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Aoyama Gakuin Scores Double Win as Half Marathons Return

The Ageo City Half Marathon, Japan's major elite-level fall half marathon, was supposed to have happened this past Sunday but was among the many races canceled again for reasons pandemic. But two other half marathons did go off as scheduled, both with fast wins by runners from the Aoyama Gakuin University ekiden team.

The bigger of the two was the Setagaya 246 Half Marathon in suburban Tokyo. AGU's Yuto Tanaka led teammate Hironobu Nakakura and 2021 Hakone Ekiden and National University Ekiden champ Komazawa University's Takumi Karasawa under 63 minutes, Tanaka winning in 1:02:38 by 6 seconds over Nakakura and 7 seconds over Karasawa. Marathoner Reia Iwade set a new course record in the women's race, winning in 1:11:25.

Far to the north in Iwate at the Miyako Salmon Half Marathon AGU's Aoi Ota was even faster, winning in 1:02:27. His teammates Masahiro Sekiguchi, Tsubasa Nojima and Kaisei Nishikawa all cleared 63 minutes, running 1:02:38, 1:02:51 and 1:02:54. AGU runners swept the top seven spots, together with the Setagaya 246 results setting AGU up well for Hakone in a time of few chances to race Hakone stage length distances. Atsumi Nakajima won the women's race in 1:28:11.

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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RigaJags said…
Awesome performances.
Is there anyone who can fight with Aoyama and Komazawa at the Hakone Ekiden? Seems like those 2 will be the heavy favorites, any possible surprises?

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