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Igarashi and Sakamoto Face Koech and Rumokol at 15th Volksbank Muenster Marathon

by Brett Larner


Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon celebrates its 15th running this Sunday.  Appearing with support from JRN, Japan's Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) and Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) face competitive fields from Kenya and Ethiopia.  The course record setter at January's Katsuta Marathon, Igarashi scored some attention at April's Boston Marathon when he frontran the first 10 km before suffering a minor stress fracture.  Muenster will be his first marathon since then, and he is optimistic of bettering his 2:13:15 best from his Katsuta win.  That PB ranks him 3rd in the field, not far behind 2:12:08 man Joel Kositany (Kenya).  In another class is the heavy favorite, Kenya's Duncan Koech with a 2:09:17 at the 2014 Vienna Marathon.  At the pre-race press conference race director Michael Brinkmann said that he hopes to see a 2:07 winning time, a major improvement on the current 2:10:25 course record and something that only Koech could conceivably deliver.

The 2015 Zurich Marathon winner, Sakamoto's 2:36:29 best from the 2015 Osaka International Women's Marathon puts her at 5th in the field.  With the scratch of last year's winner Nancy Koech (Kenya) the probable favorite is Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) with a solid 2:29:32 best at altitude at the 2015 Nairobi Marathon.  Ethiopians Belaynesh Yigezu and Alemtsehay Demse fill in the low-mid 2:30's gap between the front pair and Sakamoto.  JRN will be on-site at the Muenster Marathon to cover the race and support Igarashi and Sakamoto.

15th Volksbank Muenster Marathon Entry Lists
Muenster, Germany, 9/11/16
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Duncan Koech (Kenya) - 2:09:17 (Vienna 2014)
Joel Kositany (Kenya) - 2:12:08 (Tiberias 2014)
Shingo Igarashi (Japan/Josai Univ.) - 2:13:15 (Katsuta 2016)
Rogers Kipchirchir (Kenya) - 2:13:45 (Lodz 2016)
Benard Rotich (Kenya) - 2:14:17 (La Rochelle 2013)
Henry Kibet (Kenya) - 2:15:13 (Cividale 2015)
Arnold Kibet (Kenya) - 2:17:34 (Nairobi 2013)
Matthew Sang (Kenya) - 2:18:33 (Lens 2015)
M
Women
Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) - 2:29:32 (Nairobi 2015)
Belaynesh Yigezu (Ethiopia) - 2:31:08 (Barcelona 2015)
Alemtsehay Demse (Ethiopia) - 2:35:18 (Karlsruhe 2013)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/Y.W.C.) - 2:36:29 (Osaka Int'l 2015)
Salina Jebet (Kenya) - 2:39:39 (Mainz 2014)
Janet Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:44:33 (Nairobi 2014)

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
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