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New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…
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Nozomi Tanaka 8:58.81 at Shizuoka Time Trials

Fresh off a third-place finish in the women's 2000 m at France's Decanation last week just days after her 18th birthday, Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) took her month-old 3000 m PB and position in Japan's all-time rankings even further. Having hovered close to 9-flat for the last year Tanaka, the daughter of 2:29:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka,  finally broke through with an 8:59.83 to take the top Japanese spot in the 3000 m at August's National High School Track and Field Championships.

Oo Monday she took over a second off that time to win the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials women's 3000 m A-heat in 8:58.81 over rivals including 5000 m all-time high school #2 Shuri Ogasawara (Yaanashi Gakuin Prep H.S) and 3000 m all-time junior #4 Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.). Tanaka's new PB moved her up to all-time #4 among Japanese juniors and #3 among high school students for 3000 m, still 6 1/2 seconds off the records held by K…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

Onsarigo and Shimoyama Win Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

The 36th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon took place Sept. 17 in Ichinoseki, Iwate. 25-year-old Joseph Onsarigo (Nasu Kensetsu) won the men's race in 1:04:34, with Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) winning the women's race in 1:16:10, both of them taking the top position for the first time. A total of 2824 people started in the half marathon, 10 km and 5 km divisions, with 2652 finishing.

The men's race developed into a battle between two natives of Kenya, with Onsarigo having what it took to prevail as the overall winner. Invited athlete Cyrus Njui (Cebu Sports) took the early lead. Surging at the 6 km turnaround point at Hiraizumi, he turned the race into a one-on-one duel. Around 12 km near Ruinohashi Onsarigo thought to himself, "Let's break away all at once," and surged, but Njui was able to answer and stayed in contact. The pair continued to test each other, looking for an opportunity.

The key to the win came on the uphills late in the race. Last year'…

'Galen Rupp Runs 1:02:18 To Win Rock 'N' Roll Philadelphia; Hasay Third'

http://www.flotrack.org/article/61851-galen-rupp-runs-1-02-18-to-win-rock-n-roll-philadelphia-hasay-third#.WcCMTq09y8U

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Japanese results:

Men
4. Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:04:34 - PB
8. Muryo Takase (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:06:34

Women
5. Reia Iwade (Dome) - 1:14:01
7. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:15:30 - debut

A small group of Japanese corporate leaguers also ran at Portugal's Porto Half Marathon the same day:

Men
11. Naoya Takahashi (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:04:21
13. Keita Baba (Honda) - 1:06:22

Women
5. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:13:18
12. Rui Aoyama (Universal Entertainment) - 1:17:24

In the Netherlands, Risa Takenaka (Shiseido) returned to the Dam tot Damloop 10-Miler for the first time in two years.

Women
3. Risa Takenaka (Shiseido) - 53:15

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…