The 30th edition of the Matsue Ladies Half Marathon was held on Sunday 15 March in Matsue, Japan. For Collegiate runners the race also doubled as the 12th JPN Collegiate women’s half marathon championships, serving as the selection race for the half marathon team for the upcoming World University Games.
Briton Mara Yamauchi, the defending champion who also finished second two years ago with 1:09:36, broke away after 1Km and won by 43 seconds. The collegiate division was won by Kikuyo Tsuzaki of Meijyo University, who finished third overall. She was followed by her teammate Sayo Nomura. For Tsuzaki and Nomura, it was their half marathon debut.
Soon after the start, Yamauchi and Yuri Kano, the Second Wind AC teammates, broke away from their competitors. After passing 1Km in 3:08, Yamauchi dropped Kano and ran the rest of the race alone. Mara, thus became the second runner to defend the title in its 30 year history.
“I would like to thank all the spectators for cheering me,” said Yamauchi after the race. Her next big race will be the London marathon. “I was able to defend my crown because of them. Yes, I was going after the victory, but I decided to delay my decision on the race tactics until after my start. I could breakaway from the start and run the rest of the race alone or stay in the pack and wait until the end to make my move. But since I was feeling so good, I decided to go from the start. It was bit windy and I enjoyed the race.”
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
Assisted by Akihiro Onishi
Weather: Sunny; temperature: 8.4C, humidity: 53%; Wind 6.4m/s West
1) Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 1:10:09 (16:17, 33:32, 49:36, 1:06:34)
2) Yuri Kano 1:11:02 (16:36, 34:10, 50:19, 1:07:31)
3) Kikuyo Tsuzaki 1:11:53 (17:02, 34:53, 51:27, 1:08:28) - first collegiate runner
4) Sayo Nomura 1:11:54 - second collegiate runner
5) Seika Nishikawa 1:12:04
6) Ayaka Ohira 1:12:13
7) Satoko Uetani 1:12:29
8) Seika Iwamura 1:12:30
9) Aimi Takemori 1:12:34
10) Misato Tanaka 1:12:40
11) Yukiko Makihara 1:12:56