Skip to main content

Kobe Women's Half Marathon Announces Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The organizing committee of the 2008 Kobe National Women’s Half Marathon has announced this year’s field of elite and invited athletes. The list includes a mix of current top runners, veterans, and a crew of debut half marathoners from Team Kyocera.

Kenyan Julia Mombi will be at the top of the class as none of the Japanese runners approach her recent times. Mombi’s only foreign competition, Brit Mara Yamauchi, is running the Tokyo International Women’s Marathon eight days before Kobe and is doubtlessly appearing only in a special guest capacity.

Japanese runners Yumiko Hara, Mari Ozaki and Akemi Ozaki, all primarily running as marathoners these days, have the potential for a good day performance in which they stay with Mombi. Akane Wakita is on an improvement curve in recent years and may well be the best hope for a domestic breakthrough performance.

The 2008 Kobe National Women’s Half Marathon takes place on Nov. 24 at 9:30 a.m.

2008 Kobe National Women’s Half Marathon Elite Field
Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) – 1:08:31 (2008)
Mara Yamauchi (Second Wind AC) – 1:08:45 (2007)
Yumiko Hara (Team Kyocera) – 1:09:28 (2002)
Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) – 1:09:33 (2002)
Kiyomi Ogawa (Team Kyocera) – 1:09:39 (2002)
Akemi Ozaki (Second Wind AC) – 1:10:31 (2003)
Akane Wakita (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) – 1:11:01 (2007)
Kaori Oyama (Team Noritz) – 1:11:51 (2004)
Chihiro Tanaka (Team Daitsu) – 1:12:00 (2002)
Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) – 1:12:27 (2005)
Yuko Arimori (Team Recruit) – 1:12:52 (2000)
Mika Hikita (Team Aruze) – 1:13:27 (2002)
Miki Oka (Team Daihatsu) – 1:14:38 (2008)
Maki Suzawa (Team Kyocera) – 33:25 (10km) (2008)
Mai Kizaki (Team Kyocera) – 33:33 (10km) (2008)
Rie Yoshifuku (Team Kyocera) – 34:46 (10km) (2008)

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.

Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).

Near …

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …