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Cheboitibin and Waku Win Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

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."

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translated and edited by Brett Larner

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