Skip to main content

Ruth Chepngetich Repeats in Nagoya With Solo 2:18:08



With temps in the high teens the Nagoya Women's Marathon was warmer than ideal, but that didn't stop the expected protagonists from dominating, and in fast times.

2022 winner Ruth Chepngetich soloed the race the entire way, going ahead of the pacers in the first kilometer and splitting between 16:14 and 16:19 for five of the six 5 km splits up to 30 km. She couldn't quite hold it together enough over the last 10 km to give her 2:17:18 CR from last year a serious go, fading from 1:08:47 at halfway to a 2:18:08 for 1st. But that was still enough for her to win by over a kilometer and take home another $250,000.



The main chase group of over a dozen skimmed just under 17 minutes per 5 km through a 1:11:20 half split before top-ranked Japan woman Ayuko Suzuki took off when the last pacer stopped. Deshun Zhang and Mao Uesugi initially went with her but soon lost touch, leaving Suzuki to drop an impressive 48-second negative split for a 2:21:52 PB, 10 seconds better than her run at last fall's Berlin Marathon in better conditions and an easier course.

The only top-level Japanese woman in the race not to have qualified for October's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials, 2020 Olympic trials winner Honami Maeda held back when Suzuki made her move, then took her time reeling Uesugi and Zhang back in. Maeda also pulled off a negative split by 8 seconds, running a 2:22:32 PB for 3rd and landing her spot at the MGC Race.

Coming to Nagoya with a best of only 2:27:01, Zhang showed nothing but tenacity as she took 4th in 2:24:05, the fastest time by a Chinese woman since 2012. Uesugi, who was 4th at January's Osaka International Women's Marathon in 2:25:18, was 5th here in 2:24:16, practicing up for a planned double at August's Budapest World Championships and the MGC Race on Oct. 15.

7 of the top 11 women ran PBs, surprising given the conditions. Maeda was the only addition to the list of women's qualifiers for the Olympic trials, bringing the total to 29 versus 62 men. Nagoya was the last major qualifying race, leaving remaining hopefuls like Honoka Tanaike, 9th in a PB of 2:27:30, to chase a 2:24:00 or two-race 2:28:00 average at the Tokushima Marathon, Nagano Marathon, or overseas before the May 31 deadline. World Athletics Elite Label and higher races like the May 28 Ottawa Marathon, where at least 7 Japanese men are currently planning to chase last-chance qualification, are bound to be packed with desperate Japanese athletes.

In the accompanying half marathon, club runner Junichi Ushiyama took the win in the men's race in 1:04:52 by 23 seconds over Australian Ben St. Lawrence. Erika Kawamura won the women's race in 1:20:28.

Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya, Aichi, 12 Mar. 2023

1. Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya) - 2:18:08
2. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 2:21:52 - PB
3. Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) - 2:22:32 - PB
4. Deshun Zhang (China) - 2:24:05 - PB
5. Mao Uesugi (Starts) - 2:24:16
6. Yuka Suzuki (Daiichi Seimei) - 2:25:46
7. Mirai Waku (Univ. Ent.) - 2:25:58 - PB
8. Zhixuan Li (China) - 2:26:28
9. Honoka Tanaike (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:27:30 - PB
10. Isobel Batt-Doyle (Australia) - 2:27:54 - PB
11. Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Holdings) - 2:28:45 - PB
12. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki) - 2:29:20
13. Mizuki Tanimoto (Tenmaya) - 2:29:56
14. Chiharu Ikeda (Hitachi) - 2:30:23
15. Yuri Mitsune (Juhachi Ginko) - 2:31:26 - debut
16. Mayu Nishikawa (Starts) - 2:31:44
17. Sarah Pagano (U.S.A.) - 2:32:05 - PB
18. Eloise Wellings (Australia) - 2:32:09
19. Xinyan Zhang (China) - 2:32:19
20. Kaena Takeyama (Senko) - 2:32:20
21. Mayu Hirata (Wacoal) - 2:32:48 - debut
22. Nana Sato (Starts) - 2:33:15
23. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 2:33:29
24. Sarah Klein (Australia) - 2:33:51
25. Ryo Koido (Hitachi) - 2:33:52 - debut
-----
DNF - Nancy Jelagat (Kenya)

photos © 2023 Nagoya Women's Marathon, all rights reserved
text © 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Kyle S. said…
I'm really glad to see Honami Maeda put together a solid race after struggling so much with injury and illness recently. I hope that she can make it to October healthy enough to compete well at the MGC race. Ayuko Suzuki also looked very impressive with how she handled the second half of the race!
Stefan said…
Ruth Chepngetich was in a class of her own. What an athlete! You could tell she was suffering in the last 10k or so but she still pushed through to post an excellent time. The conditions weren't the best for fast times but I very pleased with the PB times posted by Ayuko Suzuki and Honami Maeda. The October MGC Race is going to be very closely fought and I think a lot will depend on who can turn up to the start line having completed an injury free and productive training block leading into the event.

By the way, I'm a bit unsure as to Mao Uesugi's reasoning for completing the Osaka Marathon then this one so close together. I understand she did it to prepare for the back to back marathons at the World Champs (Budapest) in August and then the MGC race in October. I could be wrong but it sounds like a recipe for disaster or at best, 2 sub peak performances. History will be the judge but I think it is will result in disappoint at the MGC race. That is, should she be able to turn up injury free. 4 marathons in one year for an elite athlete. Even the great Kipchoge limits himself to 2 per year!

By the way, I watched the livestream coverage from the Nagoya Marathon website. I tuned in well before the race start and was surprised to see they were telecasting the MCs preparing beforehand with the make up artists and floor director on screen. They also had vision of the athletes leaving their hotel (Ruth Chepngetich and Honami Maeda) and it looks like all this was screened by mistake as you had the video being paused, rewound then edited! It was like a behind the scenes VIP pass and for me, as a fan, I was so pleased to see how it all comes together. They must have realized this as not long after they went to a screen with the words to the effect, the live broadcast will commence shortly! And when it did begin, you could see the edited pieces being shown properly! The coverage was excellent! Another superb event at Nagoya!

Most-Read This Week

Morii Surprises With Second-Ever Japanese Sub-2:10 at Boston

With three sub-2:09 Japanese men in the race and good weather conditions by Boston standards the chances were decent that somebody was going to follow 1981 winner Toshihiko Seko 's 2:09:26 and score a sub-2:10 at the Boston Marathon . But nobody thought it was going to be by a 2:14 amateur. Paris Olympic team member Suguru Osako had taken 3rd in Boston in 2:10:28 in his debut seven years ago, and both he and 2:08 runners Kento Otsu and Ryoma Takeuchi were aiming for spots in the top 10, Otsu after having run a 1:01:43 half marathon PB in February and Takeuchi of a 2:08:40 marathon PB at Hofu last December. A high-level amateur with a 2:14:15 PB who scored a trip to Boston after winning a local race in Japan, Yuma Morii told JRN minutes before the start of the race, "I'm not thinking about time at all. I'm going to make top 10, whatever time it takes." Running Boston for the first time Morii took off with a 4:32 on the downhill opening mile, but after that  Sis

The Ivy League at the Izumo Ekiden in Review

Last week I was contacted by Will Geiken , who I'd met years ago when he was a part of the Ivy League Select Team at the Izumo Ekiden . He was looking for historical results from Izumo and lists of past team members, and I was able to put together a pretty much complete history, only missing the alternates from 1998 to 2010 and a little shaky on the reverse transliterations of some of the names from katakana back into the Western alphabet for the same years. Feel free to send corrections or additions to alternate lists. It's interesting to go back and see some names that went on to be familiar, to see the people who made an impact like Princeton's Paul Morrison , Cornell's Max King , Stanford's Brendan Gregg in one of the years the team opened up beyond the Ivy League, Cornell's Ben de Haan , Princeton's Matt McDonald , and Harvard's Hugo Milner last year, and some of the people who struggled with the format. 1998 Team: 15th of 21 overall, 2:14:10 (43

Police Arrest 20-Year-Old Man Charged With Assaulting Female Runner at Popular Tokyo Running Spot

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a female runner along the banks of the Tama River in Ota Ward, Tokyo. "I've been stuck at home because of the coronavirus, so I wanted to go for a walk and move my body a bit," the man told police. Local resident Hirai Muroyama , 20, of no known occupation, was arrested on charges of sexual assault. He is accused of acts including grabbing the breasts of a woman in her 20s at around 10 p.m. on May 31 along the banks of the Tama River. According to police, the woman was taking a break in her run when Muroyama approached her silently from behind and grabbed her breasts before running away. Under police interrogation Muroyama told investigators, "I've been stuck at home because of the coronavirus, so I wanted to go out for a walk and move my body. I'd had a few drinks and was feeling pretty hype. She was totally my type." source article: https://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newsey