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Update: Kizaki has withdrawn.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

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …