2017 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) ended 2018 with another win, beating former Aoyama Gakuin University and current GMO corporate team stars Tadashi Isshiki and Yuta Shimoda to win the 2nd edition of the Year-End Half Marathon.
A new event started last year to give people whose teams missed out on the New Year and Hakone Ekidens something to do with their fitness, the Year-End Half Marathon course consisted of a short loop followed by four laps of around 5 km each inside western Tokyo's hilly Showa Kinen Park. Initially starting in a pack with others from the GMO and Raffine corporate teams and a few university men from Chuo, Asia and Meiji Gakuin, Kariuki and Shimoda pulled away over the second lap of the park with Isshiki trailing in a chase pack of four. Over the third lap Shimoda lost touch, then was overtaken by Isshiki midway through the final lap.
Kariuki took the win with ease in 1:02:42, nearly two minutes better than last year's course record. Isshiki was 18 seconds back in 2nd. Shimoda faded hard over the last 3 km, nearly run down by teammate Ryo Hashimoto but hanging on to 3rd in 1:03:28. Independent Tatsuya Maruyama was a surprise 5th in 1:03:44. All told the top seven bettered the old course record of 1:04:31 by Yoshiki Fuchi (Jobu Univ.).
2nd Year-End Half MarathonShowa Kinen Park, Tachikawa, Tokyo, 12/29/18
1. Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 1:02:42
2. Tadashi Isshiki (GMO) - 1:03:00
3. Yuta Shimoda (GMO) - 1:03:28
4. Ryo Hashimoto (GMO) - 1:03:31
5. Tatsuya Maruyama (unattached) - 1:03:44
6. Kenta Fukumura (Raffine) - 1:03:59
7. Taiki Suzuki (Raffine) - 1:04:01
8. Tatsunori Watanabe (GMO) - 1:04:43
9. Hikaru Kumagai (Raffine) - 1:04:46
10. Hiroto Kunishi (unattached) - 1:05:17
© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved