j• Ultramarathon super runners Harrisson Uk and Sarah Martin were impressive as usual at the Yakushima 100K, on Jan 12th, both winning the overall title! Despite cold rain the last 25k, Harrisson ran 9:05 and Sarah clocked an excellent 10:07.
• More races on the 12th. Chika Kanai ran the Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (at the very bottom of Kyushu) in 3:24, coming in 4th in the women’s 40s. She reports that it’s a very scenic, although tough, course. Rika Homma did the Takanezawa Half Marathon in Tochigi, coming in 10th in 1:31:22. Conditions were not great (0°C, 98% humidity), but she ran well and so did Shogo Nakamura (winner of the Japan Olympic Trial race) who ran 1:01. Yumiko Kato went home for the holidays to Ushiku in Ibaraki and ran the Ushiku 10K, finishing 10th despite a delayed start and clocking 46:50. And finally, Namban Rengo fielded a team of six for the Manazuru Ekiden in Kanagawa: Alan Cannon, Mike and Rieko Trees, Mika Tokairin, Andy Drought and Nathan Collins.
• The Frostbite Half/5K was held at Yokota Air Base on the 19th. Luigi Mondino 1:21:35 (54th out of about 10,000), Quint Oga-Baldwin 1:26:15, Faith Geraghty 1:32:19 (as a training run!), Ken Pechter, Roselle Kingsbury and Moeka Nakamura 22:45 for 3rd AG in the 5K.
• The popular Shibuya Ekiden on the 3rd featured a huge Namban presence of 9 teams – 36 people, plus friends. Our teams ran to high places in several divisions: 3rd in the Open, 3rd in over 40s, and 5th in Womens Open. The weather was good and everyone had a great time!
• Eric Lebrasseur ran the Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race – 100KM in 15:53:06, 155th out of 1831. He achieved his goal of breaking 16 hrs. and received a gold trophy
• Ryudo Tsukizaki raced the Altra 5K Time Trial Series in 15:57.
• And in Hawaii, Mika Tokairin challenged the very downhilly Revel Kulia Marathon, finishing it in 4:22, probably with very sore quads.
• Sunday, Jan. 26 was a big racing day. Leading the Namban charge was Rika Homma, who ran the Osaka Women’s Marathon (elite and semi-elite) in another sensational PB of 3:05:02! Sylvain Dufros also set a PB in the Osaka Half, running 1:31:37. Rie Onodera was in Kanagawa for the Shonan Fujisawa 10 Mile, which she completed in 1:14:53. Mike Trees ran the Katsuta 10K in 34:38, his first time under 35:00 in 5 years — he’s still got it! And speaking of still having it, Yoshi Fukuchi ran 2:42:24 at the Katsuta Marathon, a PB at age 48!! Yoko Fukuchi is still recovering from an injury but ran 3:36:48. And 13 Nambanners were at the Shinjuku City Half and 10K — there were Namban shirts all over the course! Yoann Potiron broke his 10K PB by more than a minute with a 36:18. Tony Collins also set a PB with 37:17 and was 1st in his age group!! Still more — the group at the wet and chilly Tateyama Wakashio Marathon in Chiba included Alan Cannon 3:07:36, Terry Minegishi, Ash Harvey, Nick Coyle, Andrew Farmer, Taras Koochin, Hang Yu 3:33:39, Mika Kume, Marcus Kosins AND in his first marathon, Jacob Coyle in a respectable 4:17.