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Akaba, Maruyama Win Fast National Corporate Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

Course record holder Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) ran 1:08:59 to claim her second National Corporate Half Marathon Championships victory Mar. 17 in Yamaguchi. With the first sub-1:09 by a Japanese woman since her 1:08:11 course record in 2008 Akaba outran ekiden star Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), who made a solid debut in 1:09:18. Having faltered in recent seasons and missing the London Olympics, Akaba will run next month's London Marathon, the site of her best marathon to date, in a bid to make the Moscow World Championships team.  Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) won the women's 10 km in 32:48 by a margin of 7 seconds.

In the men's race 22-year-old Fumihiro Maruyama (Team Asahi Kasei), 2nd behind Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) at last month's Kumanichi 30 km, won in a PB 1:01:15, outrunning Kenyans Johana Maina (Team Fujitsu) and, in his last run in Japan, Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin).  Maruyama's time was good enough to tie the all-time Japanese #8 mark, securing his place among the best of Japan's youngest elite set.

2013 National Corporate Half Marathon Championships
Yamaguchi, 3/17/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Fumihiro Maruyama (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:01:15
2. Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:28
3. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:01:43
4. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 1:02:06
5. Alex Mwangi Kenya/Team YKK) - 1:02:09
6. Muryo Takase (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:12
7. Tomohiro Shiiya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:02:15
8. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:02:19
9. Kazuki Onishi (Team Kanebo) - 1:02:21
10. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 1:02:27

Women
1. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:08:59
2. Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:09:18
3. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:09:45
4. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 1:10:17
5. Yurie Doi (Team Starts) - 1:10:50
6. Yuka Tokuda (Team Starts) - 1:11:00
7. Aya Nagata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:11:22
8. Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 1:11:46
9. Sakiko Matsumi (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:11:47
10. Nanami Matsuura (Team Tenmaya) - 1:11:59

Women's 10 km
1. Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:48
2. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 32:55
3. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:58
4. Yui Okada (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 32:58
5. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 33:01

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
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Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
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