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Wakamatsu Wins Final Himejijo 10-Miler

by Brett Larner

Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin), a graduate of Hakone Ekiden course record holder Toyo University, won the final running of the historic Himejijo Road Race men's 10 miler on Feb. 11. Throwing in a surge at 7 km he easily broke away from the field, which included London Olympics marathoner Ryo Yamamoto (Team SGH Group Sagawa), two-time Himejijo winner Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Monteroza), and Norihisa Imai of Toyo's 2014 Hakone-winning squad, to open a gap of 30 seconds and claim the win unchallenged in 47:38. Tsukasa Morita (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) was a solo 2nd in 48:08, his teammate Jun Shinoto, the 2006 national champion in the 3000 m steeplechase, winning a tight pack race for 3rd in 48:21.

In the women's 5 km, Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. went 1-2 with Tomoka Iwai winning in 16:24 over Tomoka Katada in 16:28.

The Himejijo Road Race is set to be transformed into a mass-participation marathon after 54 years as an elite event.  Look for the new race, the Himeji Castle World Heritage Site Marathon, to open in 2015.  Click here for more background on the format change.

54th Himejijo Road Race
Himeji, Hyogo, 2/11/14
complete results coming shortly

Men's 10 Miles
1. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 47:38
2. Tsukasa Morita (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 48:08
3. Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 48:21
4. Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Monteroza) - 48:24
5. Ryo Yamamoto (Team SGH Group Sagawa) - 48:26
6. Yushi Nowaki (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 48:26
7. Norihisa Imai (Toyo Univ.) - 48:27
8. Naoto Yoshimura (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 48:27
9. Hiromasa Kumahashi (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 48:30
10. Kazuki Muramoto (Hyogo Prefectural Univ.) - 48:34

Women's 5 km
1. Tomoka Iwai (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:24
2. Tomoka Katada (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:28
3. Mami Onuki (Hyogo Univ.) - 16:44

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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The Kawauchi Counter

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Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
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Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
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