by Brett Larner
29-year-old Shingo Igarashi, a former Subaru corporate runner now working as an assistant coach for Josai University's Hakone Ekiden team, ran a PB 2:13:15 to break the 16-year-old course record at the 64th edition of the Katsuta Marathon, one of Japan's biggest marathons. Igarashi and Naoki Inoue ran alone out front of the field, accompanied a short way by veteran corporate runner Norio Kamijo, but Igarashi, running his third marathon in just over two months, proved to have the best command of the course's hilly sections as he dropped both competitors to seal the win. Igarashi's time was a PB by 31 seconds and took over a minute and a half off the 2:14:54 course record. Inoue just missed joining him under the record, taking 2nd in a solid 2:15:05, with Kamijo fading to 2:20:15 for 3rd.
The women's race saw local Hitachi corporate runners go 1-2, Kana Kurosawa getting the win in 2:43:40 over teammate Yuka Mikami, who ran 2:46:22. Just behind Mikami, local amateur Minami Yamanouchi (Runs AC), who made headlines for fast marathons in high school, took 3rd in 2:46:45.
Local runners from Suijo H.S. won the 10 km, Katsuya Kawasumi taking the men's race in 30:17 and Ryo Koido the women's race in an impressive 33:30.
64th Katsuta Marathon
Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, 1/31/16
1. Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) - 2:13:15 - CR, PB
2. Naoki Inoue (unattached) - 2:15:05
3. Norio Kamijo (Omokawa Zaimokuten) - 2:20:15
1. Kana Kurosawa (Hitachi) - 2:43:40
2. Yuka Mikami (Hitachi) - 2:46:22
3. Minami Yamanouchi (Runs AC) - 2:46:45
Men's 10 km
1. Katsuya Kawasumi (Suijo H.S.) - 30:17
2. Takuma Nagai (unattached) - 31:04
3. Tomohiko Oka (Hitachi Kogyo H.S.) - 31:04
Women's 10 km
1. Ryo Koido (Suijo H.S.) - 33:30
2. Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) - 34:24
3. Mari Tayama (Hitachi) - 34:25
© 2016 Brett Larner
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