Skip to main content

Kipruto and Chepkemoi Take 2013 Lille Half Marathon Titles

by Brett Larner

Daegu World Championships marathon silver medalist Vincent Kipruto and Diane Chepkemoi made it a Kenyan double at the Aug. 31 Lille International Half Marathon, winning close men's and women's races in 1:00:39 and 1:10:14. After a slow opening 5 km, Kipruto, Philemon Rono Cherop (Kenya), Habtamu Assefa (Ethiopia) and a handful of others stepped up the pace, grinding the pack down over the middle stages of the race until only three remained.  Halfway through the second lap of the two-loop course Kipruto and Cherop shook free of Assefa, running side by side all the way to a sprint finish that saw Kipruto, this year's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon winner, take the title in a lean across the line. Assefa faded over the final quarter of the race but held on to 3rd in 1:01:05. Four top-placing Japanese men from March's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships also raced Lille with support from JRN, Muryo Takase (Team Nissin Shokuhin) finishing first in 1:02:55 for 16th place.

The four Japanese women in Lille made a bigger impact on the race.  23-year-old Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) took control of the first loop of the course, leading until near 10 km when 2013 National Corporate Half Marathon winner and London Marathon 3rd-placer Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) took over with a surge that broke up the leading pack of seven women.  Running just six days after finishing 2nd at the Hokkaido Marathon, Akaba pushed the pace for 4 km and dropped competitors one by one until Chepkemoi responded with an aggressive surge of her own.  Monica Jepkoech (Kenya) responded as Akaba fell behind, but over the next two km Akaba worked her way back up into contact. Heading into the park around the Citadel of Lille for the final 5 km of the race Jepkoech slipped back as Chepkemoi threw in a series of surges to get rid of Akaba.  Each time Akaba returned, but over the final two km Chepkemoi proved too strong and pulled away to win by a margin of 10 seconds.  Jepkoech was another 16 seconds back in 3rd, with early leader Ohara taking 4th in 1:11:24.

Having set the course record at July's Gold Coast Airport Marathon and finished 2nd in Hokkaido last weekend prior to Lille, Akaba seems to be experimenting with a Yuki Kawauchi-style high-volume racing approach.  She next heads to Boulder for altitude training ahead of October's Chicago Marathon, her fourth marathon of 2013 and third in 3 1/2 months.

The Japanese team at the 2013 Lille International Half Marathon:
front, L-R: Yukiko Akaba, Ayumi Sakaida, Rei Ohara, Nanami Matsuura
back, L-R: Minato Oishi, Muryo Takase, Akihiko Tsumurai, Kenji Yamamoto


2013 Lille International Half Marathon
Lille, France, 8/31/13
click here for complete results

Women
1. Diane Chepkemoi (Kenya) - 1:10:14
2. Yukiko Akaba (Japan/Team Hokuren) - 1:10:24
3. Monica Jepkoech (Kenya) - 1:10:40
4. Rei Ohara (Japan/Team Tenmaya) - 1:11:24
5. Fatuma Sado (Ethiopia) - 1:12:27
6. Ayumi Sakaida (Japan/Team Daihatsu) - 1:12:36
7. Afera Godfay (Ethiopia) - 1:13:19
8. Letebrhan Haylay (Ethiopia) - 1:13:28
9. Chaltu Dida (Ethiopia) - 1:13:42
10. Nanami Matsuura (Japan/Team Tenmaya) - 1:13:57

Men
1. Vincent Kipruto (Kenya) - 1:00:39
2. Philemon Rono Cherop (Kenya) - 1:00:39
3. Habtamu Assefa (Ethiopia) - 1:01:05
4. Atsedu Tsegay (Ethiopia) - 1:01:31
5. Abraham Cheroben (Kenya) - 1:01:32
6. Dominic Ondoro (Kenya) - 1:01:45
7. Bonisa Dida (Ethiopia) - 1:01:54
8. Evans Korir (Kenya) - 1:01:55
9. Lawrence Kimaiyo (Kenya) - 1:02:00
10. Mulue Andom (Eritrea) - 1:02:12
-----
16. Muryo Takase (Japan/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:55
21. Minato Oishi (Japan/Team Toyota) - 1:04:09
22. Kenji Yamamoto (JapanTeam Mazda) - 1:04:21
28. Akihiko Tsumurai (Japan/Team Mazda) - 1:06:27

text and photos (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Niiya to Make 10000 m Return at Zatopek:10

All-time Japanese #3 for 10000 m, Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) makes a return to the distance at Australia's Zatopek:10 next week with support from JRN after five years away from the sport. Niiya's history at the distance is short with only four track 10000 m races to her name, but good ones they were, one and all:
31:28.26, 2012 Hyogo Relay Carnival - 1st30:59.19, 2012 London Olympics - 9th31:06.67 MR, 2013 Japanese National Championships - 1st30:56.70, 2013 Moscow World Championships - 5th Following her crushing defeat over the last lap in Moscow after leading the entire race Niiya quit running and everything to do with it. But in the spring this year, now 30, she decided to try to make a comeback in hope of making the 2020 Olympic team in the 10000 m, telling the media, "I still totally hate running, but unfortunately it seems like this is where I belong." 
After three track races from 3000 m to 5000 m between June and October she made a definitive statement of in…

Fukuoka Winner Yuma Hattori: "Running Isn't Fun"

At the Dec. 2 Fukuoka International MarathonYuma Hattori (25, Toyota) ran 2:07:27 to win and become the eighth-fastest Japanese man ever. It was the first time since 2004 that a Japanese man became the Fukuoka champion. Hattori now stands among the leading competitors in the fierce battle to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon team.

Hattori and his younger brother Hazuma Hattori (23, Toenec) were star members of Toyo University's 2014 Hakone Ekiden winning team. They rank among the most famous brothers in Japanese athletics, but neither of them actually wanted to be a runner. "I wanted to play soccer," Hattori said. "Hazuma wanted to play table tennis. We're from the sticks out in Niigata and my junior high school didn't have a soccer team. I thought about joining a club team, but it was too far away."

"My dad had been a decathlete," Hattori continued, "so I started doing track and field as well. My mom was a cross-country skier, so bo…

Iron Injections Remain an Issue in Japanese High School Girls Distance Running

To treat anemia some of the country's top high school ekiden teams inappropriately utilize iron injections that could have a harmful effect on athletes' health.

Iron injections are primarily used to treat serious anemia arising from iron deficiency, but according to experts they also improve endurance. As a result their use has spread across the country over the last 20 years, primarily among female athletes who are more prone to anemia.

Following a 2015 case in which an athlete was confirmed to have suffered liver damage as a result of excess iron levels, in April, 2016 the JAAF issued a warning for coaches to stop the practice of injections, saying, "The accumulation of iron in the internal organs has deleterious effects on the body." In an interview two women who graduated prior to the JAAF's warning talked about their firsthand experience in high school. Under their coaches' direction both used iron injections throughout their high school careers and pro…