The 37th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon took place Sept. 23, starting and finishing outside Ichonoseki Municipal Sports Gymnasium. Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) won the men's division in 1:03:53, while Mirai Waku (Universal Entertainment) took the women's race in 1:15:41. For both athletes it was the first time to win in Ichinoseki. 2:09:21 marathoner Koji Gokaya (JR Higashi Nihon) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:05:54, and Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) finished 7th in 1:07:31.
A record total of 3079 people from within the country and without entered the half, 10 km, 5 km and 3 km divisions, with 2916 finishing. Under brilliant blue skies temperatures reached an unseasonably hot 27.2˚C, leaving participants dripping with sweat. Men's half marathon entrant Soya Saito, 28, a resident of Morioka, commented, "It was a lot hotter than most years, but it was really nice to run through the beautiful golden rice fields."
translated and edited by Brett Larner