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Collegiates Kimura and Noda Win Kumanichi 30 km, Hasegawa and Amako Take Ome

by Brett Larner

On a busy weekend the Japanese racing calendar featured not one but two elite 30 km road races.  In western Japan, the Kumanichi 30 km staged its 59th running, its fourth edition since adding a mass-participation marathon to help keep the small elite-level 30 km afloat.

The men's 30 km featured a pack of five up front featuring corporate teammates Sota Hoshi and Shota Yamaguchi (Team Fujitsu) and collegiates Shin Kimura (Meiji Univ.),  Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) and Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.), the younger brother of last year's winner Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.).  Kimura did most of the early leading before making a two-man break with Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) at 10 km, opening a 15-second lead by 15 km but swallowed back up by 20 km.  The pace slowed and the race turned tactical, and in a five-way sprint finish Kimura again pulled to the front for the win in 1:31:27, just ahead of 2013 national 5000 m champion Hoshi who clocked the same time and Yamaguchi another second back.

Five of the seven women in the race started together, running as a pack through 15 km before Saori Noda (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) accelerated to open a lead that was never challenged.  Noda won in 1:45:00, the fastest time ever by a Japanese collegiate woman in a 30 km race but slower than marathon collegiate record holder Sairi Maeda's split in Osaka last year.  41 seconds down at 25 km, Mao Kuroda (Team Wacoal) closed to within 12 seconds of Noda but was too far back to catch up, taking 2nd in 1:45:12.  Kuroda will make her marathon debut next month at the Asics L.A. Marathon.

In the marathon, Hayato Sonoda (Team Kurosaki Harima) soloed a 2:18:00 win, far off the 2:10:14 course record set last year by Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) but still the second-fastest time in the event's short history.  Local Chigusa Yoshimatsu (Kumamoto T&F Assoc.) did get the CR in the women's race, clipping nearly 2 1/2 minutes off the old mark in 2:49:29.

In eastern Japan the Ome 30 km, long a popular mass-participation race incorporating an elite race that brings high-placing Americans from the Boston Marathon and sends its top Japanese finishers there in exchange, staged its 49th running after heavy snow forced its cancellation last year.  On a very tough and hilly course Nick Arciniaga (U.S.A.) led a pack of six through 20 km in 1:03:01, more than 3 minutes slower than Kimura's 20 km split in Kumanichi, before Satoshi Kikuchi (Josai Univ.) led a break that dropped Arciniaga and cut the lead group down to three.  Over the flattish final 5 km 2011 Lake Saroma 100 km winner Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR Higashi Nihon) pulled clear of Kikuchi and Kohei Ogino (Team Fujitsu) for the win in 1:33:06.  Arciniaga ended up more than a minute back in 5th in 1:34:14.

Megumi Amako (Canon AC Kyushu), a training partner of 2014 100 km World Championships silver medalist Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu), ran unchallenged to win by more than 5 minutes in 1:46:52.  Yumi Motohiro (Hachioji H.S.) was similarly unchallenged in the women's 10 km, winning in 33:52 by over 20 seconds.

59th Kumanichi 30 km Road Race and 4th Kumamoto-jo Marathon
Kumamoto, 2/15/15
click here for complete results

Men's 30 km
1. Shin Kimura (Meiji Univ.) - 1:31:27
2. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:31:27
3. Shota Yamaguchi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:31:28
4. Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:31:29
5. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 1:31:31
6. Hiroto Kanamori (Takoshoku Univ.) - 1:33:54
7. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 1:34:16
8. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/Team NTN) - 1:34:34
9. Yuji Nakamura (Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:35:10
10. Daichi Motomura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:36:20

Women's 30 km
1. Saori Noda (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:45:00
2. Mao Kuroda (Team Wacoal) - 1:45:12
3. Kana Orino (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:48:04
4. Anna Hasuike (Team Higo Ginko) - 1:48:46
5. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:49:32

Men's Marathon
1. Hayato Sonoda (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 2:18:00

Women's Marathon
1. Chigusa Yoshimatsu (Kumamoto T&F Assoc.) - 2:49:29 - CR

49th Ome Road Race 30 km and 10 km
Ome, Tokyo, 2/15/15
click here for complete results

Men's 30 km
1. Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:33:06
2. Satoshi Kikuchi (Josai Univ.) - 1:33:24
3. Kohei Ogino (Team Fujitsu) - 1:33:42
4. Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) - 1:34:11
5. Nick Arciniaga (U.S.A.) - 1:34:14
6. Mahoro Ikeda (Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:34:38
7. Masaki Matsui (Tokyo Kogyo Univ.) - 1:35:00
8. Takato Koitabashi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:35:24
9. Keito Koitabashi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:36:05
10.. Tetsuya Watanabe (Senshu Univ.) - 1:37:18

Women's 30 km
1. Megumi Amako (Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:46:52
2. Eri Okubo (Miki House) - 1:52:19
3. Akane Mutazaki (Team Edion) - 1:53:06

Men's 10 km
1. Hiromu Endo (Koku Gakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.) - 30:41

Women's 10 km
1. Yumi Motohiro (Hachioji H.S.) - 33:52
2. Yuri Ishikawa (Hachioji H.S.) - 34:13
3. Mayumi Harako (Kinjo Gakuen H.S.) - 35:15

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
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