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Furuse and Godana Win Nagano Marathon

Wind and rain hit the 20th anniversary Nagano Marathon hard enough to slow things down, Japan's Asami Furuse (Kyocera) and Ethiopian Abdela Godana taking the top spots in the women's and men's races.

Coached by former men's half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato, Furuse and teammate Saki Tokoro were part of a lead group of five women that set out on low 2:33 pace. Kenyan Beatrice Jepkemboi dropped off he group near 20 km and Yukiko Okuno (Shiseido) did the same a few minutes later, leaving the Kyocera duo to face remaining Kenyan Pauline Wangui over the second half.

Tokoro cracked just before 30 km and Wangui around 32 km, leaving Furuse to push on alone to an evenly-paced 2:34:09. Wangui faded to 4th, run down first by Tokoro and then by Okuno. Tokoro made it a 1-2 finish for Kyocera, another success for Sato is his short coaching career to date. 4th last year, former Tenmaya runner Aki Otagiri moved up from the second pack to take the 5th spot this time out.

Godana went straight to the front of the large men's lead pack, leading through 5 km on 2:11-flat pace. The pace picked up just enough that 20 km it was down to five, Kenyan Julius Keter and Japanese runners Kyota Yabushita (Osaka Gas), Yuki Munakata (Kanebo) and Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) hanging on to Godama through a 1:05:22 halfway split.

Munakata, coached by former marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka, slipped back over 20 seconds behind the group by 25 km, but as the lead pack splintered over the next 5 km he overtook Keter and Yabusthia to move back into 3rd, still just over 20 seconds behind Godana and Ichida. Over the final 5 km Godna shook Ichida off, taking 1st unchallenged in 2:13:54. Munakata ran Ichida down just before 40 km, finishing 2nd overall in 2:14:21. Ichida was 21 seconds back in 3rd, the only top-placing runner male or female to run a PB in the tough conditions.

20th Nagano Marathon

Nagano, 4/15/18
click here for complete results

Women
1. Asami Furuse (Kyocera) - 2:34:09
2. Saki Tokoro (Kyocera) - 2:36:21
3. Yukiko Okuno (Shiseido) - 2:36:44
4. Pauline Wangui (Kenya) - 2:39:31
5. Aki Otagiri (Takemura) - 2:44:16
6. Shiori Shimomura (Comody Iida) - 2:46:44
7. Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) - 2:48:33
8. Yuka Yamagami (Mie T&F Assoc.) - 2:54:59
9. Shiho Asada (Hachijuni) - 2:55:32
10. Seika Iwamura (Kumamoto T&F Assoc.) - 2:56:20

Men
1. Abdela Godana (Ethiopia) - 2:13:54
2. Yuki Munakata (Kanebo) - 2:14:21
3. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 2:14:42 - PB
4. Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 2:17:06
5. Ryo Kuchimachi (Subaru) - 2:18:26
6. Shun Imamura (Press Kogyo) - 2:18:27
7. Takuma Shibata (Komori Corp.) - 2:18:39
8. Yusuke Hosokawa (Osaka Gas) - 2:18:55
9. Teppei Suegami (YKK) - 2:19:13
10. Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Cere Sports) - 2:19:32

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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