Skip to main content

Kirwa Faces Flanagan and Wellings at Marugame Half

by Brett Larner
click here for men's field listing

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has lined up a great women's field for its 71st running on Feb. 5.  Rio Olympics marathon silver medalist and defending champion Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) will go up against Rio 6th and 9th-placers Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg of the U.S.A., 2015 Marugame winner Eloise Wellings of Australia and 2016 Japanese National Corporate Half Marathon champion Miho Shimizu (Team Hokuren).

Flanagan's 1:07:51 on the aided San Diego course last year is the only time that tops Kirwa's then-Bahraini national record 1:08:06 in Marugame 2016, promising a close race if Flanagan doesn't repeat her 2015 DNS.  Shimizu, the only Japanese woman to break 1:10 in 2016, should likewise have a good race for 3rd against Wellings if the Australian shows a return to form following her DNF last month at the Sanyo Ladies Half.  One promising debut comes in the form of sub-31:45 track runner Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku), who ran well on the 10.0 km anchor stage at last weekend's Naitonal Women's Ekiden.

71st Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon
Women’s Elite Field Highlights
Marugame, Kagawa, 2/5/17
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) – 1:07:51a (San Diego 2016)
Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) – 1:08:06 (Marugame 2016)
Eloise Wellings (Australia) – 1:09:29 (Marugame 2016)
Miho Shimizu (Japan/Hokuren) – 1:09:41 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2016)
Amy Cragg (U.S.A.) – 1:09:50a (San Diego 2016)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) – 1:10:13 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/Toto) – 1:10:47a (San Diego 2015)
Kaho Tanaka (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) – 1:11:12 (Marugame 2015)
Akane Sekimo (Japan/Imabari Zosen) – 1:11:17 (Marugame 2016)
Kellys Arias (Colombia) – 1:11:21 (Cardiff 2016)
Moeno Nakamura (Japan/Univ. Ent.) – 1:11:33 (Marugame 2016)
Miharu Shimokado (Japan/Shimamura) – 1:11:48 (Matsue Ladies 2016)
Winfridah Kebaiso (Kenya/Nitori) – 1:12:36 (Shibetsu 2015)
Eri Tayama (Japan/Hitachi) – 1:12:44 (Matsue Ladies 2014)
Megumi Amako (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu – 1:12:49 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Mei Matsuyama (Japan/Noritz) – 1:12:58 (Marugame 2016)

Debut
Riko Matsuzaki (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) – 31:44.86 (Abashiri 2015)
Yuko Aoki (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) – 32:58.67 (Yamaguchi 2014)

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

martin russell said…
Amy Craig racing in Japan ...but not Boston ? She is not listed In Boston start list ...

Most-Read This Week

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

Fresh off a 1:00:17 half marathon national record last weekend and a 28:55 road 10 km the one before, Yuta Shitara (Honda) lived up to expectations at today's Berlin Marathon, trying to go with the lead group and running the first part of the race alone between the first and second groups.

Whatever his plan, Shitara was swallowed up by the second pack, a good turn of events as it was travelling ahead of Japanese national record pace on track for just sub-2:06. Shitara hung with that group through 25 km before his projected time started to creep away, drifting to high-2:06 pace by 30 km, high-2:07 by 35 km, and high-2:08 by 40 km. In the end he was well short of Toshinari Takaoka's 2:06:16 national record, but with a 2:09:03 for 6th Shitara took 24 seconds off his best with the fastest Japanese men's performance in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. And just 8 days after the greatest half marathon performance in Japanese history.

『ベルリンマラソン動画 設楽悠太…

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…

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…