translated and edited by Brett Larner
In their second editions the Osaka Marathon and Kobe Marathon moved to the same day, Nov. 25, meaning that one greater metropolitan area held two large-scale marathons simultaneously with combined fields of 50,000.
In Osaka, men's winner Serod Batochir (Mongola) ran 2:11:52 to set a new course record. The top Japanese finisher, Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), was 2nd in a PB 2:15:37, while half-marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) was 3rd in 2:16:26. Defending men's champion Elijah Sang (Kenya) faded badly after running the first part of the race in the lead pack, finishing 8th in 2:33:33.
Defending women's champion Lidia Simon (Romania) won in 2:33:12 by more than one minute over Kenyan Julia Mumbi, with Yuki Ino (Team Noritz) the top Japanese woman in 3rd.
In Kobe, local Hyogo native Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) set a new course record of 2:21:14 for the men's win. Takahashi, with a PB of 2:11:25, was alone in the lead by the first km mark and steadily built his lead the entire race, winning by a final margin of more than 4 minutes. Last year's runner-up Masahiro Taguchi (Mitsubishi Kagaku) was 2nd again.
After the race winner Takahashi commented, "I decided to do this race back in June and my training since then has been solid. I ran for the win, so even though I didn't break 2:20 I'm glad to have won. I had figured I'd probably end up running alone, but I would have been glad to have someone else there to help keep things on track for a better time. It was hard being by myself from the start but again I'm glad I could keep it going alone. I thought the course was going to be flat but there were some tough little ups and downs in there. My face never gives it away when I'm hurting, but I was today. I have to say thanks to all the spectators for the best cheering I've ever had."
In the women's race, Yui Ouchi (Team Noritz) set a new course record of 2:39:52 after running much of the race with her teammate Kaori Oyama, who ultimately faded to 4th. Defending champion Satoko Uetani (Kobe Gakuin Univ.) ran the entire race in 3rd, catching Oyama late in the race but run down by last year's runner-up, mid-40's local amateur Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) who took 2nd in 2:42:21 just two weeks after finishing 7th at the Athens Classic Marathon.
2nd Osaka Marathon
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1. Serod Batochir (Mongolia) - 2:11:52 - CR
2. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:37 - PB
3. Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:16:26
4. Oleg Kulkov (Russia) - 2:16:53
5. Brandon Mull (U.S.A.) - 2:19:21 - PB
1. Lidia Simon (Romania) - 2:33:12
2. Julia Mumbi (Kenya) - 2:34:16
3. Yuki Ino (Team Noritz) - 2:43:24
4. Christina Overbeck-Crawford (U.S.A.) - 2:44:04
5. Yumiko Hara (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:44:24
2nd Kobe Marathon
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1. Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) - 2:21:14 - CR
2. Masahiro Taguchi (Mitsubishi Kagaku) - 2:25:19
3. Yoshiteru Tano (Hyogo Pref.) - 2:27:54
1. Yui Ouchi (Team Noritz) - 2:39:52 - CR
2. Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) - 2:42:21
3. Kaori Oyama (Team Noritz) - 2:42:41
4. Satoko Uetani (Kobe Gakuin Univ.) - 2:42:52
5. Kumi Saito - 2:43:48