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Weekend Track and Road Roundup

by Brett Larner
video by akuy125

Domestic Japanese action this weekend focused on the annual National Sports Festival and on three competitive half marathons.  Women's 5000 m Japanese year leader Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) started the weekend off with a win in 15:43.03 in a close pack race at the National Sports Festival 5000 m.  2013 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) was next across the line in 15:46.30, with 3rd through 9th all finishing within less than two seconds of her.  Kenyan Charles Ndungu (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) had an easier time in the junior men's 5000 m, winning by nearly 20 seconds in 13:56.27 over Suguru Hirosue (Kobayashi H.S.).

Course record holder Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) enjoyed an even greater level of domination in winning his third Ichinoseki International Half Marathon, improving on his time last year in clocking 1:02:11.  Runner-up Yuta Koyama (Komazawa University) was more than four minutes back in 1:06:30.  Another Kenyan, John Maina (Toho Refine) took the men's 10 km division in 29:55.

Koyama's teammate Shota Baba (Komazawa University) had more success at the Sapporo Half Marathon, the only runner under 65 as he won in 1:04:48 over independent Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business), 2nd in 1:05:04, and a field of corporate and collegiate rivals.  A more impressive result came in the women's race, where 2011 World University Games half marathon bronze medalist Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei) ran a strong 1:10:27, one second outside the Japanese top ten for the year), to win over teammate Sakiko Matsumi.  Daiichi Seimei head coach Sachiko Yamashita has been putting a heavy emphasis on the half marathon this year as the 2011 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team seeks to return to the top this December after losing to rival Universal Entertainment in 2012.



Elsewhere, perpetual racing machine Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a practice-level effort at the Hirosaki Shirahama Apple Half Marathon, winning in 1:04:42 with a margin of almost five minutes over runner-up Takahiro Yamauchi.  "I felt good today," he told reporters post-race.  "This was the kind of weather I like."  Kawauchi next races the Oct. 13 Melbourne Marathon in a tune-up for the Nov. 3 ING New York City Marathon.

National Sports Festival
Ajinomoto Stadium, Chofu, Tokyo, 10/4~8/13
click here for complete results

Senior Women's 5000 m
1. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:43.03
2. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:46.30
3. Yuka Ando (Mizuno) - 15:46.53
4. Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:47.02
5. Yuika Mori (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:47.21
6. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 15:47.79
7. Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) - 15:47.87
8. Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) - 15:47.94
9. Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 15:48.04
10. Sairi Maeda (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:51.24

Junior Men's 5000 m
1. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:56.27
2. Suguru Hirosue (Kobayashi H.S.) - 14:15.06
3. Kazuto Kawabata (Ayabe H.S.) - 14:15.52

38th Sapporo Half Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 10/6/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Shota Baba (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:48
2. Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business) - 1:05:04
3. Tomohiko Takenaka (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:05:17
4. Kazuhito Sato (Hosei Univ.) - 1:05:28
5. Koki Tanaka (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:05:52

Women
1. Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:27
2. Sakiko Matsumi (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:13:34
3. Misaki Sakamoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 1:18:01

32nd Ichinoseki International Half Marathon
Ichinoseki, Iwate, 10/6/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:11
2. Yuta Koyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:06:30
3. Toshiyuki Fujimatsu (Crest AC) - 1:06:51

Women
1. Yukie Tamura - 1:22:05
2. Mina Ogawa - 1:22:44
3. Yumi Sato - 1:23:41

Men's 10 km
1. John Maina (Kenya/Toho Refine) - 29:55
2. Tomoya Mori - 30:47
3. Shohei Ogata - 31:25

11th Hirosaki Shirahama Apple Half Marathon
Hirosaki, Aomori, 10/6/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:42
2. Takahiro Yamauchi - 1:09:24
3. Hiroki Komatsu - 1:12:24

Women
1. Eri Suzuki - 1:19:25
2. Futaba Aoki - 1:25:54
3. Kazuko Nakamura - 1:26:11

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
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