Sunday, February 2, 2014

Isshiki CR at Kanagawa Half After Last-Minute Wrong Turn (updated)

by Brett Larner

While many of the top Hakone Ekiden stars were lining up in Shikoku at the Marugame Half, a half dozen of the top Hakone teams had their first and second-years just south of Tokyo for the 36th running of the Kanagawa Half Marathon.  A large pack ran at course record pace through 15 km before Hakone 5th-placer Aoyama Gakuin University's star first-year Tadashi Isshiki took off.  Relative unknowns Daisuke Nakamura (Kokushikan Univ.) and Takuya Maeda (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) went after him, but over the last 3 km Isshiki built a 20-second lead that never cracked.  On track for Kanagawa's first sub-63 clocking, just after the final left turn Isshiki followed a course marshall's flag directing the lead police motorcycle and briefly ran off the course.  He quickly realized the error and recovered but lost precious seconds and had to be content with a 1:03:01 course record in his half marathon debut.

Nakamura outran Maeda for 2nd, also clearing the course record in 1:03:20 with Maeda missing it by a second in 1:03:26.  The top five all ran under 64 minutes, the most ever at Kanagawa and another sign of the increasing level of Kanto-region university men's distance running.  Women's results were thin, but winner Nanami Niwa (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) was very impressive with a 1:14:46 debut, one of the fastest winning times in Kanagawa history.

Local Kanagawa powerhouse Nittai University, the 2013 Hakone Ekiden Champion and 3rd-place this year, gives Kanagawa a pass each year in favor of the Moriya Half Marathon northeast of Tokyo in Ibaraki. In a dual meet with Chiba-based Chuo Gakuin University, Nittai athletes took four of the top five spots.  Last year Niitai's Yoshiki Koizumi outran teammate Hikaru Kato to win by 2 seconds, but this year the roles were reversed as Kato kicked it in for the win over Koizumi by 3 seconds, just dipping under 64 minutes.

36th Kanagawa Half Marathon
Isogo, Kanagawa, 2/2/14
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:01 - CR, debut
2. Daisuke Nakamura (Kokushikan Univ.) - 1:03:20 - PB (CR)
3. Takuya Maeda (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:26 - PB
4. Shun Yamamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:38 - PB
5. Kokoro Watanabe (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:56 - PB
6. Yuta Inage (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:08 - debut
7. Masahiro Uchida (Niigata Rokin) - 1:04:14 - PB
8. Tenta Sasaki (Jobu Univ.) - 1:04:35
9. Kento Kikutani (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:04:37 - PB
10. Yuhei Ushiyama (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:39 - PB

Women's Half Marathon
1. Nanami Niwa (Hakuho Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 1:14:46 - debut
2. Kazusa Yoshinari (Kokushikan Univ.) - 1:20:27
3. Mayumi Uchiyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:20:50

Women's 10 km
1. Maki Izumida (Hakuho Joshi Gakuin H.S) - 33:12
2. Naruha Sato (Eda H.S.) - 33:45
3. Yurina Kinoshita (Eda H.S.) - 34:14

Men's 10 km
1. Katsuhiro Doimaru (Soka Univ.) - 30:41 - debut
2. Yuji Sernard (Soka Univ.) - 30:42
3. Masaya Yamamoto (Soka Univ.) - 30:47

30th Moriya Half Marathon
Moriya, Ibaraki, 2/2/14
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Hikari Kato (Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:58
2. Yoshiki Koizumi (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:01
3. Hajime Sakamoto (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:46
4. Daiki Numata (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:52
5. Yuki Kimura (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:55

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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