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Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…
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Yang Runs 10.11 NR, 5000 m Meet Records Fall at National University Individual Championships

Unusually cool weather throughout the weekend worked to the advantage of the athletes in distance events at Kanagawa's National University Individual Track and Field Championships, where the meet records fell in both the men's and women's 5000 m. The poorer cousin of September's National University Track and Field Championships, the individual meet features a reduced program, no team scoring, and some competition from Taiwan. Coming just a week before the National Track and Field Championships many of Japan's best collegians tend to give it a miss, but the level of competition is often high all the same.

In the women's race first-year Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) surprised the field, breaking the meet record set six years ago by current top-level pro Rina Nabeshima by 6 seconds to win the B-heat in 15:46.84. Fourth-year Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) and Rino Goshima (Chuo Univ.) were both under Nabeshima's record in the A-heat in 15:49.37 and 15:5…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …

Barsosio Leads Gold Coast Women

For its 40th anniversary running Australia's Gold Coast Marathon has brought in a woman capable of giving the event a course record worthy of its gold label status, and maybe of taking a swing at the fastest marathon ever run on Australian soil, Naoko Takahashi's 2:23:14 gold medal run at the Sydney Olympics. Runner-up at last year's Paris Marathon in 2:20:59, Kenyan Agnes Jeruto Barsosio is the class of the field, almost five minutes faster than her strongest competition, fellow Kenyan Ruth Chebitok. Despite a scarcity of results this year it's Barsosio's race to lose.

That said, the long travel to Australia often takes a toll on the top competitors, leaving the top of the podium accessible to women in the 2:25-2:27 range. Along with Chebitok, Australia's Jessica Trengove and Japan's Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) and Miharu Shimokado (Nitori) are positioned at exactly that level and should contend for top three at the worst. The 2015 Melbourne Marathon winner,…

City of Tottori Honors Two Men Who Saved Runner During Marathon

Two men who successfully performed emergency medical treatment upon a runner who had collapsed at March's Tottori Marathon were honored by the Tottori city government. Keitaro Noguchi, 44, a doctor who had been running in the race, and Shinya Niwasaki, 56, a spectator who had been standing nearby, received certificates of recognition for their actions.

According to the city government, during the race a man in his 40s suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness near the 24 km point on the marathon course. 10 meters further along the course at the time, Noguchi heard spectators' shouts and returned to perform CPR. Niwasaki got hold of an AED and prepared it for use while directing the flow of traffic. The male runner survived thanks to their assistance.

Tottori mayor Yoshihiko Fukazawa personally presented the certificates to the two men at a ceremony at city hall. Noguchi told him, "To be honest I was in a bit of a panic, but despite that I kept my focus and I'm glad w…

Isahaya Holds Support Event for Asian Games Marathoner Hiroto Inoue

The town of Isahaya, Nagasaki held a support event June 9 for native son Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) ahead of August's Jakarta Asian Games where Inoue will run the marathon. In front of 140 people including his parents and coaches Inoue vowed to succeed, saying, "I'm where I am thanks to all of you who have supported me this far. I want to get back to basics and put everything I have into winning the gold medal."

Inoue graduated from Iimori J.H.S. and Chinzei Gakuin H.S. in Isahaya before attending Yamanashi Gakuin University. At February's Tokyo Marathon he ran 2:06:54 for 5th to earn his place on the Asian Games team.

The support event was organized by the Isahaya Track and Field Association and the trustees of Chinzei Gakuin H.S. Isahaya Track and Field Association chairperson Atsuhiro Ogawa told Inoue, "The high temperatures in Jakarta will have a serious impact on the body, making it a race of attrition.  I hope that you arrive there in peak condition and show…