Skip to main content

Siteki and Yoshitomi Lead Weekend Half Marathon Action (updated)

by Brett Larner

Following the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden and Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, the year's first full weekend of road racing included at least four major half marathons across the country.


At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, Kenyan Stanley Siteki, a Tokyo Kokusai University teammate of Hakone anchor stage "phantom winner" Akito Terui, outran Hakone champion Aoyama Gakuin University's alternates and B-team memeber to win in 1:03:20.  Last year's Takanezawa winner Aritaka Kajiwara was 4th in 1:03:45, exactly a minute slower than his 2016 course record.

In Tokyo, the High-Tech Half Marathon, a rebranded version of the popular Mari Tanigawa Half Marathon, saw former JR Higashi Nihon runner Shusei Ohashi win the men's race in 1:05:29.  Eri Suzuki, at 5th the top Japanese woman in last month's Honolulu Marathon, won the women's race in 1:16:57.



Now running for the minor Memolead corporate team, former #1-ranked amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi outdid Suzuki's time, winning the Oita City Half Marathon in 1:15:43 in a tuneup for the Osaka International Women's Marathon in three weeks.  Two-time Oita winner Fumihiro Maruyama and teammate Tomoya Adachi of 2017 New Year Ekiden winner Asahi Kasei scratched, leaving local amateur Hiroki Nonaka to win the men's race in 1:08:34.  A day later, Yoshitomi doubled up with a 1:16:02 win at her local Imabari Half Marathon in Saga.

Fresh back from touring the London World Championships marathon course, Yuki Kawauchi started his 2017 race calendar at the tiny Ikinoshima New Year Half Marathon near Nagasaki.  Running in heavy rain, Kawauchi won by ten minutes in 1:06:35.  Next weekend he is scheduled to return to the competitive Okukuma Half Marathon in Kumamoto.


© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Today's Race - Samuel Wanjiru Rocks the 2004 National High School Ekiden

Future Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru runs a still-standing Third Stage course record to lead Sendai Ikuei H.S. to the National High School Boys Ekiden Championships title. The team's winning time, a course record at the time, is still the second-fastest ever.

Today's Race - 2017 National High School Girls Ekiden

Sendai Ikuei H.S. and Nagano Higashi H.S. go after defending champ Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. at the 2017 National High School Girls Ekiden Championships.

Yamanashi Gakuin University Resumes Team Training, Limiting Group Size

Aiming to make a return to the Hakone Ekiden after missing out on qualifying for this year's race, on May 20 Yamanashi Gakuin University resumed team track training for the first time in a month and a half. Team practice has been suspended since Apr. 6 due to the coronavirus crisis, and since then it has been up to members to run and do strength training on their own.

Thirty athletes, about a third of the team roster, attended the May 20 session at Kawata Sports Park Field in Kofu. Another group trained separately at Midorigaoka Sports Park Field elsewhere in the city. To avoid too many people coming too close together, athletes started and ran at fixed time intervals between each other. Stretching was also done at staggered intervals, and strength training equipment was disinfected between each use.

May's Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships have been canceled, but, said ekiden team head coach Masaaki Iijima, "I want us to prepare so that we're read…