Skip to main content

Rodgers Breaks Shizuoka CR - Weekend Road Race Roundup

The National Cross-Country Championships were the weekend's most competitive race, but half marathons were the main source of road action. Takumi Obara (Komazawa Univ.) ran the fastest time of the day to win the 41st Inuyama Half Marathon in 1:03:52, outrunning Shoya Kawase (Seigakkan Univ.) by two seconds. Kawase's run was a rare sub-64 from a university man outside the Kanto Region, holding off 3rd placer Shota Ezomori (Waseda Univ.) by four seconds. Honoka Sugiura (Chukyo Univ.) dominated the women's race by nearly a minute to win in 1:13:31. Daiji Kawai (Toenec) won Inuyama's 10 km division in a strong 29:01, with Honoka Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) the fastest woman at 33:50.

At the 68th Kashima Yutoku Half Marathon, Ryuichi Hashimoto (Juntendo Univ.) won the men's race in 1:04:40, with Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) taking the women's race in 1:15:01. Hikaru Kumagai (Raffine) ran almost the identical time to Hashimoto to win the 13th Fukaya City Half Marathon, taking 1st by twenty seconds in 1:04:41. Shinji Mita of the local Saitama Ika University Staff corporate team topped Fukaya's 10 km in 29:23. Women's times in Fukaya were relatively slower, with amateurs Maya Sato and Tomomi Sawahata winning in 1:23:02 and 35:17.

In marathon action, Australian Rochelle Rodgers won the Shizuoka Marathon women's race in a course record 2:34:45, a massive nine-minute PB and the fastest time so far this year by an Australian woman. Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) outkicked longtime rival Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) to win the men's race 2:13:40 to 2:14:24. At the Himeji Castle Marathon, former steeplechase national champion Jun Shinoto (Aichi Seiko Tokushu) outran retiring teammate Naoto Morimoto by just over two minutes for the win in 2:21:22. Amateur Ayumi Yokota won the women's race in 2:48:39. In 2nd place, 49-year-old Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC) ran 2:50:38 less than 24 hours after her daughter, 2018 World U20 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC), won her first national title at age 19 at the National Cross-Country Championships.

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee


Most-Read This Week

Takushoku Teammates Lemeteki and Akasaki Sub-62 For 1-2 at Ageo City Half Marathon

Takushoku University teammates Joseph Razini Lemeteki and Akira Akasaki dominated the 2019 Ageo City Half Marathon, alternating the lead throughout almost the entire race to go 1-2 in school record times.

With invitations to the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half up for grabs to the top two Japanese collegiate finishers in the unofficial intramural tryout for Japan's most prestigious race, the 2020 Hakone Ekiden, things went out very conservatively by Ageo standards at just 3:00/km for the first 2 km. Not content with that, Akasaki, 3rd on his stage at both the Izumo Ekiden in October and the National University Ekiden earlier this month, picked up the race and carried it until 15 km. From 3 km to 8 km Akasaki split 14:33, pace for 1:01:24, condensing the pack behind him down to eight.

After the 10 km turnaround Akasaki's teammate Lemeteki made a bold move to gain contact with the lead group, and when he did it shaved things down to seven serious contenders. The front group stayed …

Japanese Amateur Yamaguchi and Ugandan Kusuro Break Kobe Course Records

Amateur Japanese club runner Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) and Ugandan Geoffrey Kusuro had dominant wins at the 9th running of the Kobe Marathon Sunday, both running PBs and winning by almost 4 minutes in course record time.

Yamaguchi, who ran a PB 2:33:06 in Sydney in September and dropped a surprise 31:58 at last weekend's East Japan Women's Ekiden, slipped away early, never challenged by the pack of invited African elites or by friend and rival club runner Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto). Going through halfway faster than her half marathon PB in 1:13:08. She slowed slightly in the second half, especially on the large bridge out to the island finish line, but her win was never in doubt as she broke the tape in 2:27:39. Previously, the fastest pure amateur Japanese women's marathon performance was Chihiro Tanaka's 2:29:30 in Nagoya in 2002. Breaking that by almost two minutes, Yamaguchi staked her claim as Japan's best-ever amateur.

2nd through 5th were close together…

800 m High School National Record Holder Clay to Attend Texas A&M

2019 men's 800 m national champion and Soyo H.S. 3rd-year Aaron Tatsunami Clay will enroll in America's Texas A&M University next September, it was learned on Nov. 14. Until then he plans to remain based at Soyo in preparation to go for the win at next year's National Championships and to clear the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying standard.

The prestigious Texas A&M is where Donovan Brazier (U.S.A.), winner of the gold medal in the men's 800 m at this fall's Doha World Championships, is enrolled. Soyo H.S. head coach Mitsuru Zeniya, 53, who accompanied Clay on a visit to see the university, was supportive of Clay's decision and goals, saying, "He just barely missed the World Championships qualifying standard. If he trains with athletes who are stronger than him he'll grow more."

Last year at the October Niigata Autumn Time Trials meet Clay set a national high school record of 1:47.51 for 800 m. At the National Championships in June this yea…