Skip to main content

Miwa and Higuchi Win Okukuma Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
videos by you?_yu


In cold conditions corporate runners Shintaro Miwa (Team NTN) and Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) turned in winning runs at the 4th edition of the Okukuma Road Race half marathon in Kumamoto.  In the men's race Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) did most of the leading, pushing the first 10 km through in 30:06 and gradually shaving down the lead pack from 20 to 7.  In the final kilometers he and Miwa broke away, but with a course record win at last weekend's Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon still in his legs Kawauchi couldn't match the fresher Miwa.  Miwa broke the tape in 1:03:58 with Kawauchi two seconds back.  Yuya Ito (Team Toyota) was 3rd in 1:04:06.


Reflecting Kumamoto's conservative reputation, in its first three runnings the Okukuma Road Race limited women to 5 km with high school boys running 10 km and the half marathon only open to men.  This year it got with the times, allowing women into the half.  2011 Tokyo Marathon winner Higuchi rose to the challenge, outrunning her Wacoal teammates Yuki Kodama and Ai Migita and rival Misato Horie (Team Noritz) for the win in 1:13:22.  Ryota Takemoto (Omuta H.S.) tied the 10 km course record in 30:09, with Mashiro Mori (Ariake H.S.) topping the women's 5 km in 16:43.

4th Okukuma Road Race
Kumagun, Kumamoto, 1/17/16
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Shintaro Miwa (NTN) - 1:03:58
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:00
3. Yuya Ito (Toyota) - 1:04:06
4. Junichi Tsubouchi (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:04:08
5. Daisuke Watanabe (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:11

Women's Half Marathon
1. Noriko Higuchi (Wacoal) - 1:13:22
2. Yuki Kodama (Wacoal) - 1:13:25
3. Misato Horie (Noritz) - 1:13:30
4. Ai Migita (Wacoal) - 1:13:35
5. Chika Ihara (Higo Ginko) - 1:14:16

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Ryota Takemoto (Omuta H.S.) - 30:09 - CR tie
2. Ren Yonemitsu (Omuta H.S.) - 30:24
3. Daisuke Ando (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 30:27

Women's 5 km
1. Mashiro Mori (Ariake H.S.) - 16:43
2. Reina Takano (Ariake H.S.) - 16:48
3. Sena Komori (Isahaya H.S.) - 16:49

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Cheboitibin Breaks Seko's Course Record at Ome 30 km

One of Japan's longest-standing course records at its elite races fell Sunday as Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) beat the great Toshihiko Seko's 38-year-old Ome 30 km Road Race record by almost 30 seconds.

Tough and hilly with a net climb in the first half and descent on the return trip, Ome is a standard spring marathon prep run and a natural partner for April's Boston Marathon, with which it has a longstanding athlete exchange program. The 2017 Ome winner, this time out Cheboitibin was gunning for Seko's record from the start, hitting the mostly uphill 10 km completely solo in 29:47, 20 km midway through the return trip in 59:30, and saving his fastest 10 km split for the end as he crossed the finish line in 1:29:06. Seko's 1:29:32 just two months before his first Boston win had made him the only man in Ome history to break 90 minutes. With the best performance of his career Cheboitibin turned the page on that history.

With the withdrawal of Fukuoka winner

Beppu-Oita Marathon to Review Staff Training After Interpreter Refers to African Athletes as "Chimpanzees"

On Feb. 14 the organizers of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon confirmed that a local woman in her fifties who served as an interpreter at this year's race had published a blog post in which she referred to the African athletes on whose behalf she had worked as "chimpanzees." The woman said she had no malicious or racist intent behind her comments, but a spokesperson for the organizers called her choice of words "inappropriate." Organizers plan to review their training and guidance procedures for all race management staff members.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon took place in the two cities on Feb. 3. According to the spokesperson, the blog to which the woman posted the comments is for members of a sports club to which she belongs to report on what they have been doing. On Feb. 10 she wrote about her work with the African athletes, posting it with public access so that anyone could read it. She described the struggle of talking to the African athletes, saying …

Japan Names National Team for 23rd Asian Athletics Championships

Japan has named a team featuring ten individual medalists from the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games to get an early taste of this year's World Championships  at April's Doha Asian Athletics Championships. Along with its gold medal-winning men's 4x100 m team, standouts include Jakarta gold medalists Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) in the men's 200 m, Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) in the men's pole vault and Keisuke Ushiro (Kokushin Univ. AC) in the decathlon.

The women's long distance roster is strong, led by 2018 World U20 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC) in the 5000 m and the resurgent Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) in the 10000 m, while the most interesting name among the men is Jakarta 3000 m steeplechase bronze medalist Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.).
23rd Asian Athletics ChampionshipsJapanese National Team
Doha, Qatar, Apr. 21-24, 2019
complete team listing
underlined athletes are 2018 Asian Games medalists

Women
Sprints
Chisato Fukushima (Seiko) - 100…