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Oshikawa Over Kawauchi for Okukuma Half Course Record

by Brett Larner

In just its second running the Okukuma Road Race continued to develop into Japan's leading January half marathon, with the Koichi Morishita-coached Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) taking nearly a minute off teammate Hayato Ideue's course record to win a tight pack race in 1:03:36.  In a lead group of nine including Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), 2013 NYC Marathon 6th-place Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), Hakone Ekiden runners Takahiro Gunji (Komazawa Univ.) and Shota Kai (Nittai Univ.), 2013 Tamana Half Marathon winner Daichi Kato (Team Toyota Kyushu) and more, Oshikawa pushed hard near the race's end to get away from Kawauchi and Gunji, opening a lead of 4 seconds over Kawauchi for the win.

Kawauchi, 2nd at last weekend's Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon, was runner-up again in 1:03:40, taking some consolation from bettering Imai, Kato and 2014 New Year Ekiden anchor stage winner Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu), all of whom had beaten him over the half marathon distance in the last year.  Gunji held off Kai for 3rd in 1:03:44 to take top university honors just off his PB.  The top 11 all beat Ideue's course record of 1:04:31, Ideue himself taking 12th in 1:04:47.

The high school boys' 10 km division was deeply competitive, the top 20 all breaking 31 minutes.  Hiroki Koga (Omuta H.S.) was the fastest of the day, winning in a sizeable course record of 30:09.

Results at the 38th running of the Tokyo-area Chiba Marine Half Marathon were considerably more understated.  Kenyan Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.) turned in a quality 33:12 to win the women's 10 km by exactly 4 minutes, but half marathon times were relatively slow.  Shinichi Taniguchi (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) took the men's race in 1:06:12, Akiko Sugo winning the women's race in 1:17:55 over former Yamada Denki corporate team member Maiko Murayama.

2nd Okukuma Road Race
Kumagun, Kumamoto, 1/19/14
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:36 - CR
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:40
3. Takahiro Gunji (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:44
4. Shota Kai (Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:48
5. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:55
6. Hiroto Kanamori (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:03:56
7. Kentaro Inoue (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:04 - PB
8. Shota Miyagami (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:05
9. Daichi Kato (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:07
10. Shun Yamamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:20

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Hiroki Koga (Omuta H.S.) - 30:09 - CR
2. Keisuke Arima (Omuta H.S.) - 30:23
3. Hiroki Fukushima (Chinzei H.S.) - 30:25
4. Ryo Sakamoto (Chinzei H.S.) - 30:29
5. Kohei Kawaguchi (Chinzei H.S.) - 30:30

Women's 5 km
1. Junko Katsuki (Kumamoto Shinai Joshi H.S.) - 16:27
2. Sayaka Onitsuka (Miyazaki Nichidai Prep H.S.) - 16:34
3. Kyoka Nakagawa (Kumamoto Shinai Joshi H.S.) - 16:39
4. Nana Muramoto (Yamaga J.H.S.) - 16:46
5. Natsumi Furukawa (Ariake H.S.) - 16:53

38th Chiba Marine Half Marathon
Chiba, 1/19/14
complete results coming shortly

Women's Half Marathon
1. Akiko Sugo - 1:17:55
2. Maiko Murayama (Niigata T&F Assoc.) - 1:19:00
3. Moe Hashimoto (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:19:53

Men's Half Marathon
1. Shinichi Taniguchi (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:12
2. Masahiro Uchida (Niigata T&F Assoc.) - 1:06:19
3. Yuki Tagomori (Kanto Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:19

Women's 10 km
1. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Univ. Ent.) - 33:12
2. Misaki Yokouma - 37:12
3. Kanako Fujiishi - 37:21

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


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