Tag Archives: Nagoya Womens Marathon

Nagoya Women’s Marathon becomes the highest paying marathon in the World

The organizers of the 42nd edition of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon that will be held on Sunday 13, March 2022 have announced an increase in the prize money for the coming edition.

The organizer have increased the purse to over Kshs 25,000,000 (US$250,000) making it the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race the highest prize paying marathon in the world

Nagoya Marathon is a Platinum Label race and is the world’s largest women’s marathon and the only women’s race with the global image in women’s running. This year’s edition was held on 14th March and was won by Mizuki Matsuda from Japan who clocked 2:21.51. The race course record of 2:20.29 is held by Mao Ichiyama who is also from Japan.

Other past winners of the race include, Kenyan born now Bahrain Eunice Kirwa who holds the record of  winning the race three times concurrently (2015,2016,2017), 2000 Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi, 2004 Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi and world bronze medallist Helalia Johannes who was the 2019 winner. Nagoya’s increase in prize money is welcome news to the world of road running. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many road races have been forced to be cancelled or postponed and athletes’ competing opportunities have been lost. But thanks to the dedication of organising committees and medical professionals around the world, large-scale road races are slowly returning to the international calendar.

Assefa beats Aiyabei as she crushes the Nagoya Women’s course record

Ethiopia’s Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa 37th edition of the Nagoya Women’s marathon that was held early Sunday (11) morning in Nagoya, Japan.

Assefa beat the race favourite a Sub-2:22 runner Valary Jemeli Aiyabei from Kenya with 4km to go when she launched a powerful kick and never looked back to cut the tape in a new course record of 2:21.45 crushing the current record of 2:22.08 that was set in 2015 by Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain.

Aiyabei who was the fastest athlete on paper with 2:20.53 that she got at the Berlin Marathon last September crossed the line in second position with 2:22.45 and was followed by Hanami Sekine of Japan who was running her first marathon with 2:23.07.

Reia Iwade and Keiko Nogami also from Japan took fourth and fifth place crossing the line in 2:26.28 and 2:26.33 respectively.

Flomena Cheyech Daniel from Kenya who has a PB of 2:21.22 that she got at the 2017 Paris marathon and was posed to battle for the top honors finished a distant position nineteen in 2:33.01


1. Meskerem Assefa (ETH)   2:21:45

2. Valary Jemeli         (KEN)  2:22:48

3. Hanami Sekine     (JPN)     2:23:07

4. Reia Iwade           (JPN      2:26:28

5. Keiko Nogami     (JPN       2:26:33

Aiyabei to battle Cheyech at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon

Sub-2:22 runners Valary Jemeli Aiyabei and Flomena Cheyech will face off at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (11).

The race, this year celebrating its 37th edition, is the largest women’s-only marathon in the world, with a capacity exceeding 22,000 runners. The main focus will however fall on the Kenyan pair who bring strong marathon momentum to the start line.

Aiyabei is the fastest in the field of 17 invitees, with a personal best of 2:20:53 recorded at the Berlin Marathon last September where she finished third. Prior to that appearance in the German capital, Aiyabei won four straight marathons: Eldoret, Barcelona, Valencia and Prague. Notably, the 26-year-old has also improved her lifetime best in each of her last four races, from Barcelona to Berlin. Her half marathon lifetime best of 1:07:50 also came in 2017 with her victory at the Prague Half Marathon.

Her main challenger is Cheyech, whose marathon best of 2:21:22 was set at the 2017 Paris Marathon where she too finished third. The 35-year-old followed up that performance with a fourth place finish at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. More recently Cheyech, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, won the Saitama Marathon in November and paced January’s Osaka Women’s Marathon through the midway point in 1:12:02. Cheyech’s half marathon best is 1:07:39, faster than Aiyabei’s.

The course record is 2:21:17 set by Eunice Kirwa last year.

Other contenders from abroad include Merima Mohammed of Bahrain, who has a marathon personal best of 2:23:06 from 2010 and Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa, who clocked 2:24:18 at the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon. Assefa ran two 2:24 marathons in 2017 so could be a threat to the favourites. Karolina Nadolska of Poland, with a personal best of 2:26:31, and Italy’s Sara Dossena with a lifetime best of 2:29:39 round out the international field.

For Japanese runners, the race also doubles as a qualifying race for both the 2018 Asian Games marathon team and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon team trials. After three qualifying races for the latter, only three women have thus far qualified, quite a contrast with the men’s side in which 13 have already earned their spots for the Olympic team trials race. In Nagoya, up to six runners can earn qualification: the top three, if they finish under 2:28, as well as those who finish fourth to sixth provided they ran under 2:27.

The fastest Japanese in the field is Sairi Maeda who finished second in Nagoya in 2015 with 2:22:48. She was 13th at the 2015 World Championships. Other contenders include Rei Ohara with a best of 2:23:20 recorded in this race in 2016, Mao Kiyota who clocked 2:23:47 here last year, and Reia Iwade whose best of 2:24:38 came in Nagoya in 2016. Kiyota was 16th at last year’s World Championships.

Others vying for a top-six finish include Shiho Takechi, with a best of 2:25:29; Hanae Tanaka, who’s clocked 2:26:19; Michi Numata, with a lifetime best of 2:27:27; Miharu Shimokado, with a 2:27:54 personal best: Misaki Kato, who’s clocked 2:28:12; and Keiko Nogami, with 2:28:19. Among the ten Japanese runners invited, eight have set their marathon bests in Nagoya.

The most intrigue runner in the field is Hanami Sekine who will be making her marathon debut. The 22-year-old has track bests of 15:24.74 and 31:22.92 over 5000m and 10,000m, but has never raced farther than 11km. The fastest marathon debut time by a Japanese is 2:21:36 set by Yuka Ando in Nagoya last year.