Skip to main content

2017 United Airlines NYC Half to Feature Strongest-Ever Japanese Contingent at a New York Road Runners Race


The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 19, will feature a five-strong contingent of top athletes from Japan including university standouts Rintaro Takeda and Kenta Ueda racing against some of the world’s best runners, highlighting both the strength of the event’s international field and New York Road Runners’ partnership with the Ageo City Marathon.

“We are excited to bring in the most talented group of Japanese runners we’ve ever had at a New York Road Runners event,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “NYRR’s partnership with the Ageo City Marathon continues to improve each year and is one of the many reasons NYRR serves as the world’s premiere community running organization. Having both professional and university athletes from Japan racing the United Airlines NYC Half this year will showcase what NYRR does to help propel the careers of international runners to the next level.”

Since 2012, NYRR has held an official partnership with Japan’s Ageo City Marathon, in which the top two Japanese collegiate finishers from the event are invited to run the United Airlines NYC Half the following spring. The Ageo City Marathon’s name is an homage to the New York City Marathon, which was already well-established when the Ageo race was founded back in 1988. Known for its incredible depth, it’s also a popular participatory event, with nearly 9,000 finishers across its half marathon, 5K, and youth 3K.

In last year’s university division alone of the half marathon, 63 men ran the course under 64 minutes under a blanket of heavy fog. Waseda University senior Rintaro Takeda caught and passed Yamanashi Gakuin University sophomore Kenta Ueda in the final 200 meters, with both earning their spots at the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half. Takeda’s 1:01:59 was the third-fastest performance ever by a collegian in the race.

Joining them on the United Airlines NYC Half course in March will be Kenta Murayama in the men’s race, Misato Horie in the women’s race and Kota Hokinoue in the men’s wheelchair race.

Murayama, 24, of Sendai, finished in 10th place in his NYC Half debut in 2013 in 1:02:02. He had earned his spot in the professional athlete field of the race by winning the Ageo City Half Marathon the year prior in 1:02:46. Now holding a best of 1:00:50, his participation in 2017 marks the first time an athlete from the Ageo partnership has returned to compete as a corporate runner. In 2015, he finished 22nd over 10,000 meters at the IAAF World Championships and then took ninth in the distance in 2016 at the Japanese Championships.  “When I ran the NYC Half while in university, it was to find out for myself, how long can I hang with the best in the world?” Murayama said. “I'm coming back this year not to hang on, but to race with them. When I run the marathon in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, I think a good race here in New York will be an incredibly valuable part of being a contender there.”

Horie, 30, of Kobe, is coming off a personal-best marathon of 2:25:44 at the Osaka Marathon in January and will be making her road racing debut in New York City. In 2016, she just missed qualifying for the Rio Olympics when she took second at the Osaka Marathon.

Hokinoue, 42, of Fukuoka, is a three-time Paralympian making his United Airlines NYC Half debut. He’s been wheelchair racing since 2002, just two years after he injured his spine in a motorcycle accident. Hokinoue has raced the New York City Marathon four times, with his best finish being third place in 2011. He owns a World Championship bronze medal from the 2013 IPC Athletics Marathon, and he finished seventh in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Marathon.  “I’m very excited to take part in the United Airlines NYC Half for the first time,” Hokinoue said. “It will be a different race for me, competing against those I usually race in a full marathon. I will be planning for the course carefully and will be preparing my race plan to win the event.”

The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half will feature 20,000 runners from more than 90 countries in the 13.1-mile race, which starts in Central Park, heads uptown through Harlem then back through famed Times Square to the finish line near Wall Street in downtown Manhattan.  The event will be broadcast live in the New York area on WABC-TV, Channel 7 and will be shown internationally via a variety of global broadcast partners.

Takeda, Ueda and Murayama will be running the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half with support from JRN.

2017 United Airline NYC Half Elite Fields
New York, U.S.A., 3/19/17

Men
Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) - 59:22
Callum Hawkins (Great Britain) - 1:00:00
Teshome Mekonen (Ethiopia) - 1:00:27
Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 1:00:29
Stephen Sambu (Kenya) - 1:00:41
Juan Luis Barrios (Mexico) - 1:00:46
Kenta Murayama (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 1:00:50
Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 1:00:51
Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 1:01:00
Shadrack Biwott (U.S.A.) - 1:01:25
Jared Ward (U.S.A.) - 1:01:42
Rintaro Takeda (Japan/Waseda Univ.) - 1:01:59
Kenta Ueda (Japan/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:01
Arne Gabius (Germany) - 1:02:10
Scott MacPherson (U.S.A.) - 1:02:56
Mike Morgan (U.S.A.) - 1:02:56
Johnny Crain (U.S.A.) - 1:03:21
Noah Droddy (U.S.A.) - 1:03:22
Eric Gillis (Canada) - 1:03:30
Chris Derrick (U.S.A.) - 1:03:41
Luke Humphrey (U.S.A.) - 1:03:57

Women
Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 1:06:09
Molly Huddle (U.S.A.) - 1:07:41
Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:07:41
Amy Cragg (U.S.A.) - 1:08:27
Caroline Rotich (Kenya) - 1:08:52
Diane Nukuri (Burundi) - 1:09:12
Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 1:10:26
Desi Linden (U.S.A.) - 1:10:34
Lanni Marchant (Canada) - 1:10:47
Milly Clark (Australia) - 1:10:48
Kellys Arias (Colombia) - 1:11:21
Dot McMahan (U.S.A.) - 1:11:50
Liz Costello (U.S.A.) - 1:12:35
Beverly Ramos (Puerto Rico) - 1:12:48
Danna Herrick (U.S.A.)- 1:12:55
Sara Galiberti (Italy) - 1:13:42
Florencia Borelli (Argentina) - 1:13:51
Grace Kahura (Kenya) - 1:14:12
Sara Lahti (Sweden) - debut - 31:28.43 (10000 m)
Alexi Pappas (Greece) - debut - 31:36.16 (10000 m)
Emily Sisson (U.S.A.) - debut - 31:38.03 (10000 m)
Rachel Cliff (Canada) - debut - 32:21.98 (10000 m)

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …