Skip to main content

Hakodate Half Celebrates 25 Years With Wins From Gizae and Kato

translated by Brett Larner

Now in its 25th year, 4500 runners from across the country ran Hokkaido's Hakodate Half Marathon on June 28, coming for the seaside course and staying for the legendary hot spring resorts.  A fall race up to now, this year the Hakodate Half saw its entry numbers swell by 1000 this year with a move to a June race date. 

The race began at 8:00 sharp with the firing of a gun at Chiyogadai Field in Hakodate.  A light rain left runners shivering before the start, but things warmed up over the 21 km seaside course with enthusiastic cheering from roadside spectators.  One participant, a firefighter from Tokyo, commented, "This was both a race for me and a vacation for my family.  I really enjoyed the scenery along the course while I ran."

Kenyan Mitchell Gizae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) won the men's race in 1:02:29, while Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) was the women's winner in 1:12:21.

25th Hakodate Half Marathon
Hakodate, Hokkaido, 6/28/15
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Mitchell Gizae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:29
2. Kazuki Tomaru (Team Toyota) - 1:03:01
3. Yoshihiro Yamamoto (Team NTN) - 1:03:02
4. Takuya Noguchi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:03:02
5. Yuya Ito (Team Toyota) - 1:03:22

Women's Half Marathon
1. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:12:21
2. Yukiko Okuno (Team Shiseido) - 1:12:42
3. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 1:13:19
4. Miya Nishio (Team Hokuren) - 1:14:10
5. Yukie Nagata (Rafine) - 1:18:22


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

1500 m Olympian Assefa Wins Nagoya, 22-Year-Old Sekine 2:23:07 Debut

Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) ran down favorite Valary Jemeli (Kenya) with 4 km to go to win the 2018 Nagoya Women's Marathon, with the home town crowd wowed by the debut of the latest next big thing, 22-year-old Hanami Sekine (Japan Post).

Supported by three pacers, a lead pack of seven including Assefa, Jemeli, Sekine, Ethiopian Bahraini Merima Mohamed, Saitama International Marathon winner Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) and top-ranked Japanese women Reia Iwade (Dome) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) went through halfway in a decent 1:11:32. This proved too hot for a few of the past next big things to have run well in Nagoya the last few years, as Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu), 2:22:48 in Nagoya three years ago, and Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 2:23:47 last year, were off the back of the pack in the first 10 km.

By 25 km Cheyech, Ohara and Iwade joined them off the back, leaving only Sekine in contention with the African trio of Jemeli, Assefa and Mohammed. Sekine, a…