Skip to main content

World Record Breaker Jepkosgei Leads Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

In its seventh edition the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon celebrates its promotion to its new status as the only IAAF gold label half marathon in Japan with a move a month earlier to a hopefully cooler mid-April date.  Newly-crowned women's half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) leads the women's entries for what should be an easy win should she actually run another half marathon three weeks after breaking the world record.  Mimi Belete (Bahrain) and London World Championships marathon team member Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only other women in the field with recent sub-70 times, Belete with a 1:09:15 earlier this year in Verona and Ando with a 1:09:51 at the 2015 Sanyo Ladies Road Race.  Ando's London teammate Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) is also on the short women's list rounded out by Sara Hall (U.S.A.), Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia), Lillian Partridge (Great Britain) and formerly Japan-based Philes Ongori (Kenya).

2015 Marugame Half winner Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta) and countryman Kenneth Keter (Kenya) top the men's field with recent sub-60 times, Kuira having won his debut in Marugame in 59:47 and Keter having run 59:48 at last year's Venlo Half.  Six other Africans led by 2015 Gifu winner James Rungaru (Team Chuo Hatsujo) come in with sub-61 times.  Just missing the mark, former Hakone Ekiden star Daichi Kamino (Team Konica Minolta) is the top-ranked Japanese man at 1:01:04, with London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) further down the list at 1:02:55.

7th Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field
Gifu, 4/23/17
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Women
Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 1:04:52 (Prague 2017)
Mimi Belete (Bahrain) - 1:09:15 (Verona 2017)
Yuka Ando (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:09:51 (Sanyo 2015)
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:10:07 (Houston 2016)
Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia) - 1:10:08 (Delhi 2014)
Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:31 (Valencia 2016)
Lillian Partridge (Great Britain) - 1:10:32 (Reading 2015)
Philes Ongori (Kenya) - 1:12:15 (Ras al Khaimah 2015)

Men
Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 59:47 (Marugame 2015)
Kenneth Keter (Kenya) - 59:48 (Venlo 2016)
James Rungaru (Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) - 1:00:12 (Nice 2015)
Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 1:00:30 (Nat'l Corporate Half 2015)
Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) - 1:00:38 (Porto 2014)
Goitom Kifle (Eritrea) - 1:00:49 (Marugame 2016)
Joel Mwaura (Kenya/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:00:59 (Marugame 2017)
Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 1:00:59 (Ichinoseki 2016)
Daichi Kamino (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 1:01:04 (Marugame 2017)
Paul Pollock (Ireland) - 1:02:46 (Cardiff World Champs 2016)
Melaku Abera (Ethiopia) - 1:02:47 (Oita 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:55 (Ageo 2014)
Yonas Mebrahtu (U.S.A.) - 1:02:59 (Philadelphia 2014)
Teklemariam Medhin (Eritrea) - 1:03:02 (Philadelphia 2014)
Roman Fosti (Estonia) - 1:05:21 (Ostia 2017)

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

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…