Skip to main content

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 together through 15 km before Lemeteki began to inch away, his departure causing Akasaki, Izumo Ekiden Fifth Stage winner Haruka Onodera (Teikyo Univ.) and police officer Ryota Sato (Tokyo Police Dep't) to pick their pace up and get rid of the others in the lead group.

Lemeteki ran the rest of the race unchallenged to take the win in a PB and school record 1:01:23, just seconds off the course record after the slow opening 2 km. On the short but steep railway underpass between 18 and 19 km Akasaki surged to pull away from Sato and Onodera, taking 2nd in 1:01:46, almost a minute and a half under his PB. Sato outkicked Onodera for 3rd in 1:02:01, surely one of the best performances anywhere in the world by a cop this year, with Onodera just behind in 1:02:03, over two minutes under his previous best.


All of the top four ran PBs in the 2-3 minute range, and the stellar results extended far down the field from there. Excellent conditions, cold with crystal clear sunny skies and a light breeze from the west bringing an early headwind and closing tailwind, helped keep Ageo's overall depth at its historically incredible levels:

1st: 1:01:26
10th: 1:02:54
25th: 1:03:23
50th: 1:03:52
100th: 1:04:35
150th: 1:05:24
200th: 1:06:05
250th: 1:06:56
300th: 1:07:46
350th: 1:08:49
400th: 1:10:08
450th: 1:11:40
500th: 1:13:18

With Ageo serving as a tryout for the biggest university men's race on the year the women's field is typically on a lower level. This year was no exception, with amateur Miki Morita taking the win in 1:20:17.

As the top two Japanese collegiate finishers Akasaki and Onodera earned invitations to the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the first time runners from either Takushoku or Teikyo will have run New York in the nine years of JRN's program bringing Ageo and NYC together. New York Road Runners professional athlete manager Sam Grotewold was in Ageo to present Akasaki and Onodera with their invitations to next year's race along with a camera crew to document the Ageo race for use in next year's NYC broadcast. JRN will accompany both athletes and their coaches to New York to assist the runners in their international debuts.


32nd Ageo City Half Marathon

Ageo, Saitama, 11/17/19

Men
1. Joseph Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:01:23 - PB
2. Akira Akasaki (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:01:46 - PB
3. Ryota Sato (Tokyo Police Dep't) - 1:02:01 - PB
4. Haruka Onodera (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:02:03 - PB
5. Sakito Matsuzaki (Tokai Univ.) - 1:02:11 - debut
6. Kaito Ojima (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:15 - PB
7. Ayumu Kobayashi (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:25 - PB
8. Tamaki Fujimoto (Nittai Univ.) - 1:02:46 - PB
9. Tomoki Ichimura (Tokai Univ.) - 1:02:53 - debut
10. Keiya Arima (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:54
11. Sora Masuda (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:02:58 - PB
12. Takumu Une (Chuo Univ.) - 1:02:59 - PB
13. Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:01- PB
14. Takeru Toguchi (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:03 - PB
15. Manabu Yamada (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:03 - PB
16. Atsushi Kato (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:04 - PB
17. Tomoya Hinohara (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:03:04 - PB
18. Yuta Suzuki (Tokai Univ.) - 1:03:06 - PB
19. Takuma Ishikawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:07 - PB
20. Soma Masuda (Hosei Univ.) - 1:03:10 - PB
21. Tomoya Yoneda (Tokai Univ.) - 1:03:10 - PB
22. Taiju Nishikata (Kanagawa Univ.) - 1:03:11- PB
23. Chikara Yamano (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:14 - debut
24. Keigo Kurihara (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:20 - PB
25. Shingo Nakai (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:03:23 - PB

Women
1. Miki Morita (unattached) - 1:20:17
2. Yoshimi Tanaka (Hiratsuka T&F Assoc.) - 1:20:40
3. Honoka Suzuki (unattached) - 1:21:06

text and photos © 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Eryn said…
Welcome to New York !
CK said…
Those are great photos. "Real" Ageo photos. I've run Ageo and the experience of approaching the orikaishi and seeing the phalanx pouring through in the opposite direction was unforgettable. Tried counting for a while to estimate where I might be but it quickly became apparent that I couldn't count fast enough. For anyone in Japan who hasn't run it yet, you've got to enter at least once.

Most-Read This Week

61-Year-Old Mariko Yugeta Becomes First 60+ Woman to Go Sub-Three

61-year-old Mariko Yugeta of Saitama has become the first 60+ woman in history to run faster than three hours in the marathon. At the Nov. 3 Shimonoseki Kaikyo Marathon Yugeta ran 2:59:15 for 3rd place, smashing the 60+ world record of 3:02:50 by a wide margin. It was her 99th marathon and just shy of her PB of 2:58:05. When reporters visited her for an interview she was in the middle of a track session with a high school track team, doing a menu of 3000/2000/1000 m intervals in 11:23, 7:22 and 3:33. Yugeta said her daily routine includes 3 minutes standing on an inclined board every morning while brushing her teeth, and that she believes she can run 2:57.

source article:
https://runnet.jp/smp/topics/runnerstv/191118.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner

Mekuria and Tefera Bring Osaka Into the Game With Course Record Wins

The Fukuoka International Marathon is the traditional major player on Japan's December marathon calendar, but resting on traditional can only last so long. The Osaka Marathon, one of the world's ten largest mass-participation marathons, this year got into the elite game in a big way with its best-ever fields and a race date that put it head-to-head with Fukuoka.

Bidding to get into the IAAF/World Athletics road race label game, Osaka brought in enough quality internationals to keep its mostly amateur domestic field off the eight-deep podium. Aberu Mekuria (Ethiopia) dominated the women's race with a 2:26:29 course record, more than two minutes ahead of Kenyan mercenary runner-up Monica Jepkoech (Bahrain). 2017 Osaka winner Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan) ran the second-fastest time of her career, 2:35:16, but finished off the podium in 9th.

The men's race must have had the Fukuoka organizers sweating, as Ethiopian Asefa Tefera dropped a 2:07:47 course record for the win, lik…

No Consensus Reached on Olympic Marathon Course - Impact on Athlete Preparations Inevitable

The IOC held an executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Dec. 4. With regard to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathons and race walks, which the IOC decreed last month must be moved to north as an effort to combat expected high temperatures, the IOC's executive board turned down a plan from the Tokyo organizing committee for the marathon to be held on a two-lap course through the Sapporo city center. The board did accept an out-and-back race walk course along the major street in front of Sapporo Station.

The schedule for the marathons was settled, with the women's marathon to be held Aug. 8 and the men's on Aug. 9. A start and finish point at Odori Park and a first lap consisting of 20 km were also finalized, but an agreement on the rest of the marathon course could not be reached. Tadashi Fukushima, head coach of the Fujitsu corporate team whose runner Shogo Nakamura won September's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials, called for a decision to be made as quickly a…