Skip to main content

Kentaro Ito Scores Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Win

by Brett Larner

Kentaro Ito of Team Kyowa Hakko Bio outlasted an international cast of rivals at the 39th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon on Dec. 21, running 2:16:01 in stormy conditions to score his first win in the race where he set his PB back in 2001.

2008 Asian Marathon Champion Koichiro Fukuoka (Team Mitsubishi Juko) ran as the designated pacemaker, taking the lead pack of 22 through 5 km in 15:42. Just before 10 km, 2008 Beijing Olympics Test Marathon winner Batochir Serod (Mongolia) lost patience and set off on his own, reaching 10 km in 31:14, 7 seconds ahead of Fukuoka and the pack. At 15 km he was 44 seconds up in 46:26, and at 20 km was 1:06 ahead in 1:01:54. Halfway came for Serod in 1:05:16, well ahead of the pace he ran in his 2:14:15 PB win in Beijing. Fukuoka brought the pack, now down to 11, through the half in 1:06:26.

Fukuoka bowed out after reaching 25 km in 1:18:51, at which point only 7 runners remained in pursuit of Serod who was all but invisible and now 1:37 ahead. Serod continued to press on, hitting 30 km in 1:33:38, 1:39 ahead of the chase pack. Following pacemaker Fukuoka's departure Ito was now at the head of the pack, now reduced to Ito, former Kanebo stalwart Akinori Shibutani, now running for Team Yanagawa Seiki, Hisashi Kazami (Team Aisan), and marathon debutant Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku).

As is so often the case, things changed after 30 km. Serod began to slip, his lead down to 54 seconds. Kazami had fallen far behind, and Shibutani was 10 seconds adrift of Ito and Kasuya. Serod soon went into freefall, Ito breaking away from Kasuya to take the lead. Ito reached 40 km alone in 2:08:21, Kasuya far behind at the mark in 2:09:08, with Serod 3rd in 2:09:40. Close behind in 4th was Kachi-Tsu Chao (Taiwan), who had run patiently in the rear throughout the race and waited until the final 10 km to advance.

Ito held on to his lead, winning in 2:16:01. Kasuya was next in 2:17:10, an unremarkable time considering his 30 km PB of 1:30:40 from February's Kumanichi 30 km but a respectable debut in light of the conditions. Kasuya barely held off a charging Chao, who finished 2 seconds back in 3rd with a slim PB of 2:17:12. Serod paid dearly for his ambitious early pace, sinking to a 2:19:08 6th place finish.

Complete results for the 2008 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon including splits are available here.

2008 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon - Top Finishers
1. Kentaro Ito (Team Kyowa Hakko Bio) - 2:16:01
2. Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 2:17:10 - debut
3. Kachi-Tsu Chao (Taiwan) - 2:17:12 - PB
4. Yongjian Ou (China) - 2:18:03
5. Toyokazu Yoshimura (Osaka Rikkyo) - 2:18:44
6. Batochir Serod (Mongolia) - 2:19:08
7. Akinori Shibutani (Team Yanagawa Seiki) - 2:19:27
8. Tomohiro Minami (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 2:19:50
9. Hisashi Kazami (Team Aisan) - 2:20:19
10. Junji Mishima (Team Toenic) - 2:20:51

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Tokyo Olympics Logo Designer Sano Denies Plagiarism

translated by Brett Larner

Amid controversy surrounding the "strong similarity" of the official 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games logos to the logo of Belgium's Theatre de Liege, art director Kenjiro Sano, 43, the person responsible for the Tokyo design, held a press conference August 5th in Tokyo.  Sano strongly denied the theater's claims of plagiarism, calling them "totally groundless" and saying that his design was "something made starting from zero."  Sano said that he "had never seen" the theater's logo, adding, "As an art director I have never ripped anything off," and "This is the culmination of my career.  As something truly original, I wanted to share it with the rest of the world."

Sano was on a business trip to New York through August 4, learning of the current problems while on the trip.  "It was a shock," he said.  …