Skip to main content

Nagoya Women's Marathon Preview (updated)

by Brett Larner

Update: Kizaki has withdrawn.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is one of the Japanese races taking steps to adapt to the mass-participation boom, changing from an elite-only format but still keeping its identity by incorporating a mass field that makes it the largest women-only marathon in the world.  At the front end, like last week's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon for the men Nagoya is the last chance for Japanese women to qualify for the 2015 Beijing World Championships marathon team.  While Japanese men's marathoning has grown over the last five years, women's marathoning has been hit by an absence of new top level-names, today's top women running 2:23-2:25 where they would have been 4 minutes faster 10-15 years ago.

But Nagoya has done a great job of pulling together most of the best current women and future hopefuls for some kind of return to past success.  In the house are the fastest Japanese woman of 2013-14, Asian Games silver medalist Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), 2:25 women Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto), collegiate record holder Sairi Maeda (Team Daihatsu) and under-20 record holder Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) both running their second marathons after successful debuts, debuting half marathon stars Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya), Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) and Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki) and more.

And they've also got together an international field featuring at least one name, Asian Games gold medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain), that should provide some extra motivation, Kirwa having run most of the Asian Games marathon side by side with Kizaki before getting away late in the race.  The other six international women, Mariya Konovalova (Russia), Aheza Kiros (Ethiopia), Anna Incerti (Italy), Olena Burkovska (Ukraine), Woynishet Girma (Ethiopia) and Adriana Da Silva (Brazil) have PBs evenly interspersed from 2:22:46 to 2:29:17, promising competition for the Japanese field no matter how the race goes.

Kirwa and Kizaki look like the clear favorites, and ideally the race will play out as a rematch between them with Maeda and Iwade in the mix, but whether even that would be enough to bring the kinds of times that used to be the norm remains to be seen.  With the bar for the World Championships team far lower than the Federation's sub-2:22:30 standard so far, 2:26:39 by Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) in Osaka, 2:26:57 by Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) in Yokohama and 2:30:26 by Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease) in Hokkaido, it wouldn't take much to feel like a step back in the right direction.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon will be broadcast live nationwide on Sunday, March 8 starting at 9:00 a.m.  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)

Debut
Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 1:09:45 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 1:10:10 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Shiho Takechi (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 1:11:33 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…