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Kawauchi Headlines May 11 Sendai Half Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

On Apr. 14 the Sendai International Half Marathon released the names of the invited athletes for the event's 24th running on May 11.  Civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) leads the field, with former Hakone Ekiden uphill star Ryuji Kashiwabara (24, Team Fujitsu), a native of Iwaki, Fukushima and graduate of Toyo University, representing the corporate leagues in his Sendai debut. Kawauchi is targeting a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and at the start of this month was selected as an inaugural member of the National Marathon Team.  In March, 2013 he ran his PB of 2:08:14 for 4th at the Seoul International Marathon. His achievements this year include a 2:10:14 course record win at the Kumamoto-jo Marathon in February.

Other invited athletes include London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (32, Miki House) and mama runner Mari Ozaki (38, Team Noritz).  Corporate league standouts include 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano (35, Team Shiseido) and Miyagi prefecture-born runners Kosaku Hoshina (29, Team Nissin Shokuhin), the last Japanese man to win Sendai back in 2004, and Sumiko Suzuki (28, Team Hokuren).

The wheelchair field includes four athletes led by 2013 Boston Marathon men's winner Hiroyuki Yamamoto (47).  Former women's marathon world record holder and Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi (41) will make a special appearance as guest of honor.  A record 15,108 people are entered for this year's Sendai International Half Marathon.  Last year 12,733 people ran.

24th Sendai International Half Marathon Elite Field Highlights
Sendai, Miyagi, 5/11/14
click here for complete entry list

Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 59:48 (Marugame 2007)
Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 1:01:19 (Sapporo Int'l 2008)
Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:28 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Arata Fujiwara (Miki House AC) - 1:01:34 (Marugame 2012)
Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:01:45 (Marugame 2012)
Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 1:02:08 (Udine World Half 2007)
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:18 (Marugame 2012)
Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:02:22 (Marugame 2013)
Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR Higshi Nihon) - 1:02:26 (Sendai 2008)
Keita Akiba (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:02:35 (Kyoto 2005)
Yudai Yamakawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:02:36 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Kenta Chiba (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:41 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) - 1:02:49 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2008)
Takuya Noguchi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:02:50 (Marugame 2014)
Shota Inoue (Team Toyota) - 1:02:51 (Marugame 2014)
Makoto Harada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:02:57 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2008)
Kosaku Hoshina (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:03:09 (Sendai 2004)
Ryuji Kashiwabara (Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:18 (Kyoto 2009)
Takehiro Deki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:04:16 (Kanagawa 2011)
Serod Batochir (Mongolia/Team NTN) - 1:06:36 (Redcar 2009)

Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) - 1:08:57 (Sapporo Int'l 2008)
Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 1:09:33 (Marugame 2002)
Yukari Sahaku (Team Univ. Ent.) - 1:09:36 (Sapporo Int'l 2009)
Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 1:10:33 (Marugame 2013)
Saki Tabata (Team Hokuren) - 1:13:01 (Osaka 2013)
Ayaka Hitomi (Team Shimamura) - 1:13:03 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Aiko Sakata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:13:26 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2013)
Narumi Shirataki (Team Shiseido) - 1:13:31 (Shizuoka 2012)
Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 1:14:09 (Sendai Int'l 2009)
Kana Unno (Team Noritz) - 1:14:31 (Marugame 2014)


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