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Chanchima and Insermu Win Nagano Marathon

by Brett Larner

Strong winds and off-and-on rain throughout the area made for two of the slowest winning times in the Nagano Marathon's 18-year history as Kenya's Jairus Chanchima and Ethiopia's Shasho Insermu won Sunday's race in 2:15:31 and 2:34:19.

A slow start in the men's race kept a large lead group together for the first 25 km before Chanchima went to work.  Returning to Nagano after dropping out mid-race last year, Chanchima put on a solo surge from 25 to 30 km that put him 38 seconds ahead of the rest of the lead group.  From there Chanchima tucked in and cruised on unthreatened, Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) closing the gap slightly but never coming in range of the win.  Chanchima's winning time of 2:15:31 was the slowest in Nagano Marathon history, over a minute behind Yuki Kawauchi's 2013 winning time of 2:14:27 in heavy snow.  Bat-Ochir was 25 seconds back in 2:15:56 for 2nd, with Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) running 2:16:32 for 3rd and top Japanese honors.

The women's race also started slow, but after just 10 km it quickly evolved in a duel between Isermu and Gladys Tejeda, the Peruvian stripped of her gold medal at last summer's Pan-Am Games for a positive drug test and promptly invited to Nagano by race organizers to make an early post-suspension return to the marathon.  By 15 km the pair was more than 30 seconds ahead of its nearest competition, and over the next 5 km Tejeda broke free of Insermu to go it alone.  By 35 km Tejeda was 58 seconds ahead, but with a combination of too much too soon and a strong finish from Insermu it wasn't to be.  Cutting Tejeda's lead down to 19 seconds by 40 km, Insermu flew by to win in 2:34:19, the second-slowest time in Nagano Marathon history.  Completely spent, Tejeda shuffled in for 2nd in 2:34:54, sparing Nagano organizers the headlines and questions about their laxity in inviting an athlete fresh off a drug suspension that would have happened had she won.  Another athlete with a recent suspension behind her, Japan's own Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse) took 3rd in 2:35:14.

18th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/17/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:15:31
2. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:15:56
3. Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:16:32
4. Laban Mutai (Kenya) - 2:16:53
5. Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) - 2:17:35
6. Shoji Takada (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:18:14
7. Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu) - 2:18:21
8. Kinya Hashira (Police Dep't) - 2:18:42
-----
DNF - Harry Summers (Australia)

Women
1. Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:34:19
2. Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:34:54
3. Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse) - 2:35:14
4. Winfreidah Kebaso (Kenya/Nittori) - 2:40:23
5. Hellen Mugo (Kenya) - 2:43:02
6. Seika Iwamura (Edion) - 2:48:20

© 2016 Brett Larner
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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
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 26: New Caledonia International Marathon, New Caledonia
Sept. 2: Wakkanai Heiwa Marathon, Hokk…