Skip to main content

Muritu Over Fujimoto At Record-Breaking Kosa 10-Miler

Fukuoka wasn't the only big race in Japan yesterday. Just south near Kumamoto, the world's #1 10-miler took place in rural Kosa. Primarily a tuneup for the New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships, the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race produced two of the fastest Japanese times ever, two national records, and record-setting depth.

Up front, a larger-than-usual contingent of Japan-based Kenyans and top-level Japanese talent including Chicago 2:07:57 man Taku Fujimoto (Toyota), Jakarta Asian Games steeplechase bronze medalist Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) and others pushed through a 14:10 first 5 km despite warm and humid conditions and a light headwind. The lead pack gradually whittled down to five by 15 km, where John Muritu (Toyota Kyushu), Fujimoto and Cyrus Kingori (SGH Group) attacked at the base of a short downhill.

In the last sprint Muritu got away to take 1st in 45:56, with Fujimoto next in 45:57 and Kingori 3rd in 45:58. Fujimoto's time was one second better than last year's winning time by half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) and landed him at all-time Japanese #4. Following his 10000 m PB last weekend in Hachioji it looks like Fujimoto, a teammate of Fukuoka winner Yuma Hattori (Toyota), has recovered well from his surprise sub-2:08 in Chicago.

Shiojiri and three-time Kosa winner Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) were left behind by the top three's final attack, Karemi taking 4th and Shiojiri 5th in 46:06 to position himself as all-time Japanese #10. Veteran 2:07 marathoner and former Hakone Ekiden uphill king Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) had a surprisingly good day, taking 13 seconds off his 11-year-old PB for 9th in 46:22.

Wrapping up a three-week stint in Japan that saw him run a national record at the Ageo City Half Marathon and a 10000 m season best for the win at the Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, David Nilsson (Sweden) ran in the second pack in hopes of breaking the relatively soft 48:34 national record. As in Ageo running without a watch, Nilsson found himself pulled along through a 14:13 first 5 km and 28:59 split at 10 km. Working together with 2015 3rd-placer Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei), Nilsson pushed through the second half to take almost a minute and a half off the Swedish national record for 22nd in 47:10. Nilsson will compete for Sweden at next weekend's European Cross Country Championships.

Mongolian half marathon and marathon national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (NTN) also set a new national record, running 47:59 for 57th. Kosa this year broke the world records for depth set at the 2015 edition, with 92 men breaking 49 minutes and 114 going under 50. The next three deepest 10-milers in the world this year, Japan's Karatsu 10-Miler, the U.S.A. 10-Mile Championships and the Netherlands' Dam-tot Damloop, had 44, 34 and 25 men under 50 minutes, totaling less than what happened in Kosa.

In the high school boys's 10 km, last year's winner Ryuto Igawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) ran one second faster this time, 29:44, but finished a distant second to winner Simon Kimunge (Tokai Prep Fukuoka H.S.). 16-year-old Masaya Tsurukawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) was 3rd in 29:50. 2016 winner Erika Ikeda (Higo Ginko) returned to the top of the women's 5 km, winning in 16:36 by one second over teammates Eri Sakamoto and Suzuna Takano.

43rd Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race

Kosa, Kumamoto, 12/2/18
complete results

Men's 10 Miles
1. John Muritu (Toyota Kyushu) - 45:56
2. Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 45:57 - all-time JPN #4
3. Cyrus Kingori (SGH Group) - 45:58
4. Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) - 46:05
5. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 46:06 - all-time JPN #10
6. Daiji Kawai (Toenec) - 46:15
7. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) - 46:20
8. Shohei Otsuka (Kyudenko) - 46:21
9. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 46:22
10. Kiyoshi Koga (Yasukawa Denki) - 46:26
11. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 46:30
12. Ryosuke Maki (Subaru) - 46:31
13. Paul Kuira (Konica Minolta) - 46:38
14. Akito Terui (ND Software) - 46:49
15. Hidekazu Hijikata (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 46:50
16. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 46:51
17. Shuhei Yamaguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 46:54
18. Takahiro Nakamura (Kyocera Kagoshima) - 46:56
19. Kohei Futaoka (Chudenko) - 47:02
20. Alex Mwangi (YKK) - 47:08
21. Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei) - 47:09
22. David Nilsson (Sweden) - 47:10 - NR
23. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 47:12
24. Masashi Sakamoto (Toyota Kyushu) - 47:13
25. Enock Omwamba (MHPS) - 47:16
31. Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 47:28
57. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 47:59 - NR
79. Naohiro Yamada (YKK) - 48:28
92. Hikaru Urano (MHPS) - 48:58
104. Tomoki Kawamura (Toyota Boshoku) - 49:29
114. Takaya Arake (Asahi Kasei) - 49:58
DNF - William Malel (Honda)

High School Boys 10 km
1. Simon Kimunge (Tokai Prep Fukuoka H.S.) - 29:19
2. Ryuto Igawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 29:44
3. Masaya Tsurukawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 29:50
4. Ryosuke Yamasaki (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) - 29:54
5. Yuki Irita (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 30:01

Women's 5 km
1. Erika Ikeda (Higo Ginko) - 16:36
2. Eri Sakamoto (Higo Ginko) - 16:37
3. Suzuna Takano (Higo Ginko) - 16:39
4. Mayu Sakaida (Chiharadai H.S.) - 16:45
5. Eriko Otsuka (Canon AC Kyushu) - 17:01

text and photos © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee


Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Meet Ken Nakayama

Chuo University fourth-year Ken Nakayama is running Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the eighth year that the New York Road Runners have invited top Japanese university men from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run their half. You might have seen his training partner Kensuke Horio finish 5th in the Tokyo Marathon in his debut a couple of weeks ago. Nakayama is one of the very top graduating seniors in Japan this year, but his route to that level has been one of the most unconventional.

Japanese distance running is highly systematically organized, with top high schools feeding into top universities where the best runners will run the Hakone Ekiden and get recruited to top corporate teams and then go on to become the country's top marathoners. Scouting at the university level is intense, and for the most part it's pretty clear early on in high school who the cream of the crop are going to be.

Nakayama was nobody in high school. He played soccer in junior…

The 2020 Olympic Trials Qualifiers and the New Olympic Standards

Sunday's Nagoya Women's Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon pretty much wrapped up qualification for the Sept. 15 MGC Race, Japan's new 2020 Olympic trials in the marathon. There's still a chance for people who haven't qualified yet to get in if they can clear the wildcard standards, 2:24:00 or a two-race 2:28:00 average for women and 2:08:30 or a 2:11:00 average for men, by the end of April. At least two men with good chances of making it, Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) and Asuka Tanaka (Hiramatsu Byoin), are planning to race again in April to try to go that route, and there will probably be others. But realistically the numbers of qualifiers probably won't change too much from what they are now.

As of the end of Sunday's races, 14 women and 30 men have qualified. On the women's side, the Tenmaya corporate team, the most successful at putting women on national teams in the marathon, has produced the most qualifiers with three, Honami Maeda, Mizuki …