Japan and the Ome 30 km in Tokyo's mountainous western suburbs, were both held Feb. 19 this year.

With over 17000 runners in this year's field Ome has long been a popular mass-participation event along with hosting an elite race, but Kumanichi has typically been an elite-only event with only a few dozen men and a handful of women.  Keeping with the explosion of mass-participation events, this year Kumanichi incorporated a new amateur full marathon, the Kumamotojo Marathon with a field of 10000, while keeping the small elite 30 km division on a new course covering most of the marathon course.  The leading candidate for the London Olympics 10000 m squad, Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) took things in stride in his second Kumanichi appearance, splitting a solo 14:25 for the first 5 km well ahead of world record pace.  Although he slowed progressively for the rest of the way, the remainder of the field was already far enough behind that they were never able to close the gap.  Ugachi took the win in a 2012 world-leading 1:30:01, a 13 second PB over the time he clocked two years as a Komazawa University senior.  In the very small women's field, Yuka Hakoyama (Team Wacoal) took 34 seconds off the course record to win in 1:43:26.  In the amateur full marathon, Jobu University alum Shota Jige won the men's race in 2:23:41, while Kazumi Sakaguchi took the women's race in 2:56:22.

Further north in Ome, rookie pro Hideaki Tamura (Team JR Higashi Nihon) pushed hard in the second half of the race to drop a pack of five.  Tamura won easily by over a minute in 1:33:26, the slowest winning time in Ome since 1979.  American Terrance Shea placed 10th in 1:38:36, advancing through the field in the final kilometers after running much of the way in 15th place.  The women's race was more aggressive, with favorite Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) following through on her pre-race plan to go after a 1:42.  Yoshida split 51:24 for the uphill first 15 km, with Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) close behind in 51:39.  She continued to widen her lead through 20 km heading onto the downhills, but then abruptly she shut down.  By 25 km Kato had a lead of 27 seconds, and by the finish her margin was over a minute.  Running an almost even race, Kato finished in 1:43:55, the fourth-fastest winning time in Ome history, while Yoshida faded to 1:45:01.

In Ome's competitive 10 km division, Kazumi Hashimoto (Team Hokuren) won the women's race in 33:18.  High schooler Kazuma Ganaha (Tokyo Nogyo Prep H.S.) won the men's 10 km in 30:50.

2012 Kumanichi Road Race
Kumamoto, 2/19/12
click here for complete results

Men's 30 km
1. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:30:01 - PB
2. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:30:43 - PB
3. Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:30:50 - PB
4. Masaki Ito (Kokushikan Univ.) - 1:31:20 - PB
5. Taichi Takase (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:31:35 - PB

Women's 30 km
1. Yuka Hakoyama (Team Wacoal) - 1:43:26 - CR
2. Mika Okunaga (Team Kyudenko) - 1:46:29
3. Chihiro Takato (Team Wacoal) - 1:47:23

Men's Marathon
1. Shota Jige - 2:23:41

Women's Marathon
1. Kazumi Sakaguchi - 2:56:22

2012 Ome Road Race
Ome, Tokyo, 2/19/12
click here for complete results

Men's 30 km
1. Hideaki Tamura (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:33:26
2. Takamitsu Hashimoto (Josai Univ.) - 1:34:28
3. Kota Shinozaki (Tokyo Police Dep't.) - 1:35:31

Women's 30 km
1. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:43:55
2. Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 1:45:01
3. Maiko Murayama (Team Yamada Denki) - 1:47:11

Men's 10 km
1. Kazuma Ganaha (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - 30:50
2. Ken Tochiyama (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - 30:56
3. Kajima Nakamura (Takushoku Prep H.S.) - 30:58

Women's 10 km
1. Kazumi Hashimoto (Team Hokuren) - 33:18
2. Yukari Abe (Panasonic) - 33:45
3. Shiho Yagahi (Hachioji H.S.) - 33:50

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…