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Chicago Marathon - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner
photos by Collin Winter and Dr. Helmut Winter

In the distance behind Kenyan winners Dennis Kimetto and Rita Jeptoo, Japanese runners Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) and Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) each took 7th at the 2013 Chicago Marathon, Sano running almost dead even half splits for a 2:10:29 PB and Akaba fading to 2:27:49 after starting out among the leaders.  Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) also sneaked into the men's top ten, dropping dropping American Matt Tegenkamp in the last 3 km to take 9th in 2:11:29.

Oda started out on 2:10-flat pace, with Sano and other 2:12~2:13 Japanese entrants Kenji Higashino (Team Asahi Kasei), Norihide Fujimori (Team Chugoku Denryoku), Hiroki Tanaka (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and Yoshiki Otsuka (Team Aichi Seiko) running in Tegenkamp's group with Alistair Cragg (Ireland) and Michael Shelley (Australia) at 2:11:30 pace.  As the pace gradually increased toward 2:10 first Oda was absorbed, then the group of Japanese men began to fall away.

After a 1:05:13 first half, 2:10:26 pace, only Sano, Oda and Higashino were left when the sextet hit 25 km on 2:10:16 pace.  By 30 km, on 2:10:00 pace, Higashino had been burned off with pacer Cragg soon to follow.  35 km saw the four remaining men back down to 2:10:16 pace, and over the final 5 km Sano showed the same strength he did in winning his marathon debut in February, pulling away to run down a string of casualties from the lead pack including pre-race favorite Moses Mosop (Kenya).

Akaba followed the opposite trajectory.  Starting out with the leaders on track to go just under 2:23 and looking under control, she began to fade between 20 km and the halfway point which she hit in 1:11:20, four seconds back from the top group.  From there it was a steady slide down in pace, falling as low as 10th but gutting it out to retake places and catching Ethiopian Abebech Afework in the final kilometer for 7th and just missing 6th-place Ethiopian Ehitu Kiros Reda.  Akaba's time of 2:27:49 came up far short of her goal of a sub-2:24, and after having changed her training approach this time to a Kawauchi-style method of doing races as training runs, for which she was curiously mocked by the American broadcasters, she'll no doubt be spending time evaluating what went wrong.

2013 Chicago Marathon
Chicago, IL, 10/13/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2:03:45 - CR, PB
2. Emannuel Mutai (Kenya) - 2:03:52 - PB
3. Sammy Kitwara (Kenya) - 2:05:16 - PB
4. Micah Kogo (Kenya) - 2:06:56 - PB
5. Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) - 2:09:45
6. Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia) - 2:10:10
7. Hiroaki Sano (Japan/Team Honda) - 2:10:29 - PB
8. Moses Mosop (Kenya) - 2:11:19
9. Yoshinori Oda (Japan/Team Toyota) - 2:11:29
10. Matt Tegenkamp (U.S.A.) - 2:12:28 - debut
-----
14. Kenji Higashino (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:53
15. Norihide Fujimori (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:13:55
18. Hiroki Tanaka (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:15:36
20. Yoshiki Otsuka (Team Aichi Seiko) - 2:16:58

Women
1. Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:19:57 - PB
2. Jemima Sumgong Jelegat (Kenya) - 2:20:48 - PB
3. Maria Konovalova (Russia) - 2:22:46 - PB
4. Aliaksandra Duliba (Belarus) - 2:23:44 - debut
5. Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia) - 2:26:42
6. Ehitu Kiros Reda (Ethiopia) - 2:27:42
7. Yukiko Akaba (Japan/Team Hokuren) - 2:27:49
8. Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) - 2:28:38
9. Clara Santucci (U.S.A.) - 2:31:39
10. Melissa White (U.S.A.) - 2:32:37 - PB

text (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2013 Collin Winter and Dr. Helmut Winter
all rights reserved

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