Skip to main content

Kariuki Sets Okukuma Half Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner

In a period that sees many of Japan's long-standing small elite races folding or changing to mass-participation formats the Okukuma Road Race, launched in 2013 in one of the most conservative areas of southern Japan, is something of a throwback, a small race of around 100 men with an accompanying high school boys' 10 km and women restricted to 5 km because, well, that's how they roll in Kumamoto.

In its third edition, Kyushu-based Kenyan John Kariuki (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) led the top four at the Okukuma Half Marathon under last year's course record for the win in a new record of 1:03:16.  Essentially unchallenged, Kariuki had a lead of around 10 seconds at 10 km and held that margin to win by 13 seconds over London Olympics marathoner Ryo Yamamoto (SGH Group) with Shun Inoura, an alternate for Komazawa University's Hakone Ekiden runner-up team, another 3 seconds back in 1:03:32.

Still recovering from a sprained ankle a few weeks back, Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 9th in 1:04:44 after running the early part of the race with Yamamoto.

Results were less noteworthy at the 39th edition of the Chiba Marine Half Marathon east of Tokyo.  Yuki Iwasaki (Sekino Reform) took a close men's race over Shota Yamada (Chiba T&F Assoc.) in 1:06:16 to 1:06:17, while Kyoko Koyama led a Juntendo University sweep of the top four places in the women's race in 1:18:40.  The best result in Chiba came in the women's 10 km, where Chiaki Morikawa (Starts) won in 34:28.

3rd Okukuma Road Race
Kumagun, Kumamoto, 1/18/15
complete results coming shortly

Men's Half Marathon
1. John Kariuki (Kenya/Daichi Kogyo Univ.) - 1:03:16 - CR
2. Ryo Yamamoto (SGH Group) - 1:03:29 (CR)
3. Shun Inoura (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:32 (CR)
4. Rei Hashimoto (Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:35 (CR)
5. Daisuke Watanabe (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:37
6. Naoki Hasegawa (Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:41
7. Shun Yamamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:43
8. Ryusei Yoshinaga (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:55
9. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:44
10. Kenichi Kawano (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:04:50

H.S. Boys' 10 km
1. Satoshi Nakao (Chiharadai H.S.)

Women's 5 km
1. Yuki Yokoishi (Shiraishi H.S.) - 16:42

39th Chiba Marine Half Marathon
Chiba, 1/18/15
complete results coming eventually

Women's Half Marathon
1. Kyoko Koyama (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:18:40
2. Saori Imamura (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:19:56
3. Miki Kobayashi (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:20:07

Men's Half Marathon
1. Yuki Iwasaki (Sekino Reform) - 1:06:16
2. Shota Yamada (Chiba T&F Assoc.) - 1:06:17
3. Yatsuya Itagaki (JP Post) - 1:06:31

Women's 10 km
1. Chiaki Morikawa (Starts) - 34:28

Men's 10 km
1. Jun Sugimura (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 31:41

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…

London World Championships - Day Nine Japanese Results

Following up on its silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay squad delivered the first Japanese medal of the London World Championships as it took bronze behind hosts Great Britain and U.S.A. Swapping in alternate Kenji Fujimitsu for ailing anchor Aska Cambridge in the final, the team featured only two starting members of the Rio lineup. Lead runner Shuhei Tada, a student at Kwansei Gakuin University who burst onto the scene in May, again proved himself the best new development in Japanese men's sprinting with a fast start. Rio members Shota Iizuka and Yoshihide Kiryu did their bits on second and third to keep Japan even with Jamaica in 3rd before Fujimitsu delivered the goods.

With bronze at the Beijing Olympics and silver in Rio last year it was Japan's first-ever World Championships men's 4x100 m relay medal. At age Fujimitsu may not make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but with Cambridge, 200 m finalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Rio team …