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Course Records at Kasumigaura and Tokushima Marathons (updated)

by Brett Larner

Two of the three quality Japanese marathons this weekend saw their course records fall, with the third featuring an Eastern European sweep.  At the Nagano Marathon, cross-country great Serhiy Lebid (Ukraine) staged a head-to-head battle with Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN), only pulling away in the final two km to get the win in 2:13:56 to Bat-Ochir's 2:14:04. 2:11 man Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was 3rd in 2:15:20.  In the women's race Japanese hopeful Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) tried to match Russian Alina Prokopeva but fell short.  Prokopeva pushed on steadily at 2:30 pace with only Shintaku for company before pulling away early in the second half for the win in 2:30:56.  Shintaku faded badly to 2:36:02, nearly run down by Shoko Shimizu (Team Aichi Denki) who took 3rd in 2:37:21 off a far more conservative first half.

Kawauchi's silent one-man show at the Tokushima Marathon.  Race starts around 35 minutes.  Watch with music.

At the Tokushima Marathon the iconoclastic Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) came up just shy of Ito's time but still took nearly 7 minutes off the course record to win in 2:15:25.  Running completely solo he set off at a planned 2:12 pace but was forced to take a 3-minute toilet break near 27 km.  Frustrated at the lost time, he recorded one of the fastest closing splits of his career, 6:39 from 40 km to the finish, to win by 8 minutes.  Of his four marathons so far this year this was his third course record, a final tuneup for the May 4 Hamburg Marathon where he hopes to get his fastest time of the season, one well below the 2:10:14 course record he set at February's Kumamoto-jo Marathon.  Tokushima women's winner Chika Tawara (Fukuoka T&F Assoc.) also improved the course record by a wide margin, taking nearly 8 minutes off the old record with a new mark of 2:45:50.

The rest of the show post-pit stop.

At the Boston Marathon, Koichi Sakai (Team Fujitsu) was just seconds off his PB, finishing 14th in 2:14:56.  Hopeful of a solid performance, 2011 Tokyo Marathon women's winner Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal), a teammate of Moscow World Championships marathon bronze medalist Kayoko Fukushi, struggled on the tough Boston course and finished 21st in 2:33:39.

The fastest time of the weekend by a Japanese man came unexpectedly at the Kasumigaura Marathon in Ibaraki prefecture northeast of Tokyo, where Atsushi Hasegawa (Team Subaru) ran a PB 2:14:20 to take over 3 minutes off the race's 12-year-old record, front-running the race from the start to get there.  Women's winner Yumi Sato (Tsuruoka T&F Assoc.) ran a more conservative 2:53:29 for the win, well off Kasumigaura's 2:42:17 women's course record.  In the accompanying ten-miler, sub-2:10 marathoner Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) had a narrow win over Hakone Ekiden runner Toshinori Watanabe (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) 48:47 to 48:52, in one of the deepest editions in the race's history.  Ruka Nakamura (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) took the women's division in 56:53.

16th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/20/14
click here for complete results

1. Serhiy Lebid (Ukraine) - 2:13:56
2. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/Team NTN) - 2:14:04
3. Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:20
4. Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:15:50
5. Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business) - 2:16:36

1. Alina Prokopeva (Russia) - 2:30:56
2. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 2:36:02
3. Shoko Shimizu (Team Aichi Denki) - 2:37:21
4. Risa Takemura (Team Kyudenko) - 2:37:43
5. Yumiko Kinoshita (Second Wind AC) - 2:39:38 - PB

24th Kasumigaura Marathon
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, 4/20/14
complete results coming shortly

Men's Marathon
1. Atsushi Hasegawa (Team Subaru) - 2:14:20 - CR, PB

Women's Marathon
1. Yumi Sato (Tsuruoka T&F Assoc.) - 2:53:29

Men's 10 Miles
1. Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 48:47
2. Toshinori Watanabe (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 48:52
3. Yuji Serunarudo (Soka Univ.) - 49:04
4. Takuya Nishizawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 49:12
5. Harutomo Kawano (Tokyo Police Dep't) - 49:15

Women's 10 Miles
1. Ruka Nakamura (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 56:53

118th Boston Marathon
Boston, MA, 4/21/14
click here for complete results

1. Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 2:08:37 - PB
2. Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 2:08:48
3. Franklin Chepkwony (Kenya) - 2:08:50
4. Vitaliy Shafar (Ukraine) - 2:09:37 - PB
5. Markos Geneti (Ethiopia) - 2:09:50
14. Koichi Sakai (Team Fujitsu) - 2:14:56

1. Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:18:57 - CR, PB
2. Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) - 2:19:59 - (CR) - PB
3. Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:20:35 (CR)
4. Jemima Jelagat Sumgong (Kenya) - 2:20:41 (CR) - PB
5. Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) - 2:21:28
21. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 2:33:39

6th Tokushima Marathon 
Tokushima, 4/20/14
complete results coming shortly

1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:15:25 - CR

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


2:15:25 is as well as Paula Radcliffe world record (but Kawauchi had no pacemakers).
khalfan said…
Yuki Kawauchi is a man, so can't compare what he did to Paula.
Brett Larner said…
He's not just A man, he's THE man.

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translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo © 2012 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved