The organizers of the Dec. 23 Sanyo Ladies Road Race have announced the elite field for this year's 37th running. Honami Maeda of local corporate team Tenmaya and others preparing for next September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials will be in the field, along with national record holder and Rio Olympian Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) who will return to Sanyo for the first time since 2005.
The half marathon division promises to be an exciting race between Olympic contenders. Among the eight women to have qualified for the MGC Race so far, Maeda, teammate Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) and Reia Iwade (Under Armour), the 2nd-place Japanese woman at March's Nagoya Women's Marathon, will face off. Others include Fukushi, Asia Games 5000 m team member Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), under-20 marathon national record holder Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) and Australian Ellie Pashley, who represented her country at this year's World Half Marathon Championships. It looks set to be a high-level battle.
The 10 km features Mai Nishiwaki and Sara Miyake, key players in Tenmaya's runner-up finish at last month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden. Two-time winner Grace Kimanzi (Starts) and compatriot Mariam Waithera (Kyudenko) bring the African challenge. The certified race starts and finishes at Okayama's City Lights Stadium, with the half marathon beginning at 10:00 and the 10 km at 10:15.
translated and edited by Brett Larner