Skip to main content

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

Comments

Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Meet Ken Nakayama

Chuo University fourth-year Ken Nakayama is running Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the eighth year that the New York Road Runners have invited top Japanese university men from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run their half. You might have seen his training partner Kensuke Horio finish 5th in the Tokyo Marathon in his debut a couple of weeks ago. Nakayama is one of the very top graduating seniors in Japan this year, but his route to that level has been one of the most unconventional.

Japanese distance running is highly systematically organized, with top high schools feeding into top universities where the best runners will run the Hakone Ekiden and get recruited to top corporate teams and then go on to become the country's top marathoners. Scouting at the university level is intense, and for the most part it's pretty clear early on in high school who the cream of the crop are going to be.

Nakayama was nobody in high school. He played soccer in junior…

The 2020 Olympic Trials Qualifiers and the New Olympic Standards

Sunday's Nagoya Women's Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon pretty much wrapped up qualification for the Sept. 15 MGC Race, Japan's new 2020 Olympic trials in the marathon. There's still a chance for people who haven't qualified yet to get in if they can clear the wildcard standards, 2:24:00 or a two-race 2:28:00 average for women and 2:08:30 or a 2:11:00 average for men, by the end of April. At least two men with good chances of making it, Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) and Asuka Tanaka (Hiramatsu Byoin), are planning to race again in April to try to go that route, and there will probably be others. But realistically the numbers of qualifiers probably won't change too much from what they are now.

As of the end of Sunday's races, 14 women and 30 men have qualified. On the women's side, the Tenmaya corporate team, the most successful at putting women on national teams in the marathon, has produced the most qualifiers with three, Honami Maeda, Mizuki …