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2021 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis

We regret to announce that the 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021 will not take place.

After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year.

We apologize to everyone who had anticipated taking part in our race, but we ask for your understanding of this difficult situation. We hope for a solution to the coronavirus situation and look forward to welcoming you all to our next race on Feb. 6, 2022.

We will be busily preparing for that day and thank you all for your continued support of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon. Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon Organizing Committee.

This is the third major Japanese race of 2021 and, as far as I'm aware, the first World Athletics label race in 2021 worldwide to cancel. Marugame is Japan's premier winter half marathon, one of the deepest in the world and a key tuneup every year for top-level Japanese athletes competing in the Tokyo Marathon, Lake Biwa Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon.

(07/20/2020) Views: 136 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Robinson and Johannes break national records to win Marugame Half Marathon

Brett Robinson won the Marugame Half Marathon in an Australian record of 59:57, recording the fastest time in four years at the World Athletics Silver Label road race on Sunday (2).

The 28-year-old took the lead at 18km before going on to win, taking more than four minutes off his PB in the process. Meanwhile, world marathon bronze medallist Helalia Johannes smashed her own Namibian record to win the women’s race in 1:08:10.

In the men’s race, a large pack of runners went through 5km in 14:13 and 10km in 28:26. The real racing started when 2017 Marugame winner Callum Hawkins started to push the pace at 13.5km. By 16.5km the lead pack had been reduced to four runners: Hawkins, Robinson, Yusuke Ogura and Taku Fujimoto.

Robinson took the lead at 18km and Ogura drifted back. Approaching 19km, Hawkins and Fujimoto also fell behind. Then Ogura started to bridge the gap, and took over the third from Fujimoto at 20.6km and second from Hawkins as they entered the stadium.

Robinson held on to the lead, though, and crossed the line in 59:57, taking 59 seconds off the Australian record set by Collis Birmingham at the 2013 edition of this race.

“It was a very tough race,” said Robinson. “The last few kilometres were very, but I’m very happy. The Japanese, Kenyan and Scottish runners put up a very good fight to the end.”

Ogura took almost two minutes off his PB to finish second in a Japanese record of 1:00:00, taking 17 seconds off the previous mark set by Yuta Shitara, who finished sixth in 1:00:49.

“I did not expect such a time,” said Ogura. “The race was a tune-up for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon. With two kilometres to go I expected the Japanese record to fall, so I was determined to pass Fujimoto in front of me. I am going after the third spot on the Japanese Marathon team in Tokyo.” Ogura will have to break the Japanese national record, 2:05:50, to gain the third spot on the team.

Hawkins finished third with 1:00:01, one second short of the PB he set when winning here three years ago, while Fujimoto finished fourth in 60:06, also inside the former Japanese record.

In the first half of the women’s race, Mao Ichiyama led Helalia Johannes, but Johannes took over the lead for good at about 12km. Although Charlotte Purdue came as close as 10 seconds at 20km, Johannes won with a personal best of 1:08:10.

It was a two-minute improvement on Johannes’ previous best, but her recent times at 10km (30:59) and the marathon (2:22:25) had hinted at a big half marathon breakthrough. The Commonwealth champion will defend her Nagoya Women’s Marathon title next month.

Purdue finished second in 1:08:23, a PB by 20 seconds, while Choi Kyund-Sun set a Korean record of 1:08:35 in third place.

 

(02/02/2020) Views: 299 ⚡AMP
by Ken Nakamura for World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Callum Hawkins of Great Britain will be targeting a second victory at the 74th Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon on Sunday

Callum Hawkins, who won the race in 2017, joins 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich as a marquee name on the men’s side while Helalia Johannes, the bronze medallist in the marathon at last year’s World Championships, leads the women’s field.

Hawkins, who collapsed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon while leading, finished fourth in the World Championships marathon in both 2017 and 2019.

Briton Charlotte Purdue (1:08:45), Japan’s Mao Ichiyama (1:08:49) and Australian Sinead Diver (1:08:55) have the fastest personal bests in the field. All came in 2019: Purdue’s in the Sanyo Women’s road race in December, Ichiyama’s in Hakodate in July and Diver’s in Marugame in February. Two others - Ellie Pashley and Reia Iwade - also have sub-70 minute credentials.   

Eri Makikawa, the 2014 Marugame winner with a best of 1:10:28, is also back after skipping the race in recent years.

The men’s field is much stronger.

Both Zane Robertson and Kelvin Kiptum have sub-1 hour bests, while Hawkins’ best is exactly 60 minutes. In fact, the 20-year-old Kiptum has cracked 60:00 twice, both last year. That may qualify Kiptum as the favorite on Sunday. Robertson was second in Marugame in 2015.

The race also serves as a qualifying race for the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

Several runners, including Japanese national half marathon record holder Yuta Shitara, are running as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon. Yuki Sato, a four-time national 10,000m champion, and Shuho Dairokuno, 2019 national 10,000m champion, will also be contesting both Marugame and Tokyo Marathon. Although not an invited runner, Shitara’s twin brother Keita will be running also.

Other top Japanese include Yuma Hattori, the 2018 Fukuoka Marathon champion, Taku Fujimoto, second in the 2019 Fukuoka Marathon, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, the second fastest 10,000m runner in Japan and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi.

(01/31/2020) Views: 392 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Sineard Diver improved her 40 Plus world record at Marugame Half Marathon clocking 1:08:55

Betsy Saina pulled away from Ayuko Suzuki in the final kilometer of the Marugame Half Marathon to successfully defend her title at the IAAF Silver Label road race in 1:07:49 on Sunday Feb 3.

Abdi Nageeye, meanwhile, caught front-running Simon Kariuki just before the 20-kilometer point and went on to win in 1:00:24, taking 46 seconds off the Dutch record set 20 years ago by Greg van Hest.

Saina and Suzuki ran together, passing five kilometers in 16:02, 10 kilometers in 32:06 and 15 kilometers in 48:15. They were still together at 20 kilometers, reached in 1:04:25, but Saina then made her move and pulled away from Suzuki to win in 1:07:49, smashing her previous best of 1:09:17 set in Marugame last year.

The Kenyan became the fifth woman to win back-to-back Marugame Half Marathon titles, joining Eunice Kirwa (2016 and 2017), Tiki Gelana (2012 and 2013), Kayoko Fukushi (2006, 2007 and 2011) and Yasuko Hashimoto (2003 and 2004). Her time is also the third fastest time in Marugame.

Despite missing out on victory, Suzuki was still pleased with her 1:07:55 half marathon debut.

“I am bit disappointed to be out kicked at the end of the race, but it was good that I was able to keep the steady pace all the way,” said Suzuki.

41-year-old Sinead Diver finished third in 1:08:55, improving her own world W40 best by 25 seconds. Charlotte Purdue was fourth in 1:09:46, her first sub-70-minute performance. Mao Ichiyama, who will be running the Tokyo Marathon in four weeks, was sixth in 1:10:49, about a minute shy of her PR.

Before Diver, American marathon record holder Deena Kastor held the record at 1:09:37. 

The lead group in the men’s race went through five kilometers in 14:16 and then Japan-based Kenyan Simon Kariuki pulled away from the pack. He went through 10 kilometres in 28:24, about 20 seconds ahead of the chase pack, and managed to maintain that lead up to 15 kilometres, which he reached in 42:46.

Nageeye then started to reel in Kariuki and took the lead just before 20 kilometres, which he passed in 57:18. The 29-year-old continued to pull away from his competitors in the closing stages to win in 1:00:24, improving his PB by one minute and 44 seconds.

Kariuki finished second in 1:00:43, a PR by 42 seconds. Australia’s Jack Rayner was third in 1:01:36, while fourth-placed Takato Suzuki was the first Japanese finisher, just ahead of Masao Kizu, both credited with PRs of 1:01:45.

(02/04/2019) Views: 912 ⚡AMP
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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German's Richard Ringer will make his half marathon debut February 3rd in Marugame Japan

Richard Ringer wants to be careful and not commit to a time - and yet his minimum goal would be to move into the top eight on the German half marathon leaderboard.

Germany's best long-distance runner of the past few years will be at the starting line at Japan's Marugame Half Marathon on February 3rd.

Marugame is about two and a half hours drive from Kobe. Richard Ringer's new Japanese outfitter, has their headquarters in Kobe.

In the field are several runners with best times of 61 minutes. "The British Callum Hawkins won here in 2017 in exactly 60 minutes. My training has been good and there's nothing to scare me off," said the 10,000-meter European Cup winner, who also wants to test the trip to the Far East for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

He has been training in Kenya and Portugal.  "The change in training has been good for my body. Longer stretches, lower intensities, and spiked runs - a welcome change."  And the most important thing: "I trained very well, it was really great here." Although he was not spared from colds and small training breaks he thinks he is back to its previous level.

Richard can keep up with the best on the road.  In October at the Frankfurt Marathon he was a pacemaker for Arne Gabius for about 30 kilometers and in mid-November in Nijmegen (Netherlands) he clocked 43:40 minutes over 15 kilometers.  He looks confidently on his half marathon debut: "I have prepared well and must not hide," he clarifies.

(01/31/2019) Views: 991 ⚡AMP
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Defending Champions Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru will defend their titles at Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition.

Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama with a 1:09:14, three seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. Three seconds slower is Sinead Diver with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year.

America's Sara Hall, isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki, making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only two seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat, with Evans Cheruiyot and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back.

Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama leads the home crew, with an interesting duo from Chuo University, Ken Nakayama and Kensuke Horio, hoping to improve on their sub-62 bests.

Jack Rayner is another interesting addition, while Germany's Richard Ringer will be making his debut off a 27:36.52 track 10000 m best.

(01/15/2019) Views: 723 ⚡AMP
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Kenyans Double at Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon today

Kenya’s Edward Waweru and Betsy Saina took top honors at the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon, winning the IAAF Silver Label road race in PBs of 1:00:31 and 1:09:17 respectively on Sunday. Waweru, who lives in Japan and runs for NTN Track and Field Club, took 97 seconds off his previous best. The former track specialist had contested just one half marathon before today, clocking 1:02:08 at the 2014 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon. Shitara was second in 1:01:13, falling nearly one minute short of his national record. “I am happy to be the first Japanese finisher, but I really wanted to win the race,” said Shitara, who will be targeting the Japanese record at the Tokyo Marathon in three weeks. (02/04/2018) Views: 981 ⚡AMP
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Shitara could be the first Japanese winner at Kagawa Marugame Half since 2006

National record-holder Yuta Shitara is in excellent form. 8 days after clocking a Japanese half marathon record of 1:00:17 in Usti Nad Labem in September, he set a PB of 2:09:03 at the Berlin Marathon. 8 days was the same gap between his 10,000m PB of 27:41.97 in November at his victory over 10 miles in Kosa. His success has continued and he could improve his national record, or even challenge for victory, which would make him the first Japanese man to win in Marugame since 2006. (02/03/2018) Views: 988 ⚡AMP
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Half Marathon World Record Holder is Racing Sunday

World half-marathon record-holder Zersenay Tadese will run his first half marathon in almost two years at the 72nd Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon on Sunday Feb 4. Tadese, a five-time world half marathon champion, set the world record of 58:23 back in 2010. While his last sub-60-minute half marathon was back in 2015, the Eritrean’s recent performances suggest he will still be competitive on Sunday. The 35-year-old clocked 1:00:31 in his last half marathon, in Istanbul in April 2016. (02/02/2018) Views: 1,017 ⚡AMP
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Kiplagat and Tadese lead Marugame Half Marathon

Organisers of the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon have revealed the entry list for the race. World record-holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea heads the men’s entries, while two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya is the top name in the women’s field. Five-time world half marathon champion Tadese, who set the world record of 58:23 back in 2010, will be competing in Marugame for the first time in his long and distinguished career. (01/18/2018) Views: 725 ⚡AMP
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