[Arrs] Matsue Ladies Half Marathon

KKenNakamura2 at cs.com KKenNakamura2 at cs.com
Sun Mar 16 18:23:41 PDT 2008

Mara Yamauchi wins Matsue Ladies Half Marathon 

Mara Yamauchi, who won the Osaka Ladies Marathon with a personal best of 
2:25:10 in January, won the 29th Matsue Ladies Half Marathon in 1:09:59 on Sunday. 
"I was not sure what kind the race it will be, but I just ran as I feel. I am 
happy to win, and would like to thank fans who cheered me along the course," 
said Yamauchi after the race. Last year, Mara ran three half marathons (Matsue 
Ladies half marathon in March, Sapporo Half Marathon in July, and Okayama 
Women's half marathon in December) in Japan, and although she ran all of them 
under 70 minutes, Mara finished second each time.  Yamauchi finally won the half 
marathon in Japan.  Two young and upcoming runners - Rie Takayoshi and Hitomi 
Niiya - finished second and third, respectively. Takayoshi, a teammate of 
Olympic marathon runner Reiko Tosa, is coached by Hideo Suzuki, while Niiya is 
coached by Yoshio Koide, legendary coach who guided Naoko Takahashi to a gold 
medal in the 2000 Olympics.  

The pack of five runners (Hitomi Niiya, Rie Takayoshi, Ikuyo Yamashita and 
Remi Nakazato) led by Mara Yamauchi passed the first Km in 3:18.  But that did 
not last very long, for Yamauchi is a class of the field. She slowly pulled 
away from the leaders before 3Km and soon after 3Km Yamauchi was all alone in the 
front. Mara passed 5Km in 16:12, then covered the next 5Km in 16:36. Although 
she slowed with the distance, covering the next 5Km in 16:47 and 15Km to 20Km 
in 16:51, Yamauchi continued to lead the race.  She finished in 1:09:59, 
thirty-four seconds short of the course record set by Chitose Osaki last year.   
The battle for the runner-up position was settled soon after 10Km. After 
passing 10Km in 33:25, Takayoshi pulled away from the chase pack and soon she was 
alone in the second place. By 15Km Takayoshi was 26 seconds ahead of Hitomi 
Niiya in third. Takayoshi, half marathon debutante, continued to pull ahead of 
Niiya and finished in 1:10:49, while Niiya was third in 1:11:41.  Although 
Niiya ran the 2007 Tokyo Marathon, she never officially ran the half marathon.   

Weather:  Cloudy; temperature: 14.3C; humidity 63%; wind 4.2m/s West
Results (JPN unless otherwise noted)
1)  Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 1:09:59  (16:12, 32:48, 49:35, 1:06:26) 
2)  Rie Takayoshi  1:10:49 (16:25, 33:25, 50:05, 1:07:11)
3)  Hitomi Niiya 1:11:41  (16:25, 33:25, 50:31, 1:08:03)
4)  Ikuyo Yamashita  1:11:54 (16:25, 33:25, 50:39, 1:08:08) 
5)  Rie Matsumoto  1:12:08  (16:52, 33:58, 51:10, 1:08:26) 
6)  Shino Saito  1:12:15  (16:53, 33:58, 51:10, 1:08:35) 
7)  Remi Nakazato  1:12:21  (16:25, 33:25, 50:44, 1:08:35) 
8)  Makiko Miyahara  1:13:00
9)  Ikuko Mizuguchi  1:13:27 
10) Hitomi Nakamura  1:13:50 
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