Skip to main content

Singapore, Kosa, Minato and Nittai - Weekend Highlights

The Fukuoka International Marathon and Osaka Marathon were the two big headline-makers on the Japanese scene this weekend, but they were far from the only action to be had.

Just 13 days after running a four-minute CR of 2:27:39 to win the Kobe Marathon, Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) ran the first nighttime edition of the Singapore Marathon. Starting conservatively, Yamaguchi moved up through the field mid-race to be in four-way contention for 3rd place. In the last dash to the finish she ended up 5th in 2:37:29, the fastest time ever by a Japanese woman on Singaporean soil by almost 10 minutes. Among those she beat was Ethiopian Aberash Feysa, who outkicked Yamaguchi for the win at June's Stockholm Marathon.

In Okinawa, local Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanji AC) won the 35th edition of the Naha Marathon in 2:22:48. Corporate leaguer Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) won the women's race in 2:42:40.

In Kumamoto, the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler held its 44th running. Locally-based Kenyan Abraham Kapsis Kipyatich (Asahi Kasei) won in 45:33, with the top 3 all going under 46 minutes. Kipyatich's teammate Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei), whose twin brother Takashi Ichida ran Fukuoka, was the top Japanese man at 4th overall in 46:02.

At Tokyo's Minato City Half Marathon, last year's winner Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto), who finished 5th behind Yamaguchi two weeks ago in Kobe in a PB of 2:31:56, dropped another PB as she won in 1:13:30. 2019 Doha Asian Championships 10000 m silver medalist Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) ran her first half marathon since 2008, jogging it as a training run with no official time recorded.

Out in Chiba, Ryutaro Kobatake (Juntendo Univ.) ran a nearly 3-minute PB on 1:03:28 to win the 44th Chiba Marine Half Marathon men's race. Kasumi Ogawa (Starts) won the women's half in 1:15:33.

On the track, 2019 Doha World Championships 5000 m finalist Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) tuned up for next weekend's Jitsugyodan Time Trials meet with a 3000 m at the Nittai University Time Trials. Casually outkicking 19-year-old corporate league rookie sensation Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post), the 20-year-old Tanaka scored the tenth sub-9 minute clocking of her career to date with a time of 8:58.48 for the win. The women's 5000 m A-heat was reasonably quick, with Naomi Muthoni Kariuki (Universal Entertainment) taking the top spot in 15:12.72.

In the men's races at Nittai, a total of 73 men went sub-29 for 10000 m, just a week after 138 did the same in Hachioji and Keio. Returning from a stress fracture post-Hakone this year, rookie Ken Nakayama (Honda) was the fastest with a 28:30.54 for the win in the A-heat, just beating amateur Daisuke Momozawa (San Kogyo) who scored a PB 28:32.74 for 2nd. In the D-heat, Atsushi Shobu (Saikyo H.S.) became the latest high schooler to crack 29 minutes with a 28:58.10 for 14th. Three high schoolers also broke 14 minutes for 5000 m, Philemon Kiplagat (Kurashiki H.S.) winning the A-heat in 13:41.24 and Ryuji Miura (Rakunan H.S.) taking the B-heat in 13:51.97 with Masaki Kodama (Kamakura Gakuen H.S.) 7th in 13:54.84.

photo © 2019 Roger Berman, all rights reserved
text © 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Yokohama said…
Brett, what is the difference between clubs like, Toyota Jidoshokki TC and AC Kita, and the corporate teams? Are the clubs mostly amateur with sponsorship? I notice Nozomi always wearing NB lately and Yamaucuchi, usually wearing Asics, as you said before, but I'm not sure about this photo?
Brett Larner said…
Club teams are kind of an umbrella for anything outside the corporate leagues. In the case of AC Kita, it's a purely amateur club. It has some involvement with blind marathoning as a source of guide runners but is otherwise amateur. Yamaguchi runs in Asics by preference. TJTC and Nike Tokyo TC are semi-pro teams with sponsorship but outside the corporate league structure. Their runners are essentially pros but aren't part of the corporate team system. In the case of TJTC it's a little ambiguous as part of the sponsorship is from the TJ corporate team, but the runners are not part of its ekiden team and train independently.

Most-Read This Week

How Things Played Out - Hakone, Marathon Development, Where Things Went, and What's Still Ahead

Four and a half years ago JRN published a look at 20 years' worth of the Hakone Ekiden and the relationship between development at the university level on Japan's Hakone circuit and later success in the marathon. There are a lot more important things going on right now, but, since we've got some time on our hands, let's follow up on where things have gone since then and what might still be ahead.



In the original article I wrote, "In the next 4-6 years we are going to see a lot more Japanese marathoners running fast times, the first really significant overall change in Japanese men's marathoning since Barcelona ('92).....Once that ball gets rolling we should see an impact on the all-time marathon lists and when that happens you are talking real times. There's nothing to suggest Japanese men are going to start running 2:03 or 2:04 marathons, but given the numbers involved 2:07 and 2:08 should become normal, with 2:06 in range of the top men the way 2:07…

Osaka Governor Admits "It Would be Pretty Difficult" to Put On Osaka Marathon This Year

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, 44, appeared remotely on a morning news talk show on May 31. Asked by one of the hosts whether the Nov. 29 Osaka Marathon, one of the world's ten largest marathons, would be held this year, Yoshimura answered, "I think it would be pretty difficult this year, but the organizers are in the final stages of their decision-making process. They will make an announcement soon."

Held annually since its launch in 2011, this year the Osaka Marathon is set to celebrate its tenth edition and its first running as a World Athletics label race. As mayor of the city of Osaka Yoshimura himself ran and finished the 2017 race. With a new course finishing at Osaka Castle Park, last year's race had 32,989 finishers. With that number of people it is likely that they would come into close proximity to each other at the start in front of the Osaka Metropolitan Government offices.

"We are in discussion with all involved parties," said Yoshimura. …

Ageo City Half Marathon Canceled - AGU Coach Hara Calls for "Medical Worker Support Half Marathon" Instead

On June 2, the organizers of the Nov. 15 Ageo City Half Marathon announced that this year's race has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Every year Ageo attracts hundreds of collegiate runners hoping to impress their coaches over the distance and have a chance of making their Hakone Ekiden dreams come true. Marathon national record holder Suguru Osako showed his talent there in 2010, winning Ageo his first year at Waseda University in a still-standing Asian junior record 1:01:47. Since the 2011 race, every year the top two Japanese collegiate finishers have been invited to run March's NYC Half Marathon. This year Ageo was certified by World Athletics as a world-class event, but its cancelation means that a key part of the fall season has been lost.

Susumu Hara, the outspoken head coach of this year's Hakone Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University, was quick to take to Twitter to comment. "One of the most important fall university races, the Ageo Half, …