Despite suffering a side-stitch during a crucial point of the race, Yumiko Hara, a marathon debutante, broke away from Megumi Oshima with 3.8 km to go to win the 2005 Nagoya International Women’s Marathon, Nagoya, Japan, in 2:24:19, today.
Hara’s performance was the third fastest winning (and overall) time in Nagoya race history, behind only Naoko Takahashi’s 2:22:19 and Reiko Tosa’s 2:23:57, and automatically qualified her (first Japanese in the race with the sub 2:26 clocking) for the 2005 World Championships Marathon team.
Finishing in second place for second time in two years, just six seconds behind Hara (2:24:25), was Megumi Oshima (formerly Tanaka), who improved her marathon personal best by 22 seconds. Finishing third with over a four-minute improvement on her personal best was Ryoko Eda (formerly Kitajima) in 2:24:54. Finishing fourth with 2:25:21 was Yasuko Hashimoto who also improved her personal best. While the top six runners set personal bests (three of them are marathon debutante), Yoko Shibui, a huge pre-race favourite, suffering from sinus problems was back in seventh place, nearly 8 minutes slower than her own national record.