Skip to main content

Oshikawa Versus Githae, Kamino and Hine, Sumi to Debut at Ome 30 km

by Brett Larner

The 15,000 runner-strong Ome 30 km and 10 km Road Race has rolled out the men's and women's elite fields for its 51st running on Feb. 19.  Coached by 1992 Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist Kochi Morishita, defending men's champion Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) returns to try to become the first man since 1986 to win Ome two years in a row.  Last year Oshikawa had a narrow 9-second win over Kenyan Michael Githae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), and this year Githae returns with a good chance of becoming Ome's first-ever Kenyan winner.  Both have tough competition in the form of celebrity runner Daichi Kamino (Team Konica Minolta), the former star of the Hakone Ekiden's famed uphill Fifth Stage.

Ome's course is a tough and hilly one that plans to Kamino's strengths, and for both he and Oshikawa there's a nice payday waiting for a solid run: 500,000 yen for the win [~$4400 USD], 2,000,000 yen for breaking Masaki Ito's 2013 winning time of 1:30:21 [~$17,500 USD], and 1,000,000 yen for breaking Toshihiko Seko's 1:29:32 course record from 1981 [~$8,750 USD].  The 500,000 yen 1st-place prize money is available to Githae, but the time bonuses are only payable to Japanese runners, of which make what you will.  Others in the men's race include university men Ryo Kuchimachi (Toyo Univ.) and Daisuke Doi (Hosei Univ.), corporate runner Norihide Fujimori (Chugoku Denryoku) and American Zach Hine.

Ome was the site of the fastest-ever 30 km by a Japanese woman, marathon splits aside, thanks to a 1:39:09 by Mizuki Noguchi in 2004 in preparation for her marathon gold medal-winning run at the Athens Olympics.  There's a 2,000,000 yen bonus for any woman who breaks that time, but considering that Noguchi's record is midway in quality between a 1:09:44 half marathon and 2:19:27 marathon on an extremely hilly course it'll be a major surprise if that ever happens.

Not quite as big a surprise but still a large one, track specialist Azusa Sumi (Team Universal Entertainment) is scheduled to make her 30 km debut in Ome.  6 km cross-country races aside, the 20-year-old Sumi has only raced longer than 5 km four times in her career, two of them this month.  At the Jan. 15 National Women's Ekiden she ran 32:38 for 7th on the 10.0 km anchor stage. A week later she won the 11.7 km Kita-Kyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden anchor stage in 36:36.  Sumi seems to be doing better as the distance increases, but it's a big jump from where she is to 30 km.  Her competition for the win comes from last year's 5th-placer Ami Utsunomiya (Canon AC Kyushu) and 1:15:40 half marathoner Yumi Kozasa (Team Wacoal).

51st Ome 30 km and 10 km Road Race
30 km Elite Field Highlights
Ome, Tokyo, 2/19/17
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:31:37 (Ome 30 km 2016)
Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:31:46 (Ome 30 km 2016)
Ryo Kuchimachi (Toyo Univ.) - 1:33:40 (Kumanichi 30 km 2016)
Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta) - 1:01:21 (Marugame Half 2015)
Norihide Fujimori (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:04:45 (Hakodate Half 2016)
Zach Hine (U.S.A.) - 1:04:48 (Omaha Half 2014)
Daisuke Doi (Hosei Univ.) - 1:00:43 (Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km 2016)

Women
Ami Utsunomiya (Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:48:10 (Ome 30 km 2016)
Yumi Kozasa (Wacoal) - 1:15:40 (Sanyo Ladies Half 2016)
Azusa Sumi (Univ. Ent.) - 15:17.62 (Hokuren Distance Challenge Kitami Meet 5000 m, 2015)

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …