Saturday, January 31, 2015

Marugame Overseas Elites Hold Running Sessions With Local Children

http://www.sankei.com/region/news/150131/rgn1501310073-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

Overseas elite athletes scheduled to run the 69th edition of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon on Feb. 1 took part in sessions at elementary schools in Utazu and Marugame on Jan. 30, talking with local children and offering them advice and guidance in their running.  The sessions were part of the schools' "Real Experience" program, seeking to increase children's interest in activities like sports by letting them interact directly with athletes from around the world.

2014 Continental Cup women's 5000 m 4th-placer Eloise Wellings (32, Australia) visited Utazu Elementary School, taking questions from the children about how to develop fast form and proper breathing.  "Relax when you run," she told them.  "Inhale through your nose and try to exhale from both your nose and mouth."  Afterwards, students enjoyed the thrill of racing Wellings in short sprints in the school gymnasium, full of smiles for the valuable experience.  Sixth grader Hidema Enami, 12, said, "It was inspiring to have such a rare opportunity.  Ms. Wellings' advice about running will be very helpful in my future in athletics."

At the same time, 2014 World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist Samuel Tsegaye (26, Eritrea) did a demonstration session at Joto Elementary School in Marugame, running and interacting with representative children from the school.  The children warmly wished Tsegaye good luck in Sunday's race.

Arciniaga and Mutazaki Lead Field for 49th Ome 30 km Road Race

http://www.ohme-marathon.jp/news/2015/01/27/3284

translated by Brett Larner

We are pleased to announce the elite athletes for the 49th running of the Ome 30 km Road Race on Feb. 15.

30 km Division - Men

Nicholas Arciniaga (U.S.A.)
D.O.B.: June 30, 1983 (31 yrs old)
height/weight: 177 cm / 63 kg
bib number: 1
PBs
marathon: 2:11:30
half-marathon: 1:03:22
10000 m: 28:29.71
5000 m: 14:13.14
Major Accomplishments
2014 NYC Marathon: 10th
2014 Boston Marathon: 7th
2009 Ome 30 km: 5th
2008 Boston Marathon: 10th

Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (JR Higashi Nihon)
D.O.B.: Apr. 2, 1983 (31 yrs old)
height/weight: 174 cm / 57 kg
bib number: 2
PBs
marathon: 2:15:15
half-marathon: 1:02:26
10000 m: 28:45:23
5000 m: 14:05.93
Major Accomplishments
2012 Nagano Marathon: 5th
2011 Lake Saroma 100 km: 1st
2010 Tokyo Marathon: 10th
2009 Ome 30 km Road Race: 6th

Kohei Ogino (Fujitsu)
D.O.B.: Dec. 8, 1989 (25 yrs old)
height/weight: 174 cm / 58 kg
bib number: 3
PBs
marathon: 2:13:12
half-marathon: 1:03:18
10000 m: 28:56.00
5000 m: 14:19.76
Major Accomplishments
2013 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon: 3rd
2012 Hakone Ekiden Second Stage: 7th

Kodai Matsumoto (Puma RC)
D.O.B.: Apr. 17, 1987 (27 yrs old)
height/weight: 170 cm / 52 kg
bib number: 4
PBs
marathon: 2:22:40
half-marathon: 1:04:07
10000 m: 28:45.10
5000 m: 13:54.76
Major Accomplishments
2013 Tsukuba Marathon: 1st
2012 Chiba Aqualine Marathon: 6th
2010 Hakone Ekiden Fourth Stage: 3rd
2009 Kanto Regionals 10000 m: 3rd

Shinichiro Nakamura (Waseda Univ.)
D.O.B.: Apr. 14, 1993 (21 yrs. old)
height/weight: 174 cm / 57 kg
bib number: 5
PBs
half-marathon: 1:02:30
10000 m: 28:56.00
5000 m: 14:06.08
Major Accomplishments
2015 Hakone Ekiden First Stage: 11th
2014 Hakone Ekiden Tenth Stage: 10th

Tetsuya Watanabe (Senshu Unv.)
D.O.B.: Oct. 5, 1992 (22 yrs old)
height/weight: 170 cm / 50 kg
bib number: 6
PBs
half-marathon: 1:04:52
10000 m: 29:56.41
5000 m: 14:32.76
Major Accomplishments
2013 Ome 30 m Road Race: 12th

30 km Division - Women

Akane Mutazaki (Edion)
D.O.B.: Jan. 10, 1986 (29 yrs old)
height/weight: 162 cm / 49 kg
bib number: 20001
PBs
marathon: 2:37:14
half-marathon: 1:12:38
10000 m: 33:51.03
5000 m: 16:00.53
Major Accomplishments
2013 Nagoya Women's Marathon: 17th

Megumi Amako (Canon AC Kyushu)
D.O.B.: Dec. 13, 1990 (24 yrs old)
height/weight: 153 cm / 38 kg
bib number: 20002
PBs
marathon: 2:37:42
half-marathon: 1:12:44
10000 m: 33:03.84
5000 m: 15:57.76
Major Accomplishments
2014 Hokkaido Marathon: 4th

Friday, January 30, 2015

Beppu-Oita, Marugame and Kanagawa Lead Weekend Action

by Brett Larner

It's a busy and snowy weekend across Japan with at least three major races leading the way.

On the southernmost main island of Kyushu, defending champion Abraham Kiplimo (Uganda) returns to the 64th running of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon as the probable favorite after the withdrawal of top domestic contender Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) with injury earlier this week.  In Nakamoto's absence Kiplimo's main competition is Fekadu Lema (Ethiopia), but with a solid pack of 2:09-2:12 Japanese men there could be a surprise.  Relevant debuts include 1:01:31 half marathoner Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) and sub-63 Moroccan Abdelmajid El Hissouf.

In the women's race, 2014 100 km World Championships silver medalist Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu), a three-time Beppu-Oita winner, returns to face last year's winner Haruka Yamaguchi (Kita AC).  Click here for a complete elite field listing, and follow @JRNLive for live coverage during the race starting noonish on Sunday Japan time.

Further north on the island of Shikoku, the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, always host to one of the deepest fields in the world, has another solid lineup for its 69th edition.  Beijing Olympics 10000 m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) leads a women's field that includes sub-70 women Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) and Ehitu Kiros (Ethiopia), defending champion Eri Makikawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and upper-tier debuts from Eloise Wellings (Australia), Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu) and Kaho Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei).  Also in the field is Zivile Balciunaite (Lithuania), welcomed back to the Yokohama International Women's Marathon in 2012 just weeks after the end of her drug suspension.  Coincidentally, both Yokohama and Marugame share the same elite coordinator.

The men's field is a great one, with last year's winner Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) leading four sub-60 men including 2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon silver medalist Samuel Tsegaye (Eritrea) and the formidable Bernard Koech (Kenya).  The field is packed with Japan-based African talent and eight sub-62 Japanese men including top-ranked Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta), London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (Miki House), sub-62 collegiates Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) and Shogo Nakamura (Komazawa Univ.), and one of the biggest current stars in Japanese distance running, 2015 Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage record-setter Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.).  34 Japanese men on the entry list have 62-minute PBs.  Talented first-timers include Zane Robertson (New Zealand), Akinobu Murasawa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and Ken Yokote (Meiji Univ.).  Click here for detailed elite field highlights.

Many of Inoue, Nakamura and Kamino's teammates will line up closer to Tokyo for the 37th running of the Kanagawa Half Marathon instead of Marugame.  A fast if spectacularly ugly course through the industrial zone south of Yokohama, Kanagawa has tended in recent years to be a proving ground for future top-level university athletes.  Aoyama Gakuin athletes have won three of the last four years culminating in a 1:03:01 course record last year by AGU's Tadashi Isshiki, a major player along with Kamino in the school's CR win at Hakone earlier this month.  If recent trends continue, look for Isshiki's Kanagawa record to fall if the weather cooperates.

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kawauchi vs. Adachi at Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon

by Brett Larner

The Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon organizers have announced the field for their 53rd running on Feb. 8.  Run on the home ground of the Takeshi Soh-led Asahi Kasei corporate team, Nobeoka is primarily a developmental race focusing on first-timers and young athletes trying to get the marathon right and typically sees winning times in the 2:12~2:13 range.  It's noteworthy outside Japan mainly in that every year the people who run around that level in Nobeoka make up a major part of the runners included on their coaches' annual junket to the Chicago Marathon, where some go on to take a step toward bigger things.

Recently things have been getting a little faster in Nobeoka, with 2:11 winning times in two of the last three years.  This year the organizers have taken a slightly different tack, invited three experienced men who should be able to work together to take down the 2:11:05 course record.  Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) is the strongest by far with a 2:08:14 best, but after losing a month's training to an ankle sprain in late December he will get a solid challenge from Asahi Kasei's Tomoya Adachi, who became the tenth Japanese man of 2014 to go sub-2:10, just, when he ran a 2:09:59 PB in Fukuoka in December.  Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu) won Nobeoka in 2:11:57 in 2012 and should be the other major contender.

Noteworthy names trying to run quality times after failed marathon debuts include pre-course change Hakone Ekiden Sixth Stage record holder Kenta Chiba (Fujitsu) and sub-62 half marathoner Shuji Yoshikawa (Kyudenko), a training partner of 2:08:00 marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda and 2:09:10 man Masanori Sakai.  First-timers make up over half the invited athlete field, with sub-63 half marathoners Yuya Ito (Team Toyota), Sho Matsueda (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki), Masanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Hiroki Yamagishi (Hitachi Butsuryu) topping the list.

53rd Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field
Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 2/8/15
click here for complete field listing

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul 2013)
Tomoya Adachi (Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:59 (Fukuoka 2014)
Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu) - 2:11:57 (Nobeoka 2012)
Norimasa Nishina (Fujitsu) - 2:13:12 (Hofu 2014)
Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business) - 2:13:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Yasushi Yamamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:15 (Biwako 2013)
Takuya Suzuki (Aisan Kogyo) - 2:15:40 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Yasunori Onuma (Toenec) - 2:18:00 (Nobeoka 2014)
Kenta Chiba (Fujitsu) - 2:18:07 (Nobeoka 2014)

Do-Over
Shuji Yoshikawa (Kyudenko) - 1:01:58 (Marugame Half 2012)
Ryota Matoba (Komori Corp.) - 1:03:15 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Ryota Nakamura (Chudenko) - 1:03:16 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2010)

Debut
Yuya Ito (Toyota) - 1:02:21 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Sho Matsueda (Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 1:02:41 (Marugame Half 2013)
Masanori Kitajima (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:50 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2010)
Hiroki Yamagishi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:02:51 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2013)
Takamitsu Hashimoto (Komori Corp.) - 1:03:13 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Masahito Sumimoto (Mazda) - 1:03:13 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Tatsuya Oshinomi (Nishitetsu) - 1:03:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2012)
Norikazu Kato (Yakult) - 1:03:18 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:03:19 (Marugame Half 2012)
Tsukasa Koyam (Subaru) - 1:03:28 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Atsushi Yamazaki (Subaru) - 1:03:34 (Kyoto Half 2009)
Daiki Kubota (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:03:38 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Yuma Morii (SG Holdings) - 1:03:57 (Marugame Half 2014)
Hajime Koizumi (Iwaki T&F Assoc.) - 1:04:01 (Ageo Half 2007)
Takashi Maie (Konica Minolta) - 1:04:16 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2009)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Nakamoto Withdraws from Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201501/2015012600546&g=spo

translated by Brett Larner

On Jan. 26 the organizers of the Feb. 1 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon announced that elite athlete Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) has withdrawn from the race with pain and nerve problems in the gluteus and quadraceps of his left leg.  Nakamoto was 6th in the men's marathon at the 2012 London Olympics and 5th in the 2013 Moscow World Championships marathon.  In December he ran the Fukuoka International Marathon to make the 2015 Beijing World Championships marathon team but finished only 12th in 2:11:58.

Chida and Kamitanida Win Katsuta Marathon

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/ibaraki/news/20150125-OYTNT50223.html

translated by Brett Larner

The 63rd running of the Katsuta National Marathon took place Jan. 25 in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki.  A total of 20,280 runners took part in the combined men's and women's marathon and 10 km divisions.  In the men's marathon, Yosuke Chida (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) claimed his first win in 2:18:15, while 2013 women's winner Manami Kamitanida (Team Hitachi) returned to the top in 2:38:29.

Conditions at the 10:30 start were excellent, with blue skies, 12.0 degree temperatures, 33.2% humidity and a gentle 1.7 m/s northerly wind.  Starting on Omotemachi Mall, the marathon course passed in front of Katsuta Station before heading north on Route 245 to Tokaimura where it returned to Ishikawa Exercise Plaza.

In the men's race, Tatsuya Itagaki (Team JP Post) took the lead at 15 km, but near 32.7 km a chase group of three caught him.  Chida surged on the hills around 34 km, and when the rest of the group was unable to follow he pushed on to the win alone.  In the women's race, Kamitanida ran a stable race to beat 2nd by over five minutes.  Upper-placing finishers in both races will receive invitations to run April's Boston Marathon.

Translator's note: Elsewhere, Subaru corporate team manager Shingo Igarashi ran 2:14:29 to win the 15th Asian Marathon Championships held as part of Sunday's Hong Kong Marathon.  Ethiopian Ejigu Sentayehu Merga won the actual Hong Kong Marathon in 2:13:00 with Igarashi placing 13th. Photo hosted by Athleticsasia.org

Kawauchi Sits Ekiden Out With Lingering Left Ankle Sprain

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/01/26/kiji/K20150126009696350.html

translated by Brett Larner

With lingering effects from a sprained ankle, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) sat out the Jan. 25 Okumusasahi Ekiden where he had won the Fourth through Sixth Stages over the last three years.  Kawauchi was scheduled to run the Second Stage this year, but he is still experiencing pain from spraining his left ankle in late December.  "I haven't done real training in almost a month," he said.  "This is the first time I've had an injury last this long since I started working."

Despite not running Kawauchi was busy behind the scenes, carrying a Saitama Prefectural Government banner and cheering on runners from his high school, Kasukabe Higashi H.S., from the side of the road with a loud and enthusiastic voice.  He indicated that he still plans to run the Feb. 1 Saitama Ekiden next week, saying, "I want to be out there somehow."