Skip to main content

Marathon Woman Akemi Ozaki 2nd in JAL Honolulu Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

17,000 Japanese runners in a field of 28,000 took part in the 35th JAL Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 9. Ambesse Tolosa of Ethiopia won the men`s race for the 2nd year in a row with a time of 2:17:26, while Alevtina Biktimirova of Russia took the women`s title for the 1st time, winning in 2:33:07. Among Japanese runners, Akemi Ozaki (Second Wind AC) was 2nd in the women`s race in 2:34:22 and Satoru Hori of Yamanashi Prefecture ran 2:29:12 to finish a strong 6th in the men`s race in his first appearance at this event.

Marathon-loving model Rie Hasegawa, 34, ran in the 3:30 range in her 8th time to challenge the Honolulu course. Hasegawa hoped to run a 3:15 but said afterwards, "With the hills and rain making for tough conditions in the first half I just couldn`t do it this time. I love running, though, so I plan to come back to Honlulu again next year."

At 90 years plus 5 months the oldest Japanese runner in the field, Tatsuo Okawara of Annaka, Gunma Prefecture completed the marathon in a time of 8:11:56. "There is nothing in my life to look back on with regret," Okawara smiled brightly. Having begun running at the age of 60, he believes, "Running with younger people keeps me feeling young and healthy too." Having experienced a severe injury to his right leg while serving in the army during World War II, Okawara said with feeling, "Compared to my war experience, the marathon is much easier."


The Honolulu Marathon website`s race writeup.


Most-Read This Week

Shiroyama's 8.40 m Jump Leads Four National Records at Athlete Night Games in Fukui

Held in the stadium where Japan saw its first-ever sub-10 clocking for 100 m, Saturday's new Athlete Night Games in Fukui meet produced four national records highlighted by an incredible men's long jump competition. Yuki Hashioka (Nihon Univ.) opened with a jump of 8.32 m +1.6 m/s that shattered the national record dating way back in 1992 by 7 cm. Hibika Tsuha (Toyo Univ.) followed him with a jump of 8.21 m + 2.0 m/s that put him into the all-time Japanese top three, then bettered that with an 8.23 m +0.6 m/s.

Out of nowhere, Shotaro Shiroyama (Zenrin) knocked them both back in the record books on his third jump with a new national record of 8.40 m +1.5 m/s, the #2 mark in the world so far this year and only his second time clearing 8 m with a legal wind. Japanese fans were quick to compare the trio's results to this season's Diamond League meets.

DL Shanghai
DL Lausanne
DL London
DL Fukui
🥇8m40🥈8m32🥉8m23 htt…

One Month Until the Japanese Olympic Marathon Trials

It's one month to go until what's bound to be the best marathon of 2019, Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, the Sept. 15 Marathon Grand Championship Race. Up to now Japan has typically picked its Olympic and World Championships marathon teams based on performances in a series of specific races, primarily the Fukuoka International Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon for men, and the Saitama International Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon for women. This time around they're going with a U.S.-style one-shot trials race, the MGC Race.

People had a nearly two-year window from August, 2017 to April this year to hit tough standards to qualify. Only 34 men and 15 women made it, and after withdrawals for the Doha World Championships the MGC Race's final entry list is just 31 men and 12 women. Swedish Athletics Federation official Lorenzo Nesicalled it "the most difficult marathon race ever to quali…

MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier - Naoki Okamoto

Naoki Okamotoage: 35
sponsor: Chugoku Denryoku
graduated from: Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S., Meiji University

best time inside MGC window:
2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 13:37.71 (2009) 10000 m: 28:05.84 (2011) half marathon: 1:02:16 (2009)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
DNF, 2019 Beppu-Oita Marathon
1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:11:29 – PB
DNF, 2018 Boston Marathon

other major results:
4th, 2019 Shibetsu Half Marathon, 1:03:53
2nd, 2019 New Year Ekiden Fourth Stage (22.4 km), 1:05:13
1st, 2018 Chugoku Corporate Ekiden Sixth Stage (19.0 km), 56:25 – CR
1st, 2018 Ome 30 km Road Race, 1:33:09
21st, 2017 Tokyo Marathon, 2:13:53

We’re picking Okamoto as our official dark horse of the men’s race. The second-oldest man in a field, Okamoto is a journeyman corporate leaguer who never broke 2:12 and whose PBs all came a decade ago. But, nearing the end of his career, over the last two years he has really come on…