Weekend Wrapup: Vail, Kawauchi Win Half-Marathons

October 07, 2013 at 11:45am EST | by Barbara Huebner, Marathon News Service

Coming off a 150-mile week as he trains for his ING New York City Marathon debut on November 3, American Ryan Vail yesterday won the Rock ’n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon in 1:02:26.

“Running 4:40 to 4:50 [per mile] felt easy and that’s a really good sign heading into New York, where I’m hoping to run upper 4:50s,” Vail, 27, told Competitor.com after the race.

Vail later tweeted: “Solid tune-up today. Closed well off a decent pace. I'm right where I want to be 4 weeks from NYC #ingnycm

Vail is blogging about his training here.

Yuri Kawauchi, who will also be running in his first ING New York City Marathon next month, is wildly popular in Japan, as this video aptly demonstrates.

After being bombarded by well-wishers at the starting line of the Hirosaki Shirahama Apple Half Marathon over the weekend—and happily greeting every one of them—Kawauchi went on to win the 13.1-miler by almost five minutes, in 1:04:42. Brett Larner of Japan Running News characterized Kawauchi’s race as “a practice-level effort.”

A frequent racer, to say the least, Kawauchi is planning to run his eighth marathon of the year on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, before NYC.

Twin Cities Wheelchair Winners Set for NYC

Both winners in the wheelchair divisions of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon are headed to NYC. Susannah Scaroni set a course record in the women’s race with her time of 1:54:37, and Josh George won on the men’s side in 1:37:08. George, a three-time winner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, will first head there for Sunday’s race … Also in the Twin Cities, 36-year-old Carrie Tollefson, a 2004 Olympian at 1500 meters, had a successful marathon debut, finishing in 3:02:47, 43rd overall in the women’s race and sixth in her age group. “So fun but so brutal at the same time,” Tollefson posted on Facebook. “Can't wait to do a proper build up and try again!”

Meb in the Spotlight

Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2009 ING New York City Marathon, was the guest on last night’s “Sports Spotlight” on NYC’s ABC7. Asked what his biggest training concession to age has been, the 38-year-old replied, “The biggest thing that has changed is my diet.” See the interview here.