Skip to main content

Matsumiya and Tanaka Top Entry Lists at Volksbank Muenster Marathon

by Brett Larner

For the second year in a row, Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon features Japanese athletes in its elite field through the support of JRN.  Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), identical twin brother of 5000 m and 30 km Japanese national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), and veteran Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) are the fastest athletes in the field on paper, Matsumiya with a best of 2:09:18 and amateur Tanaka holding a 2:29:30.  But both ran these times several years ago and will face tough challenges from the best-quality fields Muenster has yet assembled.  Kenyans Bertram Kimutai Keter, Joel Kipsang Kositany and John Kyalo have all run under the course record of 2:10:25 within the last two years, and with favorable conditions forecast for Sunday it may well take a new course record to win.  Pre-race Matsumiya was optimistic, saying, "I'm here to win.  I'm not focused on a time, just whatever it takes to win." Komazawa University graduate Yuya Shiokawa (Team Subaru), in his European debut, said, "My training has been good, and I'm looking to go sub-2:12 for the first time."  In most years that would put him first in Muenster, but this year it may only be good enough for top five.

The ageless Tanaka has consistently run at the 2:37~2:40 level since 2007 but has yet to go under 2:40 this year, with a season best of 2:40:06 at February's Senshu International Marathon.  "I want to run about 2:38 this time," she told reporters pre-race, "and hopefully that will get me into the top three."  Top five may be more realistic, with last year's champion Joan Rotich (Kenya) returning and her countrywomen Frasiah Nyambura Waithaka and Valerie Chemeli Aiyabei and favorite Eleni Gebrehiwot, an Ethiopian who recently acquired German citizenship, all holding bests under the 2:34:58 course record.  Gebrehiwot in particular is hoping to make history with Muenster's first sub-2:30 women's clocking, the time set out by the German federation as the standard for next year's European Athletics Championships.  If the weather turns out right Muenster could move up substantially in the European marathon ranks with this year's race.  Check back for more exclusive coverage of the 12th Volksbank Muenster Marathon as the weekend progresses.

12th Volksbank Muenster Marathon Elite Field Highlights
Muenster, Germany, 9/8/13

Men
Yuko Matsumiya (Japan/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:09:18 (Biwako 2005)
Bertram Kimutai Keter (Kenya) - 2:09:27 (Carpi 2011)
Joel Kipsang Kositany (Kenya) - 2:09:50 (Tiberias 2012)
John Kyalo (Kenya) - 2:10:00 (Zurich 2011)
Kirui Kiprotich (Kenya) - 2:11:34 (Verona 2012)
Peter Kariuki Wanjiru (Kenya) - 2:12:11 (Krakow 2012)
Tamrat Girma Elanso (Ethiopia) - 2:14:17 (Muenster 2011)
Yuya Shiokawa (Japan/Team Subaru) - 2:14:49 (Tokyo 2013)
Evans Kipkorir Taiget (Kenya) - 2:14:53 (Bonn 2013)
Elijah Chelelgo Chebet (Kenya) - debut

Women
Chihiro Tanaka (Japan/AthleC AC) - 2:29:30 (Nagoya Int'l Women's 2002)
Eleni Gebrehiwot (Germany) - 2:32:31 (Carpi 2010)
Frasiah Nyambura Waithaka (Kenya) - 2:33:31 (Brighton 2013)
Valerie Chemeli Aiyabei (Kenya) - 2:33:40 (Kisumu 2012)
Joan Rotich (Kenya) - 2:35:37 (Linz 2013)
Meseret Eshetu Deme (Ethiopia) - 2:42:** (Abebe Bikila 2012)
Mahlet Melese Behailu (Ethiopia) - 2:44:43 (Toulouse 2011)
Christi Dorschel (Germany) - 2:45:34 (Essen 2012)

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

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…

Kamulu Runs 10000 m World Lead, Ahn Breaks Korean National Record, Tamura Clears 28 Minutes, Niiya Back on Track in Fukagawa

National records fell for the third meet in a row in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Longtime Japan resident Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) had a shockingly good run in the women's 10000 m A-heat, following up her 1:06:56 bronze medal run at the Valencia World Half Marathon Championships by lopping over a minute off her 10000 m best with a 2018 world-leading time of 30:41.85.

Kamulu lapped the entire field, her nearest competitor Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) returning from a 2:23:46 marathon PB in Osaka in January to take 30 seconds off her own best in 32:13.87. Further back, Seul Ki Ahn broke the South Korean national record set 13 years ago in Fukagawa with a new mark of 32:33.61. Ahn's NR followed the 2:25:41 NR set by Do Yeon Kim at the Seoul International Marathon in March, a miniature renaissance in South Korea women's distance running.

The men's 10000 m A-heat was also decently fast, Andrew Lorot (Subaru) leading fo…