Skip to main content

Abinet and Utsunomiya Take National Corporate Half Marathon Titles, 19-Year-Old Onizuka Wins Karatsu 10-Miler

by Brett Larner

Alongside Sunday's record-breaking marathon action, the weekend featured three high-level road races across the country.  In Yamaguchi, Ethiopian Abiyot Abinet (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) made a strong half marathon debut to win the National Corporate Half Marathon Championships men's title. Emerging from a lead pack of seven including Kenyans Macharia Ndirangu (Team Aichi Seiko), Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) and Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Team Kanebo) plus Japanese men Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota), Ken Yokote (Team Fujitsu) and Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Team Aisan Kogyo), Abinet ran the last two-thirds of the race alone to win in 1:01:21.  Fujimoto took 4th overall in 1:01:53 in the top Japanese position.  Kitonyi, Yokote and Ishikawa faded in the second half and were run down by 2014 National University Half Marathon champion Hideto Yamanaka (Team Honda) and Komazawa University graduate Shun Inoura (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) who set new PBs of 1:02:00 and 1:02:01.

The women's race was split between half marathon and 10 km with just 44 women starting the half.  A pack race until 15 km, Ai Utsunomiya (Team Miyazaki Ginko) and Sakiko Tsutsui (Team Yamada Denki) went head-to-head over the last 5 km for the national title.  Running a PB by over 20 seconds, Utsunomiya got the win in 1:10:47, Tsutsui pulling a credible debut in 1:10:55 for 2nd.  Coached by men's half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato, 19-year-old Ayaka Fujimoto ran a PB of 1:11:00 for 3rd.  Yui Fukuda (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) scored the 10 km national title in style, setting a course record of 32:17 to finish 7 seconds up on Mao Ichiyama (Team Wacoal).  Japanese women regularly run faster in 10.0 km ekiden legs, but Fukuda's time put her just outside the all-time Japanese top ten for regular road 10 km.

At the Karatsu 10-Miler, Tokai University first-year Shota Onizuka unexpectedly outran a field including Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei), all-time Japanese #2 for 5000 m and 10000 m on the track and making his non-ekiden road race debut, for the win in 46:36.  Onizuka's fellow Tokai first-years Junnosuke Matsuo and Ryoji Tatezawa both made the top seven in their 10-mile debuts, further adding to Tokai's credentials as the team with the best chance of taking down three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University in the 2017-18 ekiden season.  A week after superb pacing through 15 km at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Taiki Yoshimura (Team Asahi Kasei) was 9th in 47:24.

Eijia Miyagi (Oita Tomei H.S.) won the women's 10 km in 33:30, with Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) winning the high school girls' 5 km in 16:23.  The high school boys' 10 km saw the top seven break 30 minutes, Takaki Iwamuro (Omuta H.S.) getting the win in a PB 29:44.  But the high school results paled compared to what came a day earlier in Gunma.  At Saturday's Gunma Prefecture Junior Road Race, at least the top eight broke 30 minutes in the high school boys' 10 km.  Winner Keigo Kurihara (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) ran 29:22 to take more than 30 seconds off the course record of 29:54 set in 1987.  Between them, the two high school boys' 10 km races showed that the bar continues to raise as Tokyo 2020 draws closer.

45th National Corporate Half Marathon and 10 km Championships
Yamaguchi, 2/12/17
click here for complete results

Men's Half Marathon
1. Abiyot Abinet (Yachiyo Kogyo) - 1:01:21 - debut
2. Macharia Ndirangu (Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:46
3. Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 1:01:52
4. Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 1:01:53
5. Hideto Yamanaka (Honda) - 1:02:00 - PB
6. Shun Inoura (Yachiyo Kogyo) - 1:02:01 - PB
7. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kanebo) - 1:02:05
8. Ken Yokote (Fujitsu) - 1:02:15
9. Naoya Takahashi (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:31 - PB
10. Keita Baba (Honda) - 1:02:31

Women's Half Marathon
1. Ai Utsunomiya (Miyazaki Ginko) - 1:10:47 - PB
2. Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Denki) - 1:10:55 - debut
3. Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) - 1:11:00 - PB
4. Maki Ashi (Kyudenko) - 1:11:12 - PB
5. Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:11:14 - debut

Women's 10 km
1. Yui Fukuda (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:17 - CR
2. Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) - 32:24
3. Kaori Morita (Panasonic) - 32:27
4. Ryo Koido (Hitachi) - 32:39
5. Yuka Hori (Panasonic) - 32:40

57th Karatsu 10-Mile Road Race
Karatsu, Saga, 2/12/17
click here for complete results

Men's 10 Miles
1. Shota Onizuka (Tokai Univ.) - 46:36 - debut
2. Yuma Higashi (Kyudenko) - 46:39 - PB
3. Minato Yamashita (NTN) - 46:43 - debut
4. Junnosuke Matsuo (Tokai Univ.) - 46:44 - debut
5. Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) - 46:46
6. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 46:48 - debut
7. Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) - 47:04 - debut
8. Atsuya Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 47:20
9. Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) - 47:24
10. Akihiko Tsumurai (Mazda) - 47:25

Women's 10 km
1. Eijia Miyagi (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 33:30 - PB
2. Yuika Takaki (Fukuoka Univ.) - 33:40
3. Shoko Tsujita (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 34:36
4. Saya Terao (Nakamura Joshi H.S.) - 34:37
5. Fuka Niina (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 34:38

High School Boys 10 km
1. Takaki Iwamuro (Omuta H.S.) - 29:44 - PB
2. Kaishi Daiho (Tokai Prep Fukuoka H.S.) - 29:50 - PB
3. Hiroyasu Morikawa (Jiyugaoka H.S.) - 29:52 - PB
4. Tatsuya Takahashi (Jiyugaoka H.S.) - 29:53 - PB
5. Masaki Tsuda (Fukuoka Prep Ohori H.S.) - 29:53 - PB

High School Girls 5 km
1. Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 16:23
2. Ako Matsumoto (Omuta H.S.) - 16:27
3. Maki Okubo (Saga Seiwa H.S.) - 16:53

26th Gunma Prefecture Junior Road Race
Maebashi, Gunma, 2/11/17

High School Boys 10 km
1. Keigo Kurihara (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) - 29:22 - CR, PB
2. Hiroki Arai (Maebashi Ikuei H.S.) - 29:23
3. Mitsuaki Takahashi (Fujioka Chuo H.S.) - 29:28
4. Ippei Hoshino (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) - 29:31
5. Shuto Takeuchi (Isesaki Shogyo H.S.) - 29:35

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…