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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
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