Skip to main content

Karoki Over Tadese, Jepkesho Over Kiplagat at Gifu Seiryu Half

by Brett Larner

Tokyo-based 2014 Lisbon Half Marathon winner Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA RC) and little-known Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) upstaged big names Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) and Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) to take the men's and women's title at Sunday's fourth edition of the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon.

Tadese led through 5 km in 14:17 with Karoki relaxing two seconds back at the rear of the lead pack of Africans.  From there Karoki moved to the front, pushing the pace to a 14:06 split until by 10 km only he, Tadese and Japan-based Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele (Team Mazda) remained.  Things slowed over the next 5 km, but despite the slackened pace Karoki picked up a slight lead.  Heading into the last 5 km as temperatures rose Karoki said goodbye for good, dropping a 14:03 split from 15 km and 20 km to open his lead over world record holder Tadese to 1:14.  Closing at near-world record speed, Karoki crossed the line in 1:00:02, taking the win and Tadese's course record.  Tadese was next in 1:01:34 and Ayele 3rd in 1:01:43, his gap to Tadese never changing after he initially lost touch.

In the Japanese chase pack, just a week after his season-best 1:03:23 at the Sendai Half, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) led 2008 World Half Marathon 5th-placer Yusei Nakao (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and sub-62 man Takahiro Yamanaka (Team Honda) at a steady sub-64 pace throughout the race.  Nakao, who dropped out of last weekend's Golden Games in Nobeoka 10000 m, craftily tailed Kawauchi before outkicking him in the final kilometer to take the top Japanese position at 10th in 1:03:46.  Kawauchi was two seconds back in 11th, Yamanaka another four seconds behind him.  "After last week I'm really relieved that things went OK," Nakao told JRN post-race.  "I'm excited to get into marathon training now."  For his part, Kawauchi commented, "I was looking to run 63 so everything went according to plan.  Now I focus on the Gold Coast Marathon."

In the women's race, two-time World Champion Kiplagat and the unknown Jepkesho were alone virtually from the gun, 42 seconds ahead of their nearest competition, Katie McGregor (U.S.A.) by 5 km and a minute and a half ahead by 10 km. Jepkesho, with a best of only 1:11:50 compared to Kiplagat's 1:08:48 official PB and aided 1:07:41, seemed to be untroubled by racing one of the greats at PB pace, but when the pair hit 20 km almost side-by-side she threw down a kick that put 25 seconds on Kiplagat by the time each hit the finish line.  Jepkesho recorded a 57-second PB of 1:10:53, Kiplagat next in 1:11:18.

McGregor faded badly after 10 km, dropping to 6th as she was run down by Japanese athletes Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso), Hiroko Shoi (Team Denso) and Chika Nakama (Team Aichi Denki).  Mizuguchi was the first of the trio to finish, rounding out the podium in 3rd in 1:14:31.

4th Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon
Gifu, 5/18/14

1. Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA RC) - 1:00:02 - CR
2. Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) - 1:01:34
3. Abayneh Ayele (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) - 1:01:43
4. Patrick Muendo Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:56 - PB
5. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 1:02:08 - debut
6. Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Arata Project) - 1:02:50
7. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:02:54 - debut
8. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:03:08
9. Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Kenya/Team Omokawa Lumber) - 1:03:38
10. Yusei Nakao (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:46
11. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:48

1. Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 1:10:53 - PB
2. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:11:18
3. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 1:14:31
4. Hiroko Shoi (Team Denso) - 1:15:31
5. Chika Nakama (Team Aichi Denki) - 1:16:05
6. Katie McGregor (U.S.A.) - 1:16:29
7. Marina Seki (Team Aichi Denki) - 1:16:33
8. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakugei Univ.) - 1:16:35
9. Rina Asano (Team Yutaka Giken) - 1:16:38
10. Mamiko Baba (Team Kojima Press) - 1:17:11

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


TokyoRacer said…
Omokawa Lumber? What/where is that?
Anna Novick said…
The unstoppable Kawauchi!

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…