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Sakamoto 2nd in Volksbank Muenster Marathon - Japanese Overseas Results

by Brett Larner

Japanese athletes raced in three European road races in three different countries on Sunday, 2015 Zurich Marathon winner Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) leading the way at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon.  Starting off at a conservative pace that left her 20 seconds behind the lead group at 5 km and over a minute and a half behind by 15 km, over the second half she overtook three women, Ethiopian Belaynesh Yigezu, then Kenyans Janet Cheruiyot and Salina Jebet, to move into 2nd.  2015 Nairobi Marathon winner Elizabeth Rumokol of Kenya, the only woman in the field to have broken 2:30, took 1st in 2:33:01, Sakamoto next in 2:38:46 and Jebet 3rd in 2:42:27.  "I wanted to try to run with the lead group, but they went out too fast," Sakamoto said post-race.  "I was hoping for a faster time but I'm really, really happy to have gotten 2nd.  This was the first time I've ever enjoyed myself while racing seriously."

In the Muesnter men's race 2016 Katsuta Marathon course record-setter Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) didn't have the same kind of day.  With the leaders going out faster than planned on low-2:09 pace Igarashi let go after 5 km.  Like Sakamoto he was left entirely alone, but in his case nobody came back to him.  #1-ranked Duncan Koech of Kenya, still on track for the 2:10:25 course record at 30 km, took the win in 2:12:59, his countryman Rogers Melly next in 2:13:38 and pacer Hosea Kipkemboi choosing to finish the race in 2:13:59 for 3rd.  Igarashi was a distant 8th in 2:20:58.  "I had a minor stress fracture in April after Boston and had to take some time off," he said post-race.  "I thought I had had enough time to get ready for this and felt light and fresh before the race, but my stamina wasn't where it needed to be."

In the Czech Republic, 2016 Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner Misato Horie (Team Noritz) ran the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km with teammate Kikuyo Tsuzaki, the winner of last year's Sydney Half Marathon.  With winner Violah Jepchumba of Kenya missing the world record by just 3 seconds in 30:24,  Horie could manage only 34:10 for 10th and Tsuzaki 35:20 for 13th.

At the U.K.'s Great North Run half marathon, 2:08:00 marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) replicated Tsuzaki's placing with a similar time margin from the front-end action.  As local hero Mo Farah outran American Dathan Ritzenhein for a third-straight Great North Run title in 1:00:04, Maeda was a non-factor, 50 seconds off the leaders after 5 km and moving backwards from there to finish 13th in 1:06:20.

Volksbank Muenster Marathon
Muenster, Germany, 9/11/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) - 2:33:01
2. Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/Y.W.C.) - 2:38:46
3. Salina Jebet (Kenya) - 2:42:27
4. Janet Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:44:54
5. Vanessa Rosler (Germany) - 3:00:12
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DNF - Belaynesh Yigezu (Ethiopia)

Men
1. Duncan Koech (Kenya) - 2:12:59
2. Rogers Melly (Kenya) - 2:13:38
3. Hosea Kipkemboi (Kenya) - 2:13:59
4. Joel Kositany (Kenya) - 2:14:22
5. Arnold Kipatoi (Kenya) - 2:17:20
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8. Shingo Igarashi (Japan/Josai Univ.) - 2:20:58

Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km
Prague, Czech Republic, 9/10/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Violah Jepchumba (Kenya) - 30:24
2. Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 31:08
3. Afera Godfay (Ethiopia) - 31:49
4. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) - 31:58
5. Lucy Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 32:59
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10. Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 34:10
13. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Japan/Noritz) - 35:20

Great North Run Half Marathon
Newcastle, U.K., 9/11/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Mo Farah (U.K.) - 1:00:04
2. Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) - 1:00:12
3. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 1:01:22
4. Bashir Abdi (Belgium) - 1:02:03
5. Duncan Maiyo (Kenya) - 1:02:06
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13. Kazuhiro Maiyo (Japan/Kyudenko) - 1:06:20

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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