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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

Men
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

Women
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

Men
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

Women
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

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

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

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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Kawauchi Ties Sub-2:20 World Record, Kato Crushes Course Record In Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Wins

Two weeks to the day after running 2:10:53 at the Fukuoka International Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) wrapped his 2017 with a win, running one of the few negative splits of his career to win the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon for the third time in 2:10:03. Women's winner Misako Kato (Kyudenko), a 1:09:49 half marathon, soloed an almost perfectly paced 2:28:12 to take 3 minutes off her PB and 7 1/2 minutes off the course record. Further back, Rio Paralympics T12 marathon silver medalist Misato Michishita broke the own world record in her category with a time of 2:56:14.

Watch a complete replay of the race here.


Pacers Taiga Ito and Melaku Abera, both of whom ran Fukuoka alongside Kawauchi, were tasked with taking the field out in 3:06/km, 2:10:48 pace. Pre-race Kawauchi told JRN, "If they'd run 3:04 I ccoul definitely, 100%, go faster than I did in Fukuoka. In cold and windy conditions things went in his favor in the early going with 5 and 10 km splits of 15:19 …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2017 race results: Jan. 8: Ikinoshima Half Marathon, Nagasaki: 1:06:35 - 1st
Jan. 15: Okukuma Half Marathon, Kumamoto: 1:04:17 - 6th
Jan. 29: Okumusashi Ekiden Third Stage (4.3 km), Saitama: 13:16 - 9th
Feb. 5: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama: 36:59 - 3rd
Feb. 12: Ehime Marathon, Ehime: 2:09:54 - 1st - CR
Feb. 26: Soja Kibiji Half Marathon,  Okayama: 1:04:52 - 2nd
Mar. 5: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto: 1:03:19 - 3rd
Mar. 12: Tanegashima Rocket Half Marathon, Kagoshima: 1:04:43 - 1st - CR
Mar. 19: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama: 1:05:03 - 1st - CR
Mar. 26: Kamisato Machi Kenmu Half Marathon, Saitama: 1:05:33 - 1st - CR
Apr. 2: Daegu International Marathon, South Korea: 2:13:04 - 6th
Apr. 23: Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, Gifu: 1:04:06 - 15th
Apr. 30: Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon, Fukushima: 1:05:31 - 1st - CR
May 7: Prague Marathon, Czech Republic: 2:10:13 - 6th
May 14: Sendai International Half Marathon, Miyagi: 1:03:29 - 11th
May 28:…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…