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Kosimbei and Azmeraw Win Gifu Seiryu Half, Kawauchi 14th

Breaking away over the last 5 km, Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) scored his second-straight win at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, putting 12 seconds on Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) to take the top spot in 1:01:12. Moses Murong (Uganda) was 3rd in 1:01:57, with Yohei Suzuki (Aisan Kogyo) the top-placing Japanese man with a 1:03:34 for 9th.

Just five days given the time difference after winning the Boston Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) outkicked Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon runner-up Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) to take 14th overall in 1:04:35 with the third-fastest closing split in the field despite unseasonably hot temperatures nearing 30 degrees.

Women's world record holder and defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) was a last-minute withdrawal, leaving Degitu Azmeraw to become Gifu's first Ethiopian women's winner in five years. Like Kosimbei, Azmeraw broke free of the competition over the last 5 km, opening an 18-second lead over Valary Jemeli (Kenya) for 1st in 1:09:53. Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo) was the top Japanese woman at 7th in 1:14:20.

8th Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon

Gifu, 4/22/18

Men
1. Nicholas Kosimbei (Kenya/Toyota) - 1:01:12
2. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 1:01:24
3. Moses Murong (Uganda) - 1:01:57
4. James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 1:02:14
5. Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) - 1:02:29
6. Joel Mwaura (Kenya/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:02:59
7. Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:03:09
8. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 1:03:27
9. Yohei Suzuki (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:03:34
10. Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:03:40
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14. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:35

Women
1. Degitu Azmeraw (Ethiopia) - 1:09:53
2. Valary Jemeli (Kenya) - 1:10:11
3. Joy Kemuma (Kenya) - 1:10:47
4. Andrea Seccafien (Canada) - 1:13:19
5. Sinead Diver (Australia) - 1:13:23
6. Karolina Nadolska (Poland) - 1:13:56
7. Marie Imada (Japan/Iwatani Sangyo) - 1:14:20
8. Yuko Watanabe (Japan/Edion) - 1:14:51
9. Sayo Nomura (Japan/Uniqlo) - 1:17:08
10. Sakura Wada (Japan/Denso) - 1:17:51

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …