Ongori Phyles, a Kenyan who attended a Japanese high school and now runs for the corporate team Hokuren, won the Matsue Ladies Half Marathon on Sunday 19 March.
The race started under a sunny sky at the start, but rain came during the race. The lead pack passed the first Km in 3:20, and when the pace picked up during the second Km to 3:06, the lead pack was reduced to four runners – Ongori Phyles, Miki Oyama, Mika Matsumoto and Mikiko Hara. “I was going to run with the pack until 1Km and if the pace was slow I was going to take off. But the pace was relatively fast, so I stayed with pack longer,” said Phyles after the race.
After passing 3Km in 9:53, Phyles broke away from the lead pack. By 4.7Km Phyles was seven seconds ahead of the chase pack of three runners.
By 10Km Phyles was alone in front, while Miki Oyama, Mika Matsumoto, and Mikiko Hara were in the second pack. At 13Km, Nami Matsuda broke away from the third pack of five runners and started to chase the second pack. By 14.5Km, Matsuda passed the second pack to move into the sole possession of the second place. She then started to chase Phyles, and started to get close to Phyles, and by 17Km she was 25 seconds behind, and two Km later cut the lead in half.
However, at 20Km Phyles noticed the presence of Matsuda, who was then only six second behind her, and put in an extra effort and managed to stay ahead and win by five seconds. “It was my first half marathon. It was quite hard. On my next half marathon, I would like to run faster,” said Phyles. When asked about the marathon debut, she said, “not for five years.”
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
Assisted by Akihiro Onishi
5Km 16:14 Ongori Phyles
10Km 33:03 (16:49) Ongori Phyles
15Km 50:24 (17:21) Ongori Phyles
20Km 1:07:38 (17:14) Ongori Phyles
1) Ongori Phyles 1:11:18
2) Nami Matsuda 1:11:23
3) Miki Oyama 1:11:51
4) Mikiko Hara 1:12:01
5) Mika Matsumoto 1:12:05
6) Kei Terada 1:12:15
7) Yoshiko Watanabe
8) Sakura Sato 1:13:45
9) Hiroko Shoi 1:14:04
10) Kotoko Matsuoka 1:14:13