Skip to main content

Kenyans Chanchima, Chirchir and Jepkemboi Lead Nagano Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

Kenyans Jairus Chanchima and Henry Chirchir top the men's entry list for the Apr. 19 Nagano Marathon, with Beatrice Jepkemboi joining them in hope of becoming just the second Kenyan women's champion in Nagano's 17-year history.  Kiflom Sium (Eritera) and Bayron Piedra (Ecuador) round out the small international men's field, 2:11 man Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and debuting 1:01:25 half marathoner Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) looking like the domestic Japanese favorites.

The women's race features good old-time names like Catherine Ndereba (Kenya), Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC), Eri Okubo (Miki House) and Chihiro Tanaka (Athlec AC), but with Russian women having taken 7 of the last 10 Nagano titles it's safe to say that Nadezhda Leonteva is likely to be Jepkemboi's toughest competition in the women's race despite a difference of over 4 minutes in their bests.  Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), a training partner of Beijing World Championships marathon team member Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), ran her PB of 2:34:28 in Osaka in January to come in as the Japanese favorite, followed closely by Yumiko Kinoshita (Second Wind AC) who likewise PBd in Tokyo in February in 2:35:49.

17th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/19/15
click here for complete field listing

Men
Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:07:43 (Seoul Int'l 2012)
Henry Chirchir (Kenya) - 2:09:24 (Koln 2012)
Kiflom Sium (Eritrea) - 2:11:09 (Padua 2012)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Masanori Ishida (Japan/SG Holdings) - 2:13:07 (Beppu-Oita 2013)
Kohei Ogino (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:13:12 (Hofu 2013)
Sho Matsumoto (Japan/Nikkei Business Service) - 2:13:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Bayron Piedra (Ecuador) - 2:14:39 (Torreon 2015)
Hiro Tonegawa (Japan/Alps Tool) - 2:18:55 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuta Koyama (Japan/Kotohira Kogyo) - 2:20:43 (Nagano 2013)
Takuya Fukatsu (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - debut - 1:01:25 (Tamana Half 2012)

Women
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) - 2:18:47 (Chicago 2001)
Kiyoko Shimahara (Japan/Second Wind AC) - 2:25:10 (Hokkaido 2009)
Eri Okubo (Japan/Miki House) - 2:26:08 (Tokyo 2012)
Beatrice Jepkemboi (Kenya) - 2:27:41 (Hamburg 2012)
Chihiro Tanaka (Japan/Athlec AC) - 2:29:30 (Nagoya Women's 2002)
Nadezhda Leonteva (Russia) - 2:31:57 (Russian Championships 2011)
Shoko Mori (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:34:28 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan/Second Wind AC) - 2:35:49 (Tokyo 2015)
Akane Mutazaki (Japan/Edion) - 2:37:14 (Nagoya Women's 2013)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…