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Imai and Ito Win Shibetsu Half Marathon in 29-Degree Temperatures

http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/world/sports/20130721055950.html
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20130721/ath13072115580000-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Former Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage star Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) won the July 21 Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon, tying the course record of 1:03:24.  Defending champion Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) won the women's race in 1:12:27, with rookie Sayuri Oka (Team Daihatsu) taking the women's 10 km in 33:24. Last year's men's winner, Moscow World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), ended his day in 22nd after running only 1:06:45.

With temperatures climbing to 29 degrees, Kawauchi lost touch with the lead pack after 7 km.  By halfway he was 15 seconds behind, and in the second half he rapidly lost speed.  "My legs felt a little heavy," said Kawauchi.

Having done the race as part of his training it was something of a miss for the amateur runner.  "My goal here was not to completely blow it, but I blew it entirely.  I have to find a way to beat the heat," he added unhappily.  Including June's Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon where he suffered dehydration, Kawauchi has shown weakness running hot conditions.  Temperatures in Moscow in August average 22 degrees.  "That's better than other summer races," Kawauchi said.  "I'm glad they put it somewhere cool."

Following an acupuncture session to aid his recovery this week Kawauchi plans to run the July 28 Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km road race for his final pre-Worlds tuneup.  But with less than a month to go to the big day on August 17 his result in Shibetsu has to have left him with his share of uncertainty.

27th Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon and 10 km
Shibetsu, Hokkaido, 7/21/13
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:24 - CR tie
2. Leul Gebreselassie (Ethiopia/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 1:03:41
3. Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:01 - PB
4. Shingo Mishima (Team Toyota) - 1:04:03
5. Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:04:04
6. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:04:13
7. Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:57
8. Kazuki Ikenaga (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:04:58
9. Shoya Kurokawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:05:06
10. Masaki Toda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 1:05:19
-----
22. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:06:45

Women's Half Marathon
1. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:12:27
2. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:12:52
3. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 1:13:54
4. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:14:16
5. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 1:14:24
6. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 1:14:27
7. Yuka Hakoyama (Team Wacoal) - 1:14:52
8. Ayaka Hitomi (Team Shimamura) - 1:15:24
9. Saki Tabata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:16:22
10. Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) - 1:16:45

Women's 10 km
1. Sayuri Oka (Team Daihatsu) - 33:24
2. Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) - 33:50
3. Misato Tanaka (Team Sysmex) - 33:53
4. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 33:56
5. Yui Okada (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 34:03

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