translated by Brett Larner
The 63rd running of the Katsuta National Marathon took place Jan. 25 in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki. A total of 20,280 runners took part in the combined men's and women's marathon and 10 km divisions. In the men's marathon, Yosuke Chida (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) claimed his first win in 2:18:15, while 2013 women's winner Manami Kamitanida (Team Hitachi) returned to the top in 2:38:29.
Conditions at the 10:30 start were excellent, with blue skies, 12.0 degree temperatures, 33.2% humidity and a gentle 1.7 m/s northerly wind. Starting on Omotemachi Mall, the marathon course passed in front of Katsuta Station before heading north on Route 245 to Tokaimura where it returned to Ishikawa Exercise Plaza.
In the men's race, Tatsuya Itagaki (Team JP Post) took the lead at 15 km, but near 32.7 km a chase group of three caught him. Chida surged on the hills around 34 km, and when the rest of the group was unable to follow he pushed on to the win alone. In the women's race, Kamitanida ran a stable race to beat 2nd by over five minutes. Upper-placing finishers in both races will receive invitations to run April's Boston Marathon.
15th Asian Marathon Championships held as part of Sunday's Hong Kong Marathon. Ethiopian Ejigu Sentayehu Merga won the actual Hong Kong Marathon in 2:13:00 with Igarashi placing 13th. Photo hosted by Athleticsasia.org