Skip to main content

Gideon Ngatuny Takes Kumamoto Kosa 10 Miler

by Brett Larner

Two weeks after running a course record 1:00:11 to win the Nagoya Half Marathon in his debut at the distance, Team Nissin Shokuhin's Masai Kenyan ringer Gideon Ngatuny won Kyushu's elite Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race, clocking 45:15 and beating runner-up Hailu Mekonnen of Team Honda by 44 seconds. Teammates Samuel Ndungu and Jacob Wajuki of Team Aichi Steel came in together in 46:32 to round out the top positions.

Curiously, Kumamoto Kosa organizers scored the four African runners, all of whom are based in Japan and run professionally for Japanese teams, in a separate 'International Division' with a one-minute head start over the 'General Division,' which was made up exclusively of professional Japanese runners including many of the African runners' nominal teammates. Although the International Division ran first and the 'winner' of the General Division, Ngatuny's fellow Nissin runner Kosaku Hoshina, clocked only 46:40, slower than the last finisher in the International Division, the race's official results listing displays the General Division results first, with the International Division results tucked away following last place General Division finisher Shogo Murakami's lackluster 59:06.

At any rate, one of Team Nissin Shokuhin's star rookies, half-Filipino former Senshu Univ. leader Bene Zama, took '2nd place' in the General Division, just 4 seconds behind Hoshina and beating Team Toyota Kyushu's ace Yu Mitsuya by 5 seconds. Zama was undoubtedly allowed to compete in the General Division rather than the International Division due to the fact that he took Japanese citizenship before graduating from Senshu, legally changing his name from Benedict to the Japanese name Bene. Mitsuya's teammate Masato Imai, the legendary Hakone Ekiden 5th stage 'God of the Mountains,' was '6th' in 46:53.

Team Nissin Shokuhin, with winners in both Kumamoto Kosa divisions and six finishers in the top fifteen of the General Division, looks to have a solid lineup for next month's New Year Ekiden. With the addition of Zama and fellow rookie Satoru Kitamura to its roster the team is all but guaranteed to improve on its 6th place finish at the 2008 New Year Ekiden and may even give defending champion Team Konica Minolta a scare.

2008 Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race Top Finishers
International Division
1. Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 45:15
2. Hailu Mekonnen (Team Honda) - 45:59
3. Samuel Ndungu (Team Aichi Steel) - 46:32
4. Jacob Wajuki (Team Aichi Steel) - 46:32

General Division
1. Kosaku Hoshina (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:40
2. Bene Zama (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:44
3. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:49
4. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 46:52
5. Yoshihisa Takemura (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 46:52
6. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 46:53
7. Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) - 46:54
8. Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:54
9. Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 46:55
10. Naoto Morimoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 46:56

Complete results including the high school boys' 10 km, high school girls' 5 km, and junior high school boys' 5 km races are available here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.

Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).

Near …

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…