Skip to main content

Milaw and Biruk Score ASICS Stockholm Marathon Ethiopian Double

Abrha Milaw and formerly Japan-based Konjit Tilahun Biruk scored an Ethiopian double at the 2017 ASICS Stockholm Marathon, both pulling away from packs late in the race to win in 2:11:36 and 2:35:45. (video highlights above)

The men's race went out hotter than planned, going through the mostly downhill and flat first 5 km in 15:10 and the uphill-heavy next 5 km in 15:20, mid-2:08 pace on a course with a 2:10:58 record. Things calmed down over the next 10 km, putting the front end of the group at 1:04:56 at halfway, but with a slight surge up front on a gentle downhill leading to the halfway mark Japanese favorite Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) began to drift off the back of the pack. By 25 km he was over 10 seconds behind and backwardly mobile as the race progressed.

Another surge coming off the large bridge near 34 km broke up the remaining pack, Milaw putting more than 30 seconds on 2nd-place Samuel Getachew (Ethiopia) by 40 km and cruising in unchallenged to win in 2:11:36, the second-fastest winning time in event history. Getachew held on to 2nd in 2:12:27 less than 10 seconds ahead of 3rd-placer Samuel Kalalel (Kenya). As far back as 15th place at the low point of his race, Kawauchi rallied with his characteristic finish to take 6th in 2:14:04, running down 2015 Beijing World Championships 5th-placer Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) with less than 3 km to go. "I'm really disappointed with my time and place, but I was able to keep pushing through when it got tough and I met my minimum goal of beating Dechasa, so it wasn't all bad," he told JRN post-race. "I wanted to leave a better record in the books here in Stockholm where Japanese marathoning was born at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, so I have to come back and try to achieve that next time."

The women's race also went out faster than expected, on 2:32 pace in the early going before slowing to more reasonable 2:36 territory. At halfway it was a group of five in 1:18:00, Biruk with countrywomen Belaynesh Shifera and Tiruwork Mekonen, Kenyan Alice Kibor, and Japan's Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.). Like Kawauchi, Sakamoto slipped off the back on the hilly park section after halfway, 9 seconds behind at 25 km and fading.

The remaining four stayed together until after 35 km when Biruk surged to win by 15 seconds. Shifera was next in 2:36:00 with Kibor stopping it from being an Ethiopian sweep as she took 3rd in 2:36:19. Sakamoto was 5th in 2:41:34, her slowest international time to date in five marathons abroad. "I changed my training up this time to focus on more speedwork," she told JRN post-race. "This is what happens."

39th ASICS Stockholm Marathon
Stockholm, Sweden, 6/3/17
click here for complete results

Men
1. Abrha Milaw (Ethiopia) - 2:11:36
2. Samuel Getachew (Ethiopia) - 2:12:27
3. Samuel Kalalel (Kenya) - 2:12:36
4. Daniel Yator (Kenya) - 2:13:13
5. Mike Mutai (Kenya) - 2:13:22
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:14:04
7. Eric Kering (Kenya) - 2:15:15
8. Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) - 2:15:35
9. John Kemboi (Kenya) - 2:16:19
10. Abdellatif Meftah (France) - 2:16:52

Women
1. Konjit Tilahun Biruk (Ethiopia) - 2:35:45
2. Belaynesh Shifera (Ethiopia) - 2:36:00
3. Alice Kibor (Kenya) - 2:36:19
4. Tiruwork Mekonen (Ethiopia) - 2:37:03
5. Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/YWC) - 2:41:34
6. Mikaela Larsson (Sweden) - 2:42:21
7. Lisa Ring (Sweden) - 2:43:14
8. Charlotte Karlsson (Sweden) - 2:45:21
9. Ida-Marie Nicklesson (Sweden) - 2:45:30
10. Karoline Moen Guidon (Norway) - 2:46:04

photos and text © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

Comparing D1 Pre-Nationals and the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier

With both American and Japanese university students well into their fall seasons, two major events took place Saturday. Near Madison, Wisconsin, the D1 Pre-Nationals cross-country meet and in Tachikawa, Tokyo the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon. At Pre-Nats men ran 8 km on a looping XC course with a maximum elevation difference of around 30 m. The field was split into two main races, Cardinal and White, with a total of 69 teams, and an additional Grey race handling some overflow. Teams ran up to seven members, with the top five scoring on cumulative placing. A total of 474 athletes finished the two main races, with five DNF.

At the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier, known as the Yosenkai, the distance was lengthened from 20 km to the half marathon distance this year, on a paved net-uphill course with a maximum elevation difference of about 20 m, most of that in the hilly final 8 km through Showa Kinen Park. 39 second-tier teams fielded up to twelve runners, with the top ten scoring on cu…

28:45 High Schoolers and More - Weekend Track Roundup

The IAAF has unilaterally declared track season over. But in Japan fall track is an integral part of ekiden season training, and it's not unusual to see many athletes drop their best 3000 m, 5000 m and 10000 m times of the year between October and December. Case in point, this weekend.

The biggest news came at Saturday's Nighter Time Trials in Nagasaki, where Keiho H.S. 11th-grader Hiroto Hayashida ran 28:45.75 for 6th in the 10000 m, all-time #8 among Japanese high school boys and #2 among 11th-graders. "Thank you to everyone who supported me!" Hayashida said on Twitter post-race. "I want to take this and apply to it ekiden season now." Geoffrey Gichia (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) won in 28:36.36, with Jakarta Asian Games marathon gold medalist Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) 2nd in 28:37.27.

ナイター記録会(諫早)

林田洋翔選手(瓊浦2)
28:45.75

県高校記録更新おめでとうございます🎉 pic.twitter.com/V7navKw6HQ — manamin (@kinokonoko0916) October 13, 2018
At Niigata's Autumn Time Trials a unique women's 50…