Skip to main content

Kirwa Faces Flanagan and Wellings at Marugame Half

by Brett Larner
click here for men's field listing

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has lined up a great women's field for its 71st running on Feb. 5.  Rio Olympics marathon silver medalist and defending champion Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) will go up against Rio 6th and 9th-placers Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg of the U.S.A., 2015 Marugame winner Eloise Wellings of Australia and 2016 Japanese National Corporate Half Marathon champion Miho Shimizu (Team Hokuren).

Flanagan's 1:07:51 on the aided San Diego course last year is the only time that tops Kirwa's then-Bahraini national record 1:08:06 in Marugame 2016, promising a close race if Flanagan doesn't repeat her 2015 DNS.  Shimizu, the only Japanese woman to break 1:10 in 2016, should likewise have a good race for 3rd against Wellings if the Australian shows a return to form following her DNF last month at the Sanyo Ladies Half.  One promising debut comes in the form of sub-31:45 track runner Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku), who ran well on the 10.0 km anchor stage at last weekend's Naitonal Women's Ekiden.

71st Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon
Women’s Elite Field Highlights
Marugame, Kagawa, 2/5/17
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) – 1:07:51a (San Diego 2016)
Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) – 1:08:06 (Marugame 2016)
Eloise Wellings (Australia) – 1:09:29 (Marugame 2016)
Miho Shimizu (Japan/Hokuren) – 1:09:41 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2016)
Amy Cragg (U.S.A.) – 1:09:50a (San Diego 2016)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) – 1:10:13 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/Toto) – 1:10:47a (San Diego 2015)
Kaho Tanaka (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) – 1:11:12 (Marugame 2015)
Akane Sekimo (Japan/Imabari Zosen) – 1:11:17 (Marugame 2016)
Kellys Arias (Colombia) – 1:11:21 (Cardiff 2016)
Moeno Nakamura (Japan/Univ. Ent.) – 1:11:33 (Marugame 2016)
Miharu Shimokado (Japan/Shimamura) – 1:11:48 (Matsue Ladies 2016)
Winfridah Kebaiso (Kenya/Nitori) – 1:12:36 (Shibetsu 2015)
Eri Tayama (Japan/Hitachi) – 1:12:44 (Matsue Ladies 2014)
Megumi Amako (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu – 1:12:49 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Mei Matsuyama (Japan/Noritz) – 1:12:58 (Marugame 2016)

Debut
Riko Matsuzaki (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) – 31:44.86 (Abashiri 2015)
Yuko Aoki (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) – 32:58.67 (Yamaguchi 2014)

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

martin russell said…
Amy Craig racing in Japan ...but not Boston ? She is not listed In Boston start list ...

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

What Value Does Four-Straight Hakone Ekiden Titles Have for Aoyama Gakuin's Athletes and Staff?

An editorial by Nikkan Gendai.

Nothing rings in the New Year like the Hakone Ekiden. With TV viewership ratings around 30% it's one of the most popular sports programs in Japan. The king of that cash cow is Aoyama Gakuin University, winning four-straight Hakone titles since its first victory in 2015. But no matter how well its students perform, every school in Hakone gets the same share of the proceeds, a uniform 2,000,000 yen [~$18,000 USD at current exchange rates].

The AGU team currently includes 44 athletes on its roster. Although athletes can get preferential admission, their tuition is the same as for other students and there are no exemptions or reductions. First year tuition in the Department of Social and Information Studies is around 1,520,000 yen [~$14,000 USD], and with additional fees including dormitory and training camp expenses the burden upon students' parents is considerable.

By comparison, in the United States the NCAA has made its collegiate sports a succes…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…