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Barsoton Over Karemi in Fukagawa

by Brett Larner
photo by Kazuyuki Sugimatsu

2013 World Cross-Country Championships junior silver medalist Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) made a solid debut over 10000 m on June 29 at the Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet, narrowly winning the A-heat in 27:33.13 after leading much of the race. Less than a stride behind, former Sera H.S. star Jeremiah Karemi (Team Toyota Kyushu) took nearly a minute off his best as he finished in 27:33.38.  Now coached by Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita, Karemi is one of two Kenyans to pick where late Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru left off at the Toyota Kyushu team.

21-year-old Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), in the all-time Japanese top ten over both 10000 m and half marathon, was 7th in 28:02.36 to lead the Japanese contingent in the unusually deep heat, where 26 men broke 29 minutes.  Miyawaki raised eyebrows by announcing post-race that he plans to make his marathon debut in the upcoming season. Next behind him, London Olympian and 2:08 marathoner Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) and 2013 5000 m national champion Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) both ran new PBs, each clearing 28:20 for the first time.

In the women's 10000 m A-heat Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) ran 32:35.79 to take the win over marathoner Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) and Kenyan Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki).  Further back, Moscow World Championships marathon team member Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), just back from altitude training in the United States, was 4th in a relatively flat 32:42.56.  Veteran Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) added yet another sub-33 clocking to her credentials as she took 11th in 32:58.14.

Having won the 3000 m earlier this week in this season's first Hokuren Distance Challenge meet, Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) backed it up with another victory in the 5000 m A-heat as he outran Ethiopian Awol Kedir (Team Yasukawa Denki) in 13:23.89. Moscow World Championships 10000 m team member Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) ran a season-best 13:30.77 for 4th, but his Moscow teammate Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) was a DNF at 3000 m after having run 3:48.53 for 2nd in the 1500 m a few hours earlier.  Absent a 5000 m for the women, Mary Waithira (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) won the 3000 m A-heat in 9:03.73 by five seconds over Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei).

Other notable action came in the men's 10000 m B and C-heats.  In the B-heat, newcomer Abayne Ayele (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) led a five-man Ethiopian pack in 27:57.51.  Just starting his sophomore year at 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University, Hideto Yamanaka was the top Japanese man at 6th overall in a new PB of 28:26.03.  Hakone runner up Toyo University's Masaya Taguchi was next in 28:37.37 in his 10000 m debut, an apparent collegiate 10000 m debut national record.  In the C-heat, 2013 Sendai International Half Marathon winner Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) returned to action with a perfunctory 28:34.59 win over Toyota Kyushu's other new Kenyan, Titus Waroru and former Nihon University ace Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Team Monteroza).

The Hokuren Distance Challenge continues July 3.

2013 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet Highlights
Fukagawa, Hokkaido, 6/29/13
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:33.13 - debut
2. Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Team Toyota Kyushu) - 27:33.38 - PB
3. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 27:54.35
4. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:58.02
5. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 27:59.11
6. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 28:02.18
7. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 28:02.36
8. Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 28:13.23 - PB
9. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 28:15.92 - PB
10. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 28:16.99 - PB

Women's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 32:35.79
2. Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) - 32:38.62
3. Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:38.71
4. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 32:42.56
5. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 32:45.56
6. Rina Yamazaki (Team Panasonic) - 32:49.90
7. Sairi Maeda (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:51.53
8. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 32:53.48
9. Misato Tanaka (Team Sysmex) - 32:55.66
10. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 32:57.11

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 13:23.89
2. Awol Kedir (Ethiopia/Team Yasukawa Denki) - 13:29.87
3. Bernard Kimani (Kenya/Team Yakult) - 13:30.18
4. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 13:30.77
5. Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 13:38.98
6. Yuki Arimura (Meiji Univ.) - 13:43.20 - PB
7. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 13:44.01
8. Hideyuki Tanaka (Team Toyota) - 13:45.28
9. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:46.32
10. Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) - 13:47.58
DNF - Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.)

Women's 3000 m A-Heat
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:03.73
2. Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 9:08.43
3. Yuka Inami (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 9:15.43
4. Miyuki Gokan (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:19.71
5. Tomoyo Yamamoto (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:22.12

Men's 1500 m
1. Ronald Kemoi (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 3:45.39
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 3:48.53
3. Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) - 3:48.97
4. Koki Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 3:49.29
5. Kenta Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 3:50.48

Men's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Abayne Ayele (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) - 27:57.51
2. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 28:01.01
3. Million Zewdie (Ethiopia/Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 28:02.86
4. Meraku Abera (Ethiopia/Team Kurosaki Harima) - 28:09.97
5. Agato Yashin Hasen (Ethiopia/Team Chuo Hatsujo) - 28:12.82
6. Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 28:26.03 - PB
7. Masaya Taguchi (Toyo Univ.) - 28:37.37 - debut
8. Hiroki Mitsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 28:42.97 - PB
9. Shota Yamaguchi (Team Fujitsu) - 28:43.83
10. Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 28:44.57 - PB

Women's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Katsuki Suga (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 33:19.19
2. Manami Kamitanida (Team Hitachi) - 33:26.32
3. Yukiko Okuno (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:36.90
4. Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) - 33:46.12
5. Miyu Mogi (Josai Univ.) - 33:46.45

Men's 10000 m C-Heat
1. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:34.59
2. Titus Waroru (Kenya/Team Toyota Kyushu) - 28:37.15
3. Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Team Monteroza) - 28:42.85
4. Ryosuke Maki (Team Osaka Gas) - 29:08.01
5. Kenta Iinuma (Team Sagawa Express) - 29:14.44

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2013 Kazuyuki Sugimatsu
all rights reserved

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