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Chepyego Breaks Sanyo Ladies' Half Course Record

by Brett Larner
photos by @rikujolove

2013 winner and 2014 World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist Sally Kaptich Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) returned to the Sanyo Ladies' Road Race half marathon today, breaking her own course record to win in 1:08:17.  A large pack of 15 including Chepyego, top-ranked Japanese women Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya), Michi Numata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) and 2015 Marugame Half winner Eloise Wellings (Australia) went out conservatively just over 1:10 pace.  The pack shrank to 6 as Chepyego pushed the pace into 1:07 territory approaching 10 km, and with a surge early into the second half she was away.  Chepyego ran free to the end, cutting 7 seconds off her 2013 CR and finishing just outside the top 10 in the world this year.

Ohara, already with sub-1:10 credentials to her name, was left chasing Chepyego alongside the debuting Pauline Kamulu (Team Route Inn Hotels).  When Kamulu struggled in the last 5 km Ohara left her behind, racing on to a new PB of 1:09:17 and a #1 ranking at the half marathon among Japanese women in 2015.  Kamulu hung on to 3rd in 1:09:44, a quality debut. 

Having run behind the lead group until 10 km, first-timer Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) ran down Wellings and other stragglers to take 4th in 1:09:51, one of the better Japanese debuts in recent years.  Another first-timer, Mirai Waku (Team Universal Entertainment) lost touch with the leaders after 10 km and dropped as far as 15 seconds behind Wellings before rallying and closing.  In a photo finish Wellings took 5th in a PB 1:09:56, Waku clocking the same time in another strong debut.  Numata and Kato faded outside the 1:10 barrier, finsihing 7th and 9th.  With Sanyo counting as the first selection race for the Japanese team for the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships Ohara looks like a solid in, with Ando and Waku up for possible consideration pending the outcome of the other races early next year.

In the 10 km, Japan-based Kenyan Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) made yet another strong debut, beating two-time defending champion and teammate Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) to win in 32:03, the second-fastest winning time in the event's 34-year history.  Kimanzi took 4th in 32:46 behind 2012 winner Felista Wanjugu (Team Universal Entertainment) and the debuting Mariam Waithera (Team Kyudenko), a junior teammate of half marathon winner Chepyego.  The top Japanese finisher was Nao Yamamoto (Team Toyota Jidoshokki), 5th in 33:01 in her road 10 km debut.

34th Sanyo Ladies' Road Race
Okayama, 12/23/15
click here for complete results

Yuki Arimori Cup Half Marathon
1. Sally Kaptich Chepyego (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 1:08:17 - CR
2. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 1:09:17 - PB
3. Pauline Kamulu (Kenya/Route Inn Hotels) - 1:09:44 - debut
4. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:09:51 - debut
5. Eloise Wellings (Australia) - 1:09:56 - PB
6. Mirai Waku (Universal Entertainment) - 1:09:56 - debut
7. Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 1:10:17
8. Hiroko Miyauchi (Hokuren) - 1:10:27
9. Michi Numata (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:10:30
10. Reia Iwade (Noritz) - 1:11:18
-----
17. Charlotte Purdue (Great Britain) - 1:12:17

Kinue Hitomi Cup 10 km
1. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 32:03 - debut
2. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Universal Entertainment) - 32:24
3. Mariam Waithera (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 32:34 - debut
4. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 32:46
5. Nao Yamamoto (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 33:01 - debut
6. Yuki Yokoishi (Kyudenko) - 33:04 - debut
7. Junna Fujii (Tenmaya) - 33:07 - PB
8. Kumi Ogura (Toenec) - 33:12 - PB
9. Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) - 33:15 - debut
10. Yumi Yoshikawa (Tenmaya) - 33:33 - PB

text © 2015 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos © 2015 M. Kawaguchi, all rights reserved

Comments

Scott Brown said…
Great race for Eloise Wellings of Australia. Think that, as well as a PB, is the fastest half by an Australian woman this year.

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Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
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