The National Women's Ekiden was the weekend's biggest race, but across the country four half marathons saw decently competitive men's action.
At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, as in the last few years Hakone Ekiden runner-up Aoyama Gakuin University ran its B-team of Hakone non-starters, this year with company from the team that beat it, Tokai University. AGU swept the top ten, first-year Takayuki Iida taking the top spot in 1:03:10 with teammate Shuya Iwami also getting under 64 minutes. Tokai seemed to treat the day more as a workout, but head coach Hayashi Morozumi, 52, took the chance to get in on the action too, running the 10 km division in 43:04.
In Tokyo, the High Tech Half Marathon celebrated its 20th running with the edition of a marathon division. Independent Hideyuki Ikegami (Aminosaurus) won the men's half in 1:05:08. Club runner Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) ran the fastest women's time of the weekend, 1:19:34, to win the women's race. Hiroki Miyabe (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) became the first men's champ in the marathon division with a 2:23:04 for the win, Midori Katsuura (unattached) winning the women's race in 3:10:26.
As always Kyushu was packed with races. At the Oita City Half Marathon, local corporate league runner Ayumu Hisaibara (Kurosaki Harima) won in 1:05:37 over teammate Yuya Konishi. In Nagasaki, Hiroki Ishida (Mitsubishi Juko RC) took 1st in the Unzan Obama Spa Resort Half Marathon. Also on Kyushu if not a half marathon, the Ibusunki Nanohana Marathon saw its titles go to Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Mayumi Otaki (Sapporo T&F Assoc.) in 2:14:21 and 3:09:38.
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