It was a day of records at the 31st Ageo City Half Marathon in Japan today, with both men’s and women’s course records falling, a new Swedish national record (by 20 seconds) set by David Nilsson, and multiple personal bests achieved, in a race that seems to get faster every year. According to Japan Running News, which refers to this race as “the world’s greatest half-marathon,” four men ran under 62 minutes. 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi and Japanese national marathon record-holder Yuta Shitara were also among the runners.

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In the women’s race, Kaori Yoshida set a new course record of 1:11:54, the second year in a row the record has been broken. Defending champion Chun Yu Tsao of Taiwan finished second, in 1:13:56, a new PB for her. Kaoru Nagao was third, in 1:15:50–one second faster than Tsao’s time from 2017.

On the men’s side, Kenyan Vincent Laimoi took the win, setting a new course record of 1:01:19. Ken Nakayama was second, in 1:01:32, a personal best and the best time ever set at this race by a Japanese man. Ethiopian Worknesh Derese was third, in 1:01:50. Shitara finished fourth, in 1:01:59, and Nilsson fifth, in 1:02:09.

The top two Japanese collegiate finishers are invited to the next running of the New York half-marathon. Nakayama, of Chuo University, and Genki Kaneko of Josai University received their invitation from Shitara, who was the first Japanese university runner to be invited, back in 2012.

Kawauchi, who has had a number of disappointing times in recent months, finished 14th, with his career third-fastest time of 1:02:49. He and Shitara will square off at the Fukuoka Marathon on December 2.

 

 

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