by Brett Larner
Coached by Koichi Morishita, the Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist who turned Samuel Wanjiru into a world-beater, Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Kenya/Team Toyota Kyushu) had a solid debut over ten miles as he won the 39th Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler in 45:51, one of the fastest times in the world this year. Karemi beat a massive chase pack containing many of Japan's best current track runners and marathoners by more than 40 seconds, setting both himself and Morishita's Toyota Kyushu corporate team up for a big day at next month's New Year Ekiden national championships.
In the chase pack, rookie pro Natsuki Terada (Team JR Higashi Nihon), famous for taking a wrong turn in the last 200 m of the Hakone Ekiden anchor stage as a first-year at Koku Gakuin University, showed the strength of the kick that got him back into position at Hakone by winning an at least nine-way sprint finish for 2nd in 46:33. Yuya Konishi led three other Toyota Kyushu runners into the top ten, taking 3rd in 46:35 with 2:09:30 marathoner teammate Masato Imai 5th in 46:37 and Yuki Oshikawa 10th in 46:40.
2:08 marathoners Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) and Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) were 13th and 15th in 46:44 and 46:47, while their fellow National Team member Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) was 28th in 47:18. Another 2:08 National Team member, Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) was 52nd in 48:04.
Altogether the field set new world records for depth, with the top 22 men breaking 47 minutes to obliterate the 15-year-old record of 13 men sub-47 set in Kosa in 1999. 51 men broke 48 minutes, likewise erasing the old record of 45 set in Kosa in 2007.
In the women's 5 km, high schooler Mao Ichiyama (Izumi Chuo H.S.) took down members of the Miyazaki Ginko corporate women's team, winning a photo finish against Miyakazi Ginko's Yuki Nakamura with both clocking 16:26. Shoma Murakami (Kaishin H.S.) won the high school boys' 10 km by two seconds in 30:17.
39th Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race
Kosa, Kumamoto, 12/7/14
click here for complete results
Men's 10 Miles
1. Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Kenya/Team Toyota Kyushu) - 45:51
2. Natsuki Terada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 46:33
3. Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:35
4. Aritaka Kajiwara (Team Press Kogyo) - 46:36
5. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:37
6. Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) - 46:37
7. Shintaro Miwa (Team NTN) - 46:37
8. Yo Yazawa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:38
9. Akinobu Murasawa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:40
10. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:40
High School Boys' 10 km
1. Shoma Murakami (Kaishin H.S.) - 30:17
2. Yuma Yoshitake (Tosu H.S.) - 30:19
3. Takumi Saito (Miyazaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 30:19
Women's 5 km
1. Mao Ichiyama (Izumi Chuo H.S.) - 16:26
2. Yuki Nakamura (Team Miyazaki Ginko) - 16:26
3. Kaede Shinchi (Team Miyazaki Ginko) - 16:52
(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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