Fresh off becoming the fastest-ever Japanese-born collegiate half marathoner with a 1:00:11 in Marugame last month, 2023 Hakone Ekiden champ Komazawa University 2nd-year Kotaro Shinohara won the National University Half Marathon Sunday in Tokyo's western suburb of Tachikawa.
In warm conditions the dense lead group ran relatively conservatively, on track to go just under 63 minutes. But entering Tachikawa's Showa Kinen Park for a final 5 km of undulations and sharp turns Shinohara turned it on to pull away, winning easily in 1:02:16. Another of the pre-race favorites, sub-28 10000 m runner Reishi Yoshida of Hakone non-qualifier Chuo Gakuin University was 2nd in 1:02:29.
Another Hakone non-qualifier, Tokyo Nogyo University's Neo Namiki looked set to take 3rd. But in the last km Rei Matsunaga of Hosei University, famed for trying to run away with last year's Kanto Regionals 5000 m versus 3000 m SC NR holder Ryuji Miura, came up to pass Namiki, stealing 3rd in 1:02:43 with Namiki 4th in 1:02:48. The top 3 finishers qualified for this summer's Chengdu World University Games half marathon team, making the loss extra painful for Namiki.
The front-end times might not have been especially fast by today's standards, but depth was everything you'd expect from a Japanese half marathon. And these numbers don't include the non-collegiate results from the simultaneous Tachikawa City Half Marathon, which aren't available yet.
sub-1:03 - 8
sub-1:04 - 48
sub-1:05 - 117
sub-1:06 - 215
sub-1:07 - 318
sub-1:08 - 435
sub-1:09 - 537
sub-1:10 - 626
As JRN has shown before, it's exactly this kind of depth at the collegiate level that leads to the depth in Japanese men's marathoning. And it looks like there's no sign of that thinning out any time soon.
National University Men's Half Marathon
Tachikawa, Tokyo, 12 Mar. 2023
1. Kotaro Shinohara (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:16
2. Reishi Yoshida (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:29
3. Rei Matsunaga (Hosei Univ.) - 1:02:43
4. Neo Namiki (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 1:02:48
5. Eiki Kogure (Soka Univ.) - 1:02:55
6. Kazuma Takeda (Hosei Univ.) - 1:02:57
7. Yuma Nozawa (Soka Univ.) - 1:02:58
8. Hironori Muramatsu (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 1:02:59
9. Kiyoto Hirabayashi (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:02
10. Issei Sato (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:05
11. Tatsuya Iizuka (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:07
12. Goki Takayama (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:07
13. Koksuke Ishida (Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:09
14. Kenshin Ebisawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:03:10
15. Rui Aoki (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:11
16. Toru Kubota (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:03:12
17. Ryota Shibako (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:03:19
18. Ryo Yoshida (Soka Univ.) - 1:03:20
19. Kyosuke Hanao (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:21
20. Ryuto Uehara (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:22
21. Takato Inage (Hosei Univ.) - 1:03:24
22. Sho Fukuda (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:03:26
23. Fumiya Kimura (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:27
24. Yota Ifuku (Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:28
25. Yuta Kanno (Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:30
50. Kosei Matsunami (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:00
75. Shota Motomura (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:28
100. Sorataka Hamada (Chuo Univ.) - 1:04:46
125. Rinta Miyaoka (Waseda Univ.) - 1:05:09
150. Hibiki Obara (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:25
175. Shoei Takaki (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:39
200. Takahiro Yokoi (Hosei Univ.) - 1:05:52
225. Kotaro Urase (Kogakkan Univ.) - 1:06:04
250. Yuichi Sato (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:20
© 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
Shinohara came away with an almost expected win at this point.
Mid March as a date for nationals university half marathon isn't Ideal perhaps and times/performances aren't too indicative but it's really baffling once again how kosuke ishida can't put together a top performance since late 2021. Struggled yesterday again.
Just wish this race could be held closer to peak season and with all the top names. Really complicated with how full the calendar is, basically impossible.