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The Biggest Year Ever for the World's Biggest Women-Only Marathon - Nagoya Women's Marathon Elite Field

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the field for the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, the organizers of the Nagoya Women's Marathon have put out the entry list for this year's race, the last domestic chance for Japanese women to qualify for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials. With the impending imperial succession the Tokyo Marathon moves this year from the last weekend of February to Lake Biwa's traditional date of the first weekend of March, forcing Lake Biwa to move a week later. That puts it the same day as Nagoya, with Nagoya starting three hours earlier.

Logistical challenges aside, Nagoya is set to be a big race. While 24 men have qualified for September's MGC Race to date, only nine women have done it. A few will be trying to make it in Tokyo, but dozens are lining up in Nagoya to try to pick up one of the six spots available for sure. The top three Japanese women will qualify if under 2:28:00, with up to three more qualifying if under 2:27:00. There's also a chance to qualify by clearing 2:24:00 or by averaging under 2:28:00 between Nagoya and another race in the last year and a half.

As in Lake Biwa, the front end of the field is well-positioned to pull the Japanese women along, the Kenyan trio of Valary Jemeli, Visiline Jepkesho and Monica Jepkoech spanning the 2:20 to 2:24 level versus the top Japanese four Reia Iwade (Under Armor), Shiho Takechi (Yamada Denki), Misato Horie (Noritz) and Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) in the 2:24 to 2:25 range. The Ethiopian contingent is unusually small but formidable, with the great Meseret Defar taking another shot at the marathon distance. And, the big news of the race, half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal), trying again after falling hard early in last month's Osaka International Women's Marathon and dropping out in her first marathon since the Rio Olympics.

Speaking of Osaka, there's the same dynamic as in Lake Biwa. At least four women who ran the Osaka International Women's Marathon at the end of January, Horie, Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki), Yukari Abe (Shimamura) and Hiroko Miyauchi (Hokuren) are trying again in order to squeeze in a two-race average under 2:28. There's no shortage of talented first-timers either, with most of the top three from last weekend's Kumanichi 30 km and Ome 30 km set to run along with several talented half marathoners. Along with being the biggest women-only marathon in the world, for the last few years Nagoya has also been one of the most competitive elite women's race. With 34 women with recent sub-2:35 times and almost a dozen high-potential additions on the debut list this could be its biggest year ever.

Check back closer to race date for more info on the TV broadcast and how to follow the action live.

Nagoya Women's Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Nagoya, 3/10/19
complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Valary Jemeli (Kenya) - 2:20:53 (3rd, Berlin 2017)
Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 2:21:37 (4th, Paris 2017)
Monica Jepkoech (Kenya) - 2:24:31 (3rd, Seoul 2018)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Under Armor) - 2:24:38 (5th, Nagoya 2016)
Shiho Takechi (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:25:29 (7th, Nagoya 2016)
Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 2:25:44 (2nd, Osaka Int'l 2017)
Miyuki Uehara (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 2:25:46 (9th, Berlin 2018)
Ayaka Fujimoto (Japan/Kyocera) - 2:27:08 (4th, Tokyo 2017)
Michi Numata (Japan/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 2:27:27 (9th, Nagoya 2016)
Hisami Ishii (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:27:35 (5th, Nagoya 2017)
Sara Dossena (Italy) - 2:27:53 (6th, Euro Champs 2018)
Miharu Shimokado (Japan/Brooks) - 2:27:54 (6th, Nagoya 2017)
Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 2:27:55 (8th, Amsterdam 2018)
Yukari Abe (Japan/Shimamura) - 2:28:02 (5th, Osaka Int'l 2019)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Team RxL) - 2:28:24 (7th, Nagoya 2017)
Rachel Cliff (Canada) - 2:28:53 (11th, Berlin 2018)
Helalia Johannes (Namibia) - 2:29:25 (6th, Vienna 2017)
Kayoko Fukushi (Japan/Wacoal) - 2:29:53 (14th, Rio Olympics 2016)
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/Memolead) - 2:30:09 (1st, Fukuoka 2018)
Sairi Maeda (Japan/Daihatsu) - 2:30:54 (15th, Nagoya 2018)
Kaoru Nagao (Japan/Sunfield) - 2:30:54 (14th, Nagoya 2016)
Ayano Ikemitsu (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:31:21 (16th, Nagoya 2018)
Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Japan/Noritz) - 2:31:33 (2nd, Riga 2017)
Mizuki Tanimoto (Japan/Tenmaya) - 2:31:34 (3rd, Hokkaido 2018)
Mao Uesugi (Japan/Starts) - 2:31:49 (8th, Tokyo 2018)
Ellie Pashley (Australia) - 2:31:52 (6th, Cape Town 2018)
Saki Tokoro (Japan/Kyocera) - 2:32:11 (6th, Saitama 2018)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Japan/Denso) - 2:32:14 (17th, Nagoya 2018)
Yomogi Akasaka (Japan/Saitama Iryo Univ.) - 2:32:28 (18th, Nagoya 2018)
Hitomi Mizuguchi (Japan/Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 2:33:10 (8th, Osaka Int'l 2018)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Japan/Hokuren) - 2:33:55 (16th, Osaka Int'l 2017)
Mei Matsuyama (Japan/Noritz) - 2:34:35 (25th, Nagoya 2016)
Sakie Arai (Japan/Higo Ginko) - 2:34:40 (19th, Osaka Int'l 2017)

Mirai Waku (Japan/Univ. Ent.) - 1:43:57 (2nd, Ome 30 km 2016)
Anna Matsuda (Japan/Kyocera) - 1:46:27 (2nd, Kumanichi 30 km 2019)
Nami Hashimoto (Japan/Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:46:30 (2nd, Ome 30 km 2019)
Yuri Nozoe (Japan/Kojima Press) - 1:47:29 (2nd, Ome 30 km 2018)
Misaki Nishida (Japan/Edion) - 1:11:58 (13th, Nat'l Corporate Half 2019)
Ai Hosoda (Japan/Daihatsu) - 32:21.11 (10th, Corporate Women's Time Trials 2018)

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Andrew Armiger said…
Whoa, much looking forward to this!
Brett Larner said…
Yep, it's going to be a great race, especially with Lake Biwa later the same day.

BTW, did you quit Twitter? I haven't been able to find you there lately.
Unknown said…
Looking Forward to the Racing - hope the Womens' Marathon goes around the World Live… Please :)

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