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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

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At the 75th Kagoshima Prefecture Championships, 17-year-old Cynthia Baire (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) ran U20 world-leading times in both the women's 1500 m and 5000 m, running 4:10.67 to win the 1500 m Saturday and then 15:14.30 Sunday to win the 5000 m. Both times were also meet records. On Friday 36-year-old amateur Takahiro Nakamura, who ran a 1:00:57 half marathon in February, won the men's 10000 m for the fifth year in a row, running a meet record 29:23.09. Sunday he was back to try to score the 5000 m title too but was outrun by Kanta Tokumaru (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) 14:18.21 to 14:28.36. Tokumaru was doubling off a win in the 1500 m Saturday in 3:57.17.
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