by Brett Larner
The Nagoya Women's Marathon continues on in its new format as the world's largest women-only marathon, having added a mass-participation field to its longstanding small elite race to stay relevant in the booming Japanese amateur marathon market. This year sports one of the better elite fields in Nagoya history, with five sub-2:24 women, a solid sub-2:30 second pack, and a small group of noteworthy first-timers.
The #1 seed is Russian Mariya Konovalova with a best of 2:22:46 Chicago 2013, and it looks pretty clear that she and Kenyan trio Helena Kirop, Agnes Kiprop and Agnes Barsosio are there to pull Moscow World Championships 4th-placer Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) along to something better than her 2:23:34 winning time from last year. There's a gap back to the next group at the 2:25-2:27 level, where Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia), the eyebrow-raising Zivile Balciunaite (Lithuania), Miranda Boonstra (Netherlands) and Ashete Dido (Ethiopia) are ideally positioned for the rest of the Japanese women, of whom Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) has the best chance of making a breakthrough.
Most promising among the first-timers is two-time National Corporate Half Marathon champion Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), a former teammate of retired Berlin World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki and coached by Tokyo World Championships silver medalist Sachiko Yamashita, but her training partner Sakiko Matsumi (Team Daiichi Seimei) also has quality half marathon credentials behind her and, working together, the pair could be a threat from the start. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) has weaker half marathon credentials, but a solid 1:43:46 win at last year's Kumanichi 30 km suggests she has the skills to handle longer distances.
Nagoya also features a half marathon open to both men and women as part of its mass-participation component. Sure to be missed in most coverage of the race will be the presence of Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), who won a place in Nagoya by entering online like the rest of the amateur field. Kawauchi will run Nagoya just a week after his serious shot at running 2:07 at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.
The Nagoya Women's Marathon will be broadcast live nationwide. Check back closer to race date for details on live coverage options.
2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon
click here for detailed field listing
Mariya Konovalova (Russia) - 2:22:46 (Chicago 2013)
Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia) - 2:22:56 (Osaka Women's 2005)
Ryoko Kizaki (Japan/Team Daihatsu) - 2:23:34 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Helena Kirop (Kenya) - 2:23:37 (Venice 2011)
Agnes Kiprop (Kenya) - 2:23:54 (Frankfurt 2011)
Agnes Barsosio (Kenya) - 2:24:03 (Daegu 2013)
Zivile Balciunaite (Lithuania) - 2:25:15 (Tokyo Women's 2005)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/Team Toto) - 2:26:17 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Yoko Miyauchi (Japan/Team Kyocera) - 2:26:23 (Nagoya Women's 2012)
Miranda Boonstra (Netherlands) - 2:27:32 (Rotterdam 2012)
Ashete Dido (Ethiopia) - 2:27:47 (Kosice 2013)
Mayumi Fujita (Japan/Team Juhachi Ginko) - 2:29:02 (Yokohama Women's 2012)
Asami Kato (Japan/Team Panasonic) - 2:30:26 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Misato Horie (Japan/Team Noritz) - 2:30:52 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Jessica Trengove (Australia) - 2:31:02 (Nagoya Women's 2012)
Korei Omata (Japan/Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 2:31:13 (Nagoya Women's 2012)
Tomomi Tanaka (Japan/Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:09:24 (National Corporate Half 2014)
Sakiko Matsumi (Japan/Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:10 (Marugame Half 2013)
Kumi Ogura (Japan/Team Toto) - 1:10:51 (Marugame Half 2013)
Yuka Hakoyama (Japan/Team Wacoal) - 1:11:29 (Marugame Half 2013)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Japan/Team Denso) - 1:13:27 (Matsue Women's Half 2008)
(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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