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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

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Metts 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.

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