by Brett Larner
The Nagoya Women's Marathon, the world's largest women-only marathon, features a good matchup for this year's race on Mar. 8, bringing back together 2014 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain, nominally) and silver medalist Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu). The pair's battle was one of the highlights of the Asian Games, and with any luck Nagoya will get a replay. Their main competition is 40-year-old Mariya Konovalova, with a 2:22:46 PB at age 39 one of the seemingly few elite Russians to have escaped current doping revelations so far.
One of the notable things about the field for is its evenness, with a steady progression of PBs all the way from Kirwa's 2:21:41 to the 2:31 level. Aheza Kiros (Ethiopia), Anna Incerti (Italy), Olena Burkovska (Ukraine) and others fill out the international component, but evenly mixed in with them is the best Japanese women's field in any of the three Beijing World Championships races and certainly a better one than at this weekend's Tokyo Marathon, where top Japanese women are effectively barred from competing. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) leads the group behind Kizaki fresh off a half marathon PB at last weekend's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships, along with Asian Games 4th-placer Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto).
The other notable thing is the quality of the younger part of the field. Both of the best new hopes in Japanese women's marathoning, collegiate national record holder Sairi Maeda (Team Daihatsu) and under-20 national record holder Reia Iwade (Team Noritz), will be running their second marathons after record-setting debuts. Two of Japan's best young half marathon talents, Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) will hope to follow in their footsteps with solid first marathons.
The Nagoya Women's Marathon will be broadcast live nationwide on Sunday, March 8. Check back closer to race date for more details and follow @JRNLive for live raceday coverage.
Nagoya Women's Marathon
Nagoya, Aichi, 3/8/15
click here for complete field listing
Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa (Bahrain) - 2:21:41 (Amsterdam 2012)
Mariya Konovalova (Russia) - 2:22:46 (Chicago 2013)
Ryoko Kizaki (Japan/Daihatsu) - 2:23:34 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Aheza Kiros (Ethiopia) - 2:24:30 (Dubai 2013)
Mai Ito (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:25:26 (Nagoya Women's 2012)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/Toto) - 2:25:31 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Anna Incerti (Italy) - 2:25:32 (Berlin 2011)
Sairi Maeda (Japan/Daihatsu) - 2:26:46 (Osaka Women's 2014)
Olena Burkovska (Ukraine) - 2:27:07 (Hannover 2013)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) - 2:27:21 (Yokohama Women's 2014)
Woynishet Girma (Ethiopia) - 2:27:51 (Amsterdam 2010)
Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 2:27:57 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Adriana Da Silva (Brazil) - 2:29:17 (Tokyo 2012)
Yuka Hakoyama (Japan/Wacoal) - 2:30:48 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Asami Furuse (Japan/Kyocera) - 2:30:57 (Nagoya Women's 2013)
Yuka Yano (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:31:02 (Kitakyushu 2014)
Manami Kamitanida (Japan/Hitachi) - 2:31:34 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Japan/Denso) - 2:31:39 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 1:09:45 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 1:10:10 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
(c) 2015 Brett Larner
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