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News07 Feb 2010

Gitau and Chapple pull off upsets at Marugame Half


Nikki Chapple surprises to take Gt Australian Run title in Melbourne (© Getty Images)

Daniel Gitau of Kenya and Australian Nikki Chapple upset the prohibitive favourites at the Marugame Half Marathon today.

Gitau ran away from his arch rival Mekubo Mogusu at 14 kilometres to win with a 1:01:08 personal best. Chapple broke from her competition even earlier, surging away from Mara Yamauchi and Hiromi Ominami at seven kilometres to win with 1:08:37, also personal best.

The Marugame Half Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

In the men’s race, Gitau took off immediately at the start, followed by Mekubo Mogusu and Tomoaki Bungo. At three kilometres, Bungo was no longer able to maintain the pace, which left just Gitau and Mogusu in front.  Running together the pair passed five kilometres in 14:11 and 10 kilometres in 28:40, 15 seconds ahead of the chase pack.

In the 13th kilometre, Mogusu made his first big move, but Gitau easily worked his way back to the front.  One kilometre later, Gitau made another surge and this time broke away cleanly from Mogusu. By 15 kilometres (43:14), Gitau was five seconds ahead of Mogusu, and continued to extend his lead with each stride. By 20 kilometres, he led Mogusu by 30 seconds and eventually won by 35. His 1:01:08 winning time was a 26 second improvement of his personal best, recorded in this race last year.

Kenyans took the top three spots, as Joseph Mwaniki finished third with 1:01:49, ten seconds short of his personal best from two years ago.

Women’s race - Chapple impresses

Chapple, Yamauchi and Ominami formed a lead pack from the start, with the Australian leading the trio through the first five kilometres in 16:05. Chapple continued to push the pace and by the seventh kilometre was running alone.

At 10 kilometres (32:25), she was ten seconds ahead of Ominami and Yamauchi, and by 15 kilometres (48:54), had a 36 second advantage ahead of the Miyauchi twins – Yoko and Hiroko – with Megumi Seike, Yamauchi and Ominami trailing. Through 20 kilometres (1:05:08), Chapple was 68 seconds ahead of Yoko Miyauchi, who in turn was 12 seconds ahead of her sister. Chapple won unchallenged in 1:08:37, nearly 90 seconds better than her previous best over the distance set last year. Although she is already 28, Chapple only started to make major progress recently, because, according to Australian coach Nic Bideau, she only began to train properly last year.

Yoko Miyauchi’s runner-up performance in 1:09:51 was also a personal best, and bested sister Hiroko by ten seconds. Seike was fourth, Ominami fifth and Yamauchi sixth.

Ken Nakamura assisted by Tatsuya Yamada for the IAAF

Leading Results -
Weather: Sunny; temperature: 4.6C; humidity: 44%; wind: 0.6m/s North
 1. Daniel Gitau (KEN)  1:01:08  (14:11, 28:40, 43:14, 57:58)
 2. Mekubo Mogusu (KEN)  1:01:43 (14:11, 28:40, 43:19, 58:27)
 3. Joseph Mwaniki (KEN) 1:01:49 (14:21, 28:55, 43:46, 58:39)
 4. Yuichiro Ogawa 1:01:53
 5. Kosuke Takabayashi 1:01:54
 6. Muryo Takase 1:01:57
 7. Tomoyuki Morita 1:02:02
 8. Shota Hiraga 1:02:08
 9. Tomoaki Bungo 1:02:15
10. Satoshi Irifune 1:02:18
11. Cosmas Ondiba (KEN) 1:02:21
15. Andrew Lemoncello (GBR) 1:03:11

 1. Nikki Chapple (AUS) 1:08:37 (16:06, 32:25, 48:54, 1:05:08)
 2. Yoko Miyauchi  1:09:51 (16:17, 32:49, 49:30, 1:06:16)
 3. Hiroko Miyauchi 1:10:01 (16:18, 32:49, 49:30, 1:06:28)
 4. Megumi Seike  1:10:17
 5. Hiromi Ominami 1:10:37
 6. Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 1:10:46 (16:07, 32:36, 49:31, 1:06:55)
 7. Noriko Higuchi  1:10:51
 8. Miho Notagashira 1:11:16
 9. Kim Sung-Eun (KOR)  1:11:34
10. Asami Yamane 1:11:46
11. Yuka Kakimi 1:11:48
12. Kayo Sugihara 1:11:57
13. Manami Takemori 1:12:03
14. Akane Wakita 1:12:17
18. Bruna Genovese (ITA)  1:13:06