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Hiroshima man, Okinawa woman win Sunday’s Okinawa Marathon

Date Posted: 2008-02-28

Noboru Kubooka laid claim to the 2008 Okinawa Marathon men’s title Sunday, while Okinawa native Mariko Asato took women’s honors.

Kubooka, from Hiroshima, raced the full marathon 26-mile course in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 12 seconds, best of the 7,678 participating. Mariko Asato won the women’s side with a time of 2 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds. More than 81% of the runners completed the grueling course, working with sunny skies and a 16.4C temperature.

The 16th annual Okinawa Marathon, the prefecture’s premier event, is sponsored by the Okinawa Central Zone Municipality Association, Okinawa Track and Field Association, the Prefecture Sports Promotion Association, the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa TV. In addition to the full marathon, 1,657 others ran the 10 kilometer road race.

Volunteers were everywhere along the race routes, supporting runners. At the 25-kilometer point in Okinawa City’s Noborkawa area, the Kitami Elementary School brass band turned out to play, and volunteers handed out bananas, rice balls and drinks to runners. Volunteer medical personnel from Chubu Kyodo Hospital and Nirai Fire Station were along the race route in case runners faced difficulties. “If the weather was bad, many runners would have risked getting cold a feeling bad,” one doctor commented. “We were lucky the weather was great for runners.”

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