The 36th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon took place Sept. 17 in Ichinoseki, Iwate. 25-year-old Joseph Onsarigo (Nasu Kensetsu) won the men's race in 1:04:34, with Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) winning the women's race in 1:16:10, both of them taking the top position for the first time. A total of 2824 people started in the half marathon, 10 km and 5 km divisions, with 2652 finishing.
The men's race developed into a battle between two natives of Kenya, with Onsarigo having what it took to prevail as the overall winner. Invited athlete Cyrus Njui (Cebu Sports) took the early lead. Surging at the 6 km turnaround point at Hiraizumi, he turned the race into a one-on-one duel. Around 12 km near Ruinohashi Onsarigo thought to himself, "Let's break away all at once," and surged, but Njui was able to answer and stayed in contact. The pair continued to test each other, looking for an opportunity.
The key to the win came on the uphills late in the race. Last year's winner Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) had advised Onsarigo beforehand to save something for the hills, and he had kept the advice in mind. Using the part of the course with the greatest elevation change to help him score the win, Onsarigo said simply, "The uphills went well." Sensing that Njui's strength was fading, Onsarigo pressed on with control toward the finish line.
Coming in to the straight in the last kilometer the pair was almost even, but, Onsarigo said, "I knew from 18 km that I was going to win it." Surging hard, he opened a gap of 7 seconds on Njui, raising his arms in victory as he broke the tape. "It feels good to win," he said with a smile. But with a passing typhoon having threatened to cancel the race the difficult, windy conditions meant a winning time of only 1:04:34, a time which brought him no satisfaction. Always looking to improve himself, Onsarigo said, "Next time I want to better my PB of 1:02:18."
source article: http://www.iwate-np.co.jp/cgi-bin/news.cgi?sp=20170918_3
translated and edited by Brett Larner