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Miyawaki 1:00:53 CR in Debut, Shitara 1:01:48 PB in New York - Weekend Half-Marathon Results

by Brett Larner

20-year-olds dominated the Japanese half-marathon news this weekend. 20-year-old Olympic 10000 m squad favorite Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) set a course record of 1:00:53 in his half-marathon at the National Corporate Half-Marathon Championships, outkicking Kenyan Jacob Wanjuki (Team Aichi Seiko) on the final lap of the track after dueling with the talented Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) throughout the race. Miyawaki's time was the third-fastest ever by a Japanese man on an unaided course, with Kihara's 1:01:15 PB landing him at all-time #8. Tamagawa Univ. grad Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) won the women's race in 1:09:47, the first sub-70 by a Japanese woman this year, while past 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) won the women's 10 km in 32:59 by a second over Kenyan Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts).

A few hours and half a world away 20-year-old Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.), runner up at last year's Ageo City Half-Marathon, ran a PB of 1:01:48 to take 14th at the New York City Half-Marathon, dropping 2009 World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) with 1 km to go after splitting two seconds faster than his track 10000 m PB on the hills of the course's first 10 km. Shitara's mark was the fastest-ever by a Japanese man on U.S. soil. His teammate Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.), also 20, was 25th in 1:03:15 in his international debut. Both Shitara and Otsu were invited to New York as part of a relationship set up by JRN between the NYC Half and Ageo to help give top Japanese collegiates international experience at their best distance early in their careers.

University women were also in the news as little-known Ayame Takaki (Meijo Univ.) ran a strong 1:11:10 to win the National University Women's Half-Marathon Championships in Matsue. Takaki won by more than a minute over a small chase pack. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) took the 10 km in 33:46.

2012 National Corporate Half-Marathon Championships
Yamaguchi, 3/18/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 1:00:53 - CR, debut
2. Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:00:59
3. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) - 1:01:15 - PB
4. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:17
5. Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:18
6. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:20
7. Dishawn Karukuwa (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:36
8. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:02:36
9. Takahiro Aso (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:36
10. Yuki Takamiya (Team Yakult) - 1:02:37

Women
1. Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:09:47 - PB
2. Yuka Tokuda (Team Starts) - 1:10:40
3. Ai Igarashi (Team Sysmex) - 1:10:48
4. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:11:02
5. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 1:11:10
6. Chihiro Takato (Team Wacoal) - 1:11:23
7. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:11:32
8. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 1:11:50
9. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 1:12:15
10. Rui Aoyama (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:12:16

Women's 10 km
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 32:59
2. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 33:00
3. Yurie Doi (Team Starts) - 33:11
4. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 33:19
5. Kotomi Takayama (Team Sysmex) - 33:27



2012 New York City Half-Marathon
New York, 3/18/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Peter Kirui (Kenya) - 59:39 - PB
2. Deriba Merga (Ethiopia) - 59:48
3. Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) - 1:00:45
4. Wesley Korir (Kenya) - 1:01:19 - PB
5. Sam Chelanga (Kenya) - 1:01:19 - PB
6. Kevin Chelimo (Kenya) - 1:01:21
7. Chris Thompson (U.K.) - 1:01:23 - PB
8. Scott Overall (U.K.) - 1:01:25 - PB
9. Marilson Gomes dos Santos (Brazil) - 1:01:26
10. Michael Shelley (Australia) - 1:01:27 - PB
-----
13. Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 1:01:41
14. Yuta Shitara (Japan) - 1:01:48 - PB
15. Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) - 1:01:52
25. Kento Otsu (Japan) - 1:03:15

Women
1. Dado Firehiwot (Ethiopia) - 1:08:35
2. Kim Smith (New Zealand) - 1:08:43
3. Kara Goucher (U.S.A.) - 1:09:12
4. Hilda Kibet (Netherlands) - 1:09:42
5. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (U.S.A.) - 1:09:55
6. Madai Perez (Mexico) - 1:10:05
7. Lisa Weightman (Australia) - 1:10:10
8. Caroline Rotich (Kenya) - 1:10:17
9. Desi Davila (U.S.A.) - 1:10:44
10. Bekelech Bedada (Ethiopia) - 1:10:54

2012 Matsue Ladies Half-Marathon
15th National University Women's Half-Marathon Championships
Matsue, 3/18/12
click here for complete results

Half-Marathon
1. Ayame Takaki (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:10
2. Ayako Mitsui (RItsumeikan Univ.) - 1:12:22
3. Eriko Kushima (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:12:28
4. Eriko Ogino (Team Daihatsu) - 1:12:45
5. Maria Yano (Matsuyama Univ.) - 1:13:06

10 km
1. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 33:46
2. Rio Kojima (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 33:56
3. Yukiko Nishizono (Team Uniqlo) - 34:20
4. Saki Ochiai (Hirata H.S.) - 35:52
5. Maiya Fukuda (Hirata H.S.) - 36:54

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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