Skip to main content

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.

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…