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Shitara Wins Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler

In a year that saw him deliver one of the most memorable debut marathons in history, a half marathon national record, 10000 m and marathon PBs and more, Yuta Shitara (Honda) ended 2017 on a high note, beating three-time defending champion Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) to win the 42nd Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler. Shitara, Karemi, London World Championships marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), Ethiopian Abayneh Degu (Yasukawa Denki) and track ace Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) ran together in a lead group through the early going, but Shitara was just too much for the others to handle.

Shitara broke the tape in 45:58, only the fourth Japanese man to ever clear 45 minutes. Karemi was well under last year's winning time but nowhere close to catching Shitara, finishing 2nd in 46:10 and Inoue only 2 seconds behind him. With many corporate and university teams using Kosa to tune up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden and Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, it regularly produces the deepest 10 mile results in the world. The top 11 cleared 47 minutes, with 47 under 48 minutes and 80 under 49 minutes.

Of the 11 to run under 47 minutes, four including Shitara, 6th-placer Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei), 10th-placer Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) and 11th-placer Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei), are alumni of the JRN-supported program for top university talent from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run in March's United Airlines NYC Half. A 5th alumnus, Ikuto Yufu (Fujitsu), had an off day, finishing 88th in 49:18.

Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa (Honda) was a decent 14th in 47:14, easily beating Inoue's London teammate Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki), 33rd in 47:40. 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) took 44th in 47:49. In the high school boys' 10 km, Ryuta Igawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) won in a solid 29:45. Hikari Fukuda was the top finisher in the women's 5 km, winning in 16:31.

42nd Kumamoto Kosa 10 Mile Road Race

Kosa, Kumamoto, 12/3/17
click here for complete results

Men's 10 Miles
1. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 45:58
2. Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) - 46:10
3. Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) - 46:12
4. Abayneh Degu (Yasukawa Denki) - 46:15
5. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 46:21
6. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 46:35
7. Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 46:39
8. Naoya Takahashi (Yasukawa Denki) - 46:42
9. Shintaro Miwa (NTN) - 46:44
10. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 46:59
11. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 46:59
14. Suehiro Ishikawa (Honda) - 47:14
33. Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) - 47:40
44. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 47:49
88. Ikuto Yufu (Fujitsu) - 49:18

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Ryuta Igawa (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 29:45

Women's 5 km
1. Hikari Fukuda (Higo Ginko) - 16:31

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved


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