• For  Yumiko Hara, who is now coached by the legendary coach Yoshio Koide, her last marathon was 2009 Osaka Ladies Marathon where she was third
    For Yumiko Hara, who is now coached by the legendary coach Yoshio Koide, her last marathon was 2009 Osaka Ladies Marathon where she was third © Victah Sailer
  • | IAAF

Njui and Hara win sweltering Hokkaido Marathon

Cyrus Njui, a marathon debutante, and Yumiko Hara, running her first marathon since January of 2009, respectively won the men’s and women’s division of today’s Hokkaido marathon in Sapporo, Japan (29). 

Njui’s winning time of 2:11:22, the second fastest time in the history of Hokkaido marathon, is quite impressive considering high temperature (27C at the start) and high humidity (70% at the start). The Hokkaido marathon record of 2:10:13 was recorded by Ambesse Tolossa of Ethiopia in 1998, when the weather was much more conductive to running a good marathon.

Njui ran a smart race, letting Joseph Gitau first and then Mekubo Mogusu go before reeling them back in to take over the lead at 38Km, winning comfortably.

The 2010 Hokkaido Marathon, which for the women doubled as one of the selection races for the next year’s World Championships, was taken by Hara in 2:34:12. She battled it out with Hiroko Miyauchi until 32Km before Hara finally left Miyauchi behind and run the rest of the race alone.

For Hara, who is now coached by the legendary coach Yoshio Koide, her last marathon was 2009 Osaka Ladies Marathon where she was third. She left Kyocera track team after the Osaka marathon in 2009 and trained alone for a year before she sought coaching from Koide.

“I cannot believe that I came this far. I would like to thank those back home who helped me keep on running when I was running without team,” said Hara after the race. She could be a strong candidate to make the world championships marathon team especially because Daegu is also known for hot and humid weather.  Hara who ran in 2005 and 2007 World Championships could be on the 2009 World Championships marathon team as well. Full article at IAAF.org