JICA Runners set two new records at Falefa Falls on Saturday in the 10km and 6km distances. Kuniyoshi Watanabe smashed the 10km record to set a new one to win the Oceania Gas Falefa Falls race.
It is the final running race of the year for Samoa Events.
His time of 41minutes 35secs for the hilly course was fast and furious. His time is better by 80secs over the old record set by Steve Nimarota last year.
Watanabe’s victory was never in doubt from the outset. He took a quick exit out of the starting blocks and led all the way. Behind him were two great runners in Stuart Young (46:35) and Darren Young (48:31). But the Japanese was comfortable in his trot and did not look troubled in his first race at Falefa Falls. He was elated with his win.
“It was great! I had a good race. Beautiful course.”
In the women’s race, it was Maddie McGann who headed Erica Reeve and Helene Stehlin home. McGann was also comfortably ahead in a time of 54:19, well over five minutes ahead of second and third. She also praised the course.
“This is the jewel in the crown of Samoa Events’ running courses. Such a beautiful course.”
The beauty of the Falefa Falls course is its unpleasant side. For the 10km and 6km courses, the run is more than two-thirds uphill, on the way out. The heavy breathing on the way out is offset by the breath-taking views of Falefa Bay in the breaking morning sun. The hills create the vista which, is the drawcard here and with a lot going on in Apia this weekend, a good crowd of 30 runners competed in the final race of the year.
The second JICA record at Falefa was set by Ayumi Shinozaki who set a new record for the women’s race in a great time of 30:31. Yusuke Yokohama won it overall in 27:27 in the men’s race.
Falefa Falls will kick off Samoa Events national and international programme in 2017. That run is scheduled for Saturday, 21st of January.