translated and edited by Brett Larner
On a course through the oldest and most scenic parts of town, the Matsue Ladies' Half Marathon held its 37th running on Mar. 20. Serving as the National University Women's Half Marathon Championships, Matsue hosted 2363 runners from elementary school students to the corporate leagues to the best of the university circuit. Local supporters turned out all along the course to cheer on the women whose run welcomes spring back to Matsue every year.
The Matsue Ladies Road Race featured four divisions starting one after another, the half marathon followed by the 3.2 km division, a 1.0 km children's race and the 10 km division. 153 women including 94 university runners were entered in the half marathon. Taking control of the race after just 3 km, invited athlete Miharu Shimokado (Team Shimamura) won in 1:11:48. "I was able to make it my own race," she said confidently. Shimokado used Matsue as a tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon. Runner-up Misaki Ogata (Matsuyama Univ.) was the top collegiate finisher in 1:11:50, taking the National University title by 3 seconds over teammate Ayumi Uehara.
Kenyan Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi), a regular in Matsue, broke the course record in the 10 km, winning in 32:33. In both the half marathon and 10 km divisions the cutoff times were extended by 20 minutes, allowing many more amateur runners to take part. Each of them running her own race and her own pace, they enjoyed the scenic castle and waterside views that Matsue has to offer before sampling nearby Lake Shinji's famous freshwater clams post-race.
37th Matsue Ladies' Half Marathon
Matsue, Shimane, 3/20/16
click here for complete results
Women's Half Marathon
1. Miharu Shimokado (Shimamura) - 1:11:48
2. Misaki Ogata (Matsuyama Univ.) - 1:11:50
3. Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 1:11:53
4. Yomogi Akasaka (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:55
5. Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:12:21
6. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:12:45
7. Wakana Itsuki (Fukuoka Univ.) - 1:12:49
8. Mizuki Tanimoto (Tenmaya) - 1:13:06
9. Kanade Furuya (Matsuyama Univ.) - 1:13:52
10. Maho Shimizu (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:14:42
Women's 10 km
1. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Hitachi) - 32:33 - CR
2. Yuko Kikuchi (Hokuren) - 33:16
3. Rina Kurosawa (Hitachi) - 34:44