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100km IAU Asian Championship Race Report

Early Saturday morning abour 500 runners set off from the Tapdong Beach Stage in Jeju, a scenic island at the soutehrn tip of South Korea.
The athletes were competing in a number of ultramarathon events ranging from 50K to 200K in distance together with a 148K tough trail event over the mountainous interior of the island. There was a total of 143 runners from 23 countries around the world as well as the local Korean athletes.
Amongst these, an elite competition was being held for the inaugural IAU 100Km Championship. Athletes representing the IAU member countries of Japan, Korea, Mongolia, The Philippines and Chinese Taipei were taking part in the championship with other Asian countries, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam being represented in the open 100K race.
The 100K course was a scenic one, undulating around the west coast to finish outside the Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo City on the south side of the island. The second half of the course would be tougher for the runners with some long inclines and descents. The weather fortunately was calm but cool. This was a relief to the runners as previous days had been very windy which could have presented a harsh headwind around exposed areas of the course.
The pre-race favourite was Yasukazu Miyazato of Japan, the 2009 IAU 100Km World Cup champion with a personal best of 6:40:43 and so, not surprisingly, he was part of the early leading pack of runners. Also in the forefront was the leading Korean athlete Dong-Moon Lee whose personal best was 7:45:13. The other members of the Japanese team, Yasutoshi Oshima and Toru Sakuta, and another Korean runner, Yong-bee Shin completed the leading group. 
Mai Fujisawa (JPN) showed early in the ladies event. She and her compatriot, Yoko Yamazawa had personal bests at 100K of 7:55:48 and 7:58:01 respectively so a close competition was expected.
After 20K ( 1hr 28 min) Kwang-Yul Lee (KOR) had joined the leading group and Sodnompil Dondogdorj ( MGL) was close behind. Aliquin Bolivar from the Philippines was only 4 minutes adrift at this stage.   Fujisawa had pulled away from her fellow Japanese runners passing this point in 1 hr 42 mins. The next two ladies, Yamazawa (JPN), Takako Asano (JPN) were running together about 4 minutes behind. Siou-Yu Da (TPE) was running with them
The leading pack had split apart slightly with Miyazato (JPN), and Dong Moon Lee( KOR) coming through the drinks station together in 2:52. Just behind were Shin (KOR) and Kwang-Yul Lee (KOR) with Sakuta (JPN). Oshima (JPN) was one minute adrift and Dondogdorj (MGL) and Bolivar (PHI) were a further minute behind.
There had been no change in the first few positions in the ladies’ race. Fujisawa (JPN) had increased her lead to nine minutes passing through 40K in 3:12 with her Japanese colleagues and Da (TPE) still running together in second place ( 3:23).
At 70K, the hillier second half of the course had started to take its toll and the field was now split well apart. Dong-Moon Lee (KOR) and Miyazato (JPN) came through together in 4:57 but the Japanese runner was obviously struggling and retired before the next checkpoint. It was 10 minutes before the third runner Yasutoshi (JPN) appeared, followed two minutes later by his team mate Sakuta (JPN) with Kwang-Yul Lee (KOR). There was a further interval of 16 minutes before the next championship runner, Shin (KOR), passed 70k. The leading lady Fujisawa (JPN) ran through comfortably in 5:31.
At the finish outside the World Cup stadium, there was a longer wait than might have been expected for the first runner to come into sight. The last sections of the course had some testing climbs and descents which took further toll on the runners. However , the wait was worth it for the local crowd as the first IAU 100K Asian Champion was the Korean Dong-Moon Lee who finished in 7:23:20, taking a massive 22 minutes off his personal best for the distance. This was even more commendable considering the difficulty of the course. 
Closing the gap considerably by the finish, the silver medallist Yasutoshi Oshima (JPN) crossed the line in 7:26:45 with his compatriot Toru Sakuta finishing in third with 7.37.36. 
Mai Fujisawa (JPN) became the first IAU 100K Asian Ladies Champion with an excellent 8:01:32 performance, only 6 minutes outside her best. Japan took a clean sweep of the medals with Takako Asano (JPN) and Yoko Yamazawa (JPN) taking silver and bronze in times of 8:44:59 and 8:53:11 respectively.
Of particular note in the concurrent open race was the performance of the Japanese female runner Mami Kudo who finished as the first lady in the open event with a superb performance of 7:56:06. In 2009, she had completed world beating performances at longer ultradistances but hadn’t qualified for the Japanese team at 100k. 
 The leading performances are detailed below.
Hilary Walker
IAU General Secretary
 
Ist IAU 100K Asian Championships
 
 
 
 
MEN
 
 
 
 
1
Dong Mun
Lee
KOR
07:23:20
2
Yasutoshi
Oshima
JPN
07:26:20
3
Toru
Sakuta
JPN
07:37:36
4
Kwang Yul
Lee
KOR
07:43:03
5
Young Bee
Shin
KOR
08:30:36
6
Aliquin
Bolivar
PHI
09:03:06
 
 
 
 
 
WOMEN
 
 
 
 
1
Mai
Fujisawa
JPN
08:01:32
2
Takako
Asano
JPN
08:44:59
3
Yoko
Yamazawa
JPN
08:53:11
4
Siou-Yu
Da
TPE
09:41:59
5
Hee Kyoung
Chung
KOR
09:55:04
6
Na Rae
Park
KOR
10:01:00
7
Shu-Min
Huang
TPE
10.34.34
8
Yen-Ling
Huang
TPE
10:37:29
 
 
 
 
 
Open Race Women
 
 
 
 
1
Mami
Kudo
JPN
07:56:06
Open Race Men
 
 
 
 
1
 Joseph
Thompson
USA
09:06:00



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