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Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

Fresh off a 1:00:17 half marathon national record last weekend and a 28:55 road 10 km the one before, Yuta Shitara (Honda) lived up to expectations at today's Berlin Marathon, trying to go with the lead group and running the first part of the race alone between the first and second groups.

Whatever his plan, Shitara was swallowed up by the second pack, a good turn of events as it was travelling ahead of Japanese national record pace on track for just sub-2:06. Shitara hung with that group through 25 km before his projected time started to creep away, drifting to high-2:06 pace by 30 km, high-2:07 by 35 km, and high-2:08 by 40 km. In the end he was well short of Toshinari Takaoka's 2:06:16 national record, but with a 2:09:03 for 6th Shitara took 24 seconds off his best with the fastest Japanese men's performance in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. And just 8 days after the greatest half marathon performance in Japanese history.


His Honda teammate Hiroaki Sano led the Berlin-experienced Koji Gokaya (JR Higashi NIhon) and fellow sub-61 half marathoner Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) on a more conservative, steady pace around 2:10:30 until 30 km, after which point Kikuchi started to slip. Gokaya, like Sano a one-time sub-2:10 runner to date, was next, leaving Sano to gut out a 2:11:24 for 7th. Gokaya was good for 2:14:28 for 13th, with Kikuchi marking a two-minute improvement over his 2017 Tokyo Marathon debut in 2:15:32.

Shitara's time was the 9th sub-2:10 of the year by a Japanese man. Along with Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) at July's Gold Coast Airport Marathon he was the third to do it outside Japan this year, the most in a single year since 1986. At least four more international marathons and one domestic marathon could see additions to that list, meaning a possible record-setting year for depth at the front end of Japanese men's marathoning. With 2:09 marathons in his first two times out the gate Shitara is one of the ones leading that charge.

Berlin Marathon

Berlin, Germany, 9/24/17
click here for complete results

Men
1. Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) – 2:03:32
2. Guya Adola (Ethiopia) – 2:03:46 – debut
3. Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) – 2:06:09 - PB
4. Felix Kandie (Kenya) – 2:06:13
5. Vincent Kipruto (Kenya) – 2:06:14
6. Yuta Shitara (Japan/Honda) – 2:09:03 – PB
7. Hiroaki Sano (Japan/Honda) – 2:11:24
8. Ryan Vail (U.S.A.) – 2:12:40
9. Liam Adams (Australia) – 2:12:52 - PB
10. Jonny Mellor (Great Britain) – 2:12:57 - PB
-----
13. Koji Gokaya (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) – 2:14:28
17. Masato Kikuchi (Japan/Konica Minolta) – 2:15:32 – PB

Women
1. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) – 2:20:23
2. Ruti Aga (Ethiopia) - 2:20:41 - PB
3. Valary Ayabei (Kenya) – 2:20:54 - PB
4. Helen Tola (Ethiopia) - 2:22:51 - PB
5. Anna Hahner (Germany) - 2:28:32
6. Catherine Bertone (Italy) - 2:28:34 - PB
7. Sonia Samuels (Great Britain) - 2:29:34
8. Azucena Diaz (Spain) - 2:30:31
9. Catarina Ribeiro (Portugal) - 2:33:13
10. Kim Dillen (Netherlands) - 2:33:24 - PB

photo © 2017 Horst Milde, all rights reserved
text © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Metts said…
Looking through the Berlin results, like I do with most big marathons, and especially in Japan, I see huge depth, not just up to 2:20, but beyond, 2:20 to 2:30, 2:30 to 2:40 etc. I see huge depth in the age groups at sub 2:40, sub 2:50, those guys who work full time and still try to run a quality time. While the elite in Japan are very interesting I am very much also interested in the sub elite and all those who work and run quality marathons, especially in Japan. The 60+ record holder comes to mind, even though he has dropped a lot. Maybe the 7 to 10 stretch of good marathons and then we all drop off or Chihro Tanaka comes to mind of those still trying to do quality marathons.
TokyoRacer said…
I don't care what Shitara thinks, that Half effort cost him in the final 12k. He would have been much faster had he tapered properly.
Metts said…
What about Sano? Is it record? Waiting approval?
Brett Larner said…
Sorry, I'm not sure what you are asking. Sano has run 2:09:12, so this was over 2 minutes off his best.

Shitara would probably have run faster with the half, but then he might not be a national record holder today.
Metts said…
The Berlin results on Sun/Mon. were showing Sano as first in the 45M age group. They have now revised that.

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