Skip to main content

Kisorio Wins Deepest-Ever Marugame International Half-Marathon

by Brett Larner

Like other races across the country, the 2012 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon was fortunate to have ideal conditions for a historic men's race.  Sub-59 Kenyan Matthew Kisorio had little trouble with the win, running a minute ahead of Japan-based Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) but missing both the course record of 59:48 and Samuel Wanjiru's Japanese all-comers' record of 59:43 after a fast first half.  Gitau, a graduate of Nihon University, ran in a chase trio together with his successor at Nihon, Benjamin Gandu and pro Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko), narrowly outkicking both as both he and Gandu recorded strong new PBs.  Further back, a second trio of Japanese men Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota), Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) and Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) likewise worked together, all three recording massive new PBs.

Kubota, the winner of this year's Hakone Ekiden Ninth Stage, made a move late in the race to drop Komazawa grad Takabayashi and 2010 Ottawa Marathon course record setter Fujiwara, but in the final kick both proved stronger than the university runner.  Takabayashi, the only one to have broken 62 minutes previously, took nearly 30 seconds off his best as he ran 1:01:31.  Fujiwara, virtually invisible over the last year with serial injuries, was a shock as he took 43 seconds off his six-year-old PB.  Kubota, a 20-year-old sophomore, was an ever bigger shock as he took more than three minutes off his best to mark the best-ever time by a Japanese runner under age 22 and the 2nd-fastest ever by a Japanese collegiate runner on a record-elligible course.  Close behind him was another 20-year-old sophomore, Keita Shitara of Hakone Ekiden winners Toyo University, 14th in 1:01:45 in his half marathon debut, the all-time 3rd-best Japanese collegiate time.  Kubota's teammate Hiromitsu Kakuage (Komazawa Univ.), the #2 Japanese half marathoner of 2011, also went under 62, 20th in 1:01:56.  Altogether this year's Marugame was the deepest quality half marathon in history, with 24 men sub-62, a record 47 under 63 minutes, another record of 76 under 64 minutes, and time-for-place records extending even deeper.

Fan favorite Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) also had a big day, running a 22-second PB to finish 27th in 1:02:18.  Based on the ratio of his PBs last year, 1:02:40 in Marugame and 2:08:40 in Tokyo, Kawauchi needed to run under 1:02:21 to have a shot at his goal of a 2:07 in Tokyo at the end of the month.  It looks like all systems go, but with Fujiwara pulling out an unexpectedly great comeback run and World Championships track runner Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) likewise running a sub-62 PB ahead of his marathon debut in Tokyo it looks as though the Olympic marathon team spot up for grabs in Tokyo could be very tough to secure.

In the absence of Kenyan Sarah Chepchirchir in the women's race Ethiopian Tiki Gelana had even less trouble than Kisorio in scoring the win, running a nearly two-minute PB of 1:08:48 to take the race by almost two minutes over marathoner Kaoru Nagano (Team Univ. Ent.).  Along with Nagao, the top three Japanese women all ran sub-71 PBs, with five Japanese women altogether breaking 71 minutes.  Meijo University star Sayo Nomura was perhaps the biggest surprise, 3rd overall in a PB of 1:10:34.

2012 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon
Marugame, 2/5/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Matthew Kisorio (Kenya) - 1:00:02
2. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:02 - PB
3. Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:03
4. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 1:01:06 - PB
5. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 1:01:31 - PB
6. Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 1:01:34 - PB
7. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:38 - PB
8. Shota Yamaguchi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:42 - PB
9. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 1:01:44 - PB
10. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya) - 1:01:44
-----
22. Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:01:58 - PB
27. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 1:02:18 - PB
29. Rachid Kisri (Morocco) - 1:02:21
54. Dmytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine) - 1:03:14
65. Alistair Cragg (Ireland) - 1:03:39
DNF - Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.)

Women
1. Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) - 1:08:48 - PB
2. Kaoru Nagao (Team Univ. Ent.) - 1:10:32 - PB
3. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 1:10:34 - PB
4. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 1:10:37 - PB
5. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:10:39
6. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:10:48
7. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 1:11:40
8. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 1:11:45
9. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 1:11:51
10. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 1:11:52

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hello, any idea how Atsushi Sato did? Thanks in advance!
Brett Larner said…
Looks like Sato was a DNS.
yuza said…
It is hard to imagine that a man could run 62:18 in a half marathon race and finish 27th!

It is kind of depressing, but as fast as some of the times were by the men, most of them are still not quite fast enough to be competitive on the world stage.

Thanks for the responce to my previous question on another thread.
Anonymous said…
Are we sure this was an accurate course. So many fast times ...
Brett Larner said…
As far as I know there was no course change this year. Marugame is a certified course and an IAAF silver label event.

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …