The Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2022 was held today on Sunday, March 13, 2022, and Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya won the race with the second-fastest ever in the women-only marathon in two hours 17 minutes and 18 seconds. The early arrival of spring warmth brought today’s temperatures up to 21 degrees Celsius without any wind and turned the city of Nagoya into a grand stage for a world’s top-speed women’s competition.
World Marathon Champion (2019) and Chicago Marathon Champion (2021) Chepngetich, who said she preferred heat to cold at the pre-race press conference, sprung out of the first pack after 5 km and extended her lead to a solo run. However, Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter accelerated and narrowed the gap at a surprisingly high speed, which enabled her to catch up to a head-to-head after 30 km. At an uphill near 34 km, Ruth spurted and left Lonah behind all the way to the finish line in a new event record and the sixth fastest time in the world. Second place went to Salpeter (2:18:45), followed by Yuka Ando of Japan (2:22:22) in third place.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon is the only all-women road race with a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label and became this year the largest first-prize paying marathon in the world. Chepngetich, who broke the race record by 2 minutes 11 seconds and received US$250,000 said at the post-race interview, “I can say the race was good. I wanted to run a new course record and ran comfortably.” Looking back to the 34km, which came to be her winning point, she added, “When Lonah arrived, I decided to push myself because I prepared myself to win at this race.”
Alongside the elite competition, many local runners joined the race, making the total number of participants 8,698. The 2022 race was another edition held under the Covid-19 pandemic after 2020 and 2021, but the sight of the women runners filling the wide city streets impressed both local and global audiences with a comeback of one of the largest women’s sports festivals. The runners’ strength, perseverance, smiles, and even tears were so emotional and inspirational that they reminded us once again of the power of sports and the hope they provide.
The Race Organizer comments: “Despite the unseasonably warm weather, we are relieved and happy that we were able to safely hold the race again this year without any major accidents. We are sincerely grateful for all the runners for their participation and the volunteers and all the others involved for their support, especially when the pandemic is not yet fully contained.”
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