Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the defending champion of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon (2:17:18) told the press that she is “happy to be back in Nagoya.” The Chicago Marathon winner with her 2:14:18 performance — the second-fastest women’s marathon in history — added, “My condition is good, and my target for Sunday is to defend my title with a new course record.”

Joining the competition from Japan, Tokyo Olympian Ayuko Suzuki commented “I want to reach the fullest potential of my current self and improve my personal best of 2:22:02.” Her fellow Olympian Honami Maeda said she wanted to “run under 2:24 and qualify for the selection race for Japan’s marathon team for the Paris Olympic Games.”

Photo credit: Nagoya Women’s Marathon

Although not in attendance Kenyan Nancy Jelagat who holds a personal best record of 2:19:31, will compete in Sunday’s race.

Ayuko Suzuki, a 2:22:02 runners will be toeing the line as will half a dozen other elite Japanese women.

Interestingly Eloise Wellings of Australia, a young 40-plus master with a 2:25:10 best is toeing the line. She ran that performance last year in Nagoya. All eyes will be on Wellings to see if she can better Russian Mariya Konovalova’s world record of 2:22:27 performance from Nagoya 2015.

Since last year, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon offers the world’s highest first prize of US$250,000. It is gathering special attention whether Chepngetich will win her second consecutive title or a new heroine will be born. All finshers receive a Tiffany & Co pendant once they cross the finish line. Twenty-five others have run sub-2:30, while a handful more are very close. So far, the only notable scratch due to injury is American Molly Seidel, who earned the bronze medal during the Tokyo Olympic Marathon.

The race will be streamed live free of charge to 34 countries and regions (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States of America) on the race’s official website at Stay tuned for the race start at 9:10 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2023, Japan time!

For the latest list of competitors in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2023 Elite Field, please visit:
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