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Honda Runners Fujiwara and Ishikawa 9-10 in Berlin Marathon

by Brett Larner

photo by Dr. Helmut Winter

2010 Tokyo Marathon winner and collegiate/debut marathon national record holder Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) had a minor breakthrough at the 2012 Berlin Marathon, breaking 2:12 for the first time since his 2:08:12 marathon debut in 2003 to take 9th place, the first non-Kenyan finisher. Setting out at mid-2:08 pace, Fujiwara and 2:11 men Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) and Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) ran together, fading off that seemingly reasonable pace as a group with each passing 5 km split even as the lead pack spearheaded by eventual winner Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) accelerated. Ishikawa, who debuted in 2:11:14 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, briefly ran into trouble just before 30 km but quickly recovered. After 32 km it was Ikawa, coached by 2:06 man Takayuki Inubushi, who faded, 24 seconds behind Fujiwara and Ishikawa by 35 km.

Just as Mutai was non-battling debuting 25 km world record holder Dennis Kimetto (25 km) down the home straight for the win in 2:04:15, Fujiwara broke away from teammate Ishikawa before 40 km to head in to the finish without pressure.  Ishikawa took 10th in 2:11:46 while far behind him Ikawa faded badly to 16th, finishing in a career-worst 2:14:20.  In the women's race 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) took an introduction on the starting line but did not record even a 5 km split.  In her absence, the top Japanese woman was Yuka Aikawa, 18th in 2:49:52.

2012 Berlin Marathon
Berlin, Germany, 9/30/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 2:04:15
2. Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2:04:16 - debut
3. Geoffrey Kipsang (Kenya) - 2:06:12 - debut
4. Nicholas Kamakya (Kenya) - 2:08:28
5. Josphat Keiyo (Kenya) - 2:08:41
6. Jonathan Maiyo (Kenya) - 2:09:19
7. Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) - 2:09:59
8. Felix Keny (Kenya) - 2:10:22
9. Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) - 2:11:31
10. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 2:11:46
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16. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:14:20

Women
1. Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:20:30
2. Tirfi Tsegaye (Ethiopia) - 2:21:19
3. Olena Shurhno (Ukraine) - 2:23:32
4. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 2:24:56
5. Fate Tola (Ethiopia) - 2:25:14
6. Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia) - 2:28:45
7. Caroline Chepkwnoy (Kenya) - 2:30:34
8. Anna Hahner (Germany) - 2:30:37
9. Sonia Samuels (GBR) - 2:30:56
10. Degefa Biruktayit (Ethiopia) - 2:33:27
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DNF - Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2012 Dr. Helmut Winter
all rights reserved

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