The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mara, Mara, Mara!

Mara Yamauchi won the Osaka Womens Marathon today (I refuse to use the silly "Ladies" title). Her first marathon win should also confirm her place in Beijing. If she can shave about 2 minutes off her marathon time she could find herself on the Olympic podium. She cut about 7 minutes off her Osaka World Championships time, but most of that can be attributed to the weather.

It was a pity the race commentators focussed on Kayoko Fukushi. Fukushi was the wildcard entrant, and looked like winning at one point, but to focus on her instead of Mara and the very fast Tomo Morimoto was wrong. Even when it was plain to see Fukushi wanted to be left alone, the TV cameras were following her - to the point of missing Morimoto break away from the awesome young runner from Kenya Julia Mumbi Muraga (a side note Mumbi set a world's fastest time for 2008 in the 20km just 21 days ago in Miyazaki).

But back to Mara. After a string of second places in half marathons (Matsue Half Marathon, 2nd; Sapporo International Half Marathon 2nd; Sanyo Road Race Half Marathon 2nd) it must be a great mental boost to win a big race over the full distance.

Good luck in Beijing Mara!

1. Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 2hr 25min 10sec*

2. Tomo Morimoto (JPN) 2:25:34

3. Julia Mumbi Muraga (KEN) 2:26:00

4. Miki Ohira (JPN) 2:26:09

5. Madoka Ogi (JPN) 2:26:55

6. Lidia Simon (ROM) 2:27:17

7. Mika Okunaga (JPN) 2:27:52

8. Aki Fujikawa (JPN) 2:28:06

9. Constantina Tomescu (ROM) 2:28:15

10. Christelle Daunay (FRA) 2:28:24

*After the race, Mara said she had missed her PB. But if reported times are correct, she broke it by 3 seconds. The TV commentator said Mara had broken her PB, so it'll be a nice bonus for Mara if it turns out she did go her fastest.

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