by Brett Larner
videos by Ekiden News
The Ageo City Half Marathon, Japan's major fall half marathon and, jointly with March's National University Half Marathon Championships, the deepest race at its distance in the world, delivered again in perfect conditions for its 27th running. Every year the head coaches of most of the men's university teams bound for Japan's premier sporting event, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, use Ageo to narrow down their rosters to their final Hakone squad, meaning a dedicated and motivated pack of hundreds going for all they're worth and almost unimaginable results. For the last three years the New York City Half Marathon has invited the top two Japanese collegiates in Ageo to run NYC in a relationship set up by JRN, adding an extra drive to the front end of the race.
a cold after returning from the New York City Marathon two weeks ago, began to slip off the back.
Last year in Ageo Singapore's Mok Ying Ren set a men's national record to make the 2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon. Following his lead, Kit Ching Yiu of Hong Kong travelled to Ageo this year to go for the Hong Kong women's national record of 1:16:34. And just got there, crossing the finish line in a 1:16:31 gun time after taking 8 seconds to get across the start line. The pair's records show an interesting new possibility for the Ageo City Half Marathon, a small-town local race that just happens to be one of the world's great elite events, as a destination race of choice for people looking to be pulled along to their best.
27th Ageo City Half Marathon
Ageo, Saitama, 11/16/14
1. Koki Takada (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:02 - PB
2. Takashi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:02:03 - PB
3. Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:18 - debut
4. Shinichiro Nakamura (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:30 - PB
5. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 1:02:31 - PB
6. Shun Inoura (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:32 - PB
7. Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:32 - PB
8. Shun Sato (Waseda Univ.) - 1:02:49 - PB
9. Shun Sakuraoka (Toyo Univ.) - 1:02:53 - PB
10. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:55
1. Kit Ching Yiu (Hong Kong) - 1:16:31 - NR
2. Risa Suzuki (Art Sports) - 1:18:27
3. Mayumi Uchiyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:18:44
4. Hiroko Abasaki (Second Wind AC) - 1:22:04
5. Shuku Iwashita (Restart) - 1:24:22
text and photos (c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
except award ceremony photo c/o Yusuke Inoue