Skip to main content

Kipkorir Defends Incheon Songdo International Half Marathon Title


Overcoming humid conditions and competition over two minutes faster than his best, 2016 Incheon Songdo International Half Marathon winner Paul Kipkorir (Kenya) negative splitted his way to his second-straight Incheon title, winning in 1:02:32.

Conditions just before the start were good, cool and breezy with light clouds. Even so, the early pace was unexpectedly slow given a field that included sub-60 men Edwin Rotich (Kenya) and Adunga Bikila (Ethiopia), Kipkorir, 2015 winner Isaac Kiplagat (Kenya) and five men with 62-minute bests including 19-year-old Japanese runner Tomoki Ota (Waseda Univ.). Running 3:01-02 per km kilometer for 5 km, a push from Kipkorir at the turnaround near 9 km was enough to shake off Ota and a few others but still took the lead pack through 10 km dead on 30:00.

Over the second half the humidity rose rapidly as the cloud cover shifted to mist, and one by one the contenders in the lead pack dropped off. In the final kilometers it came to a race between Kipkorir and Seifu Abdiwak (Ethiopia), but Kipkorir had the experience to seal it and open a winning margin of 26 seconds over Abdiwak.

Timothy Kattam (Kenya) took 3rd in 1:03:24, a PB by nearly two minutes as those around him suffered. Ota, who ran 1:02:48 at last November's Ageo City Marathon in his debut at the distance, faded badly as the conditions worsened, ultimately taking 13th in 1:07:16, his worst time in three half marathons to date. 2017 New Caledonia Marathon winner Yoshiki Koizumi (Raffine) experienced breathing difficulties and was never a factor, finishing far back in the pack among the amateur-level South Korean men. With no international women's field in the race the top woman among the seven South Koreans to start was Sook-Jeong Kim in 1:18:08.


Incheon Songdo Half Marathon

Songdo, Incheon, South Korea, 9/24/17

Men
1. Paul Kipkorir (Kenya) - 1:02:32
2. Seifu Abdiwak (Ethiopia) - 1:02:58
3. Timothy Kattam (Kenya) - 1:03:24 - PB
4. Mohammed Ziani (Morocco) - 1:03:31
5. Isaac Korir (Bahrain) - 1:04:04
6. Adunga Bikila (Ethiopia) - 1:04:24
7. Reuben Narry (Kenya) - 1:04:29 - PB
8. Namakoe Nkhasi (Lesotho) - 1:04:42
9. Taher Belkorchi (Morocoo) - 1:04:52
10. Mulue Andom Barhe (Eritrea) - 1:05:28
-----
13. Tomoki Oda (Japan/Waseda Univ.) - 1:07:16
22. Yoshiki Koizumi (Japan/Raffine) - 1:10:53

Women
1. Sook-Jeong Kim (South Korea) - 1:18:08

text and photos © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Metts said…
Was registered for the 10K but decided not to run it or even show up this morning. Ran later in the day. If I had known you were going to be there I would have gone just to meet you. Maybe some other time in Tokyo.
Brett Larner said…
My first time in mainland Korea. A nice weekend.

Most-Read This Week

Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asah…

Nissin Shokuhin to Eliminate All Athletes Except Sato and Murasawa

Two-time New Year Ekiden national champion Nissin Shokuhin Group announced on Jan. 10 that it is making major cuts to its men's ekiden team. With the exception of MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Akinobu Murasawa, 27, and Yuki Sato, 32, it will eliminate its other twelve athletes from the team. It has also canceled contracts with two graduating university fourth-years who were scheduled to join the team in April following their graduation.

The Nissin Shokuhin Group team has been one of the leaders of Japanese long distance, home to top class athletes including current marathon national record holder Suguru Osako, 27. The change in its policies comes suddenly. According to a person involved in the situation, of the team's fourteen members the twelve other than Murasawa and Sato have been asked to leave the team. Those who wish to continue their athletic careers will receive support in transferring to another team, while those who wish to retire will have the op…

Aoyama Gakuin First Year Takayuki Iida Leads Weekend Half Marathon Action

The National Women's Ekiden was the weekend's biggest race, but across the country four half marathons saw decently competitive men's action.

At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, as in the last few years Hakone Ekiden runner-up Aoyama Gakuin University ran its B-team of Hakone non-starters, this year with company from the team that beat it, Tokai University. AGU swept the top ten, first-year Takayuki Iida taking the top spot in 1:03:10 with teammate Shuya Iwami also getting under 64 minutes. Tokai seemed to treat the day more as a workout, but head coach Hayashi Morozumi, 52, took the chance to get in on the action too, running the 10 km division in 43:04.

In Tokyo, the High Tech Half Marathon celebrated its 20th running with the edition of a marathon division. Independent Hideyuki Ikegami (Aminosaurus) won the men's half in 1:05:08. Club runner Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) ran the fastest women's time of the weekend, 1:19:34, to win…