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

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…

Kamulu Runs 10000 m World Lead, Ahn Breaks Korean National Record, Tamura Clears 28 Minutes, Niiya Back on Track in Fukagawa

National records fell for the third meet in a row in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Longtime Japan resident Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) had a shockingly good run in the women's 10000 m A-heat, following up her 1:06:56 bronze medal run at the Valencia World Half Marathon Championships by lopping over a minute off her 10000 m best with a 2018 world-leading time of 30:41.85.

Kamulu lapped the entire field, her nearest competitor Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) returning from a 2:23:46 marathon PB in Osaka in January to take 30 seconds off her own best in 32:13.87. Further back, Seul Ki Ahn broke the South Korean national record set 13 years ago in Fukagawa with a new mark of 32:33.61. Ahn's NR followed the 2:25:41 NR set by Do Yeon Kim at the Seoul International Marathon in March, a miniature renaissance in South Korea women's distance running.

The men's 10000 m A-heat was also decently fast, Andrew Lorot (Subaru) leading fo…