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Chepyego 1:08:24 CR at Sanyo Women's Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
click here for video highlights courtesy of Sanyo Newspapers

The world's last elite half marathon of the year took place Dec. 23 in Okayama, with a large group of elite Japanese and foreign women squaring off at the Sanyo Women's Road Race half marathon and 10 km. #1-ranked Japan-based Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) was the class of the field in the half-marathon division, blasting a solo 1:08:24 course record to take the 2013 title.  Facing impending retirement, 2013 London Marathon 3rd-placer Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) ran a race characteristically unmotivated to compete for the win, sitting far back in the pack until late in the race and then turning on her usual surge to move up through the field, ultimately taking 2nd a minute behind the highly motived Chepyego in 1:09:24.  Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Entertainment) and Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) ran up in the chase formation with Akaba early in the race before fading, Wanjugu taking 3rd in 1:09:36 in her half marathon debut and Ito dropping to 8th in 1:11:06.  Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) rounded out the sub-70 contingent, 4th overall in a PB 1:09:45.

With Sanyo serving as a selection race for the Japanese World Half Marathon team for the first time, the top few Japanese women earned consideration for the team.  Akaba has already declared her retirement following January's Osaka International Women's Marathon, meaning Iwade and 5th-placer Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei), making her marathon debut in Osaka, may be on the Copenhagen starting line.

In the 10 km division, Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) had an easy win over the domestic competiton, winning by 12 seconds in 32:24.  Former Ritsumeikan Univ. ace Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) was the top Japanese finisher, 3rd overall in 32:28.

Sanyo Women's Road Race Top Results
Okayama, 12/23/13

Half Marathon
click here for complete results
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 1:08:24 - CR, PB
2. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:09:24
3. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Entertainment) - 1:09:36 - debut
4. Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) - 1:09:45 - debut
5. Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:03 - PB
6. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:10:11 - PB
7. Desi Davila (U.S.A.) - 1:10:51
8. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:11:06
9. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 1:11:23
10. Kotomi Takayama (Team Sysmex) - 1:12:04

10 km
click here for complete results
1. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 32:24
2. Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:36
3. Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) - 32:38
4. Mizuki Tanimoto (Team Tenmaya) - 32:50
5. Kanayo Miyata (Team Tokinosumika) 33:04
6. Megumi Hirai (Canon AC Kyushu) - 33:09
7. Sachi Tanaka (Sports Yamagata 21) - 33:13
8. Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) - 33:17
9. Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 33:31
10. Yuko Aoki (Canon AC Kyushu) - 33:43

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

simonfranklin said…
boring! no yuki news ;) happy Christmas and thank you for keeping me informed about my favourite runner this year! have a good one!
Anonymous said…
Why so negative about Akaba? Others couldn't run that time if they died trying... I don't see why you see as a slack effort?

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