Skip to main content

Hosaka, Nakamura, Yoshimura, Tanaka, Gitau, Ondiba and More (updated)

by Brett Larner

Brett Larner, Toyokazu Yoshimura and Wilson Kipketer at the finish of the 2009 Copenhagen Marathon. Photo by Piia Doyle (DMG).

Update 5/29: I missed Daniel Gitau's 800m record at the Kanto Championships and have updated the summary below.

I just got back from Copenhagen yesterday. There was a fair amount of overseas action featuring Japanese runners and at least one big domestic meet this past weekend that I couldn't cover at the time, but for the sake of thoroughness I wanted to put up a few summaries. I'll go in reverse chronological order.

Los Angeles Marathon
Men's marathon 60+ world record holder Yoshihisa Hosaka ran the L.A. Marathon in 2:39:31. Although he fell 3 minutes 2 seconds shy of breaking his own world record set in February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Hosaka was a highly creditable 27th overall and the 19th place male finisher. Needless to say, he won his age group. The June issue of Running Times magazine contains an interview with Hosaka which can be read here.

Bolder Boulder
Led by Beijing Olympian Yurika Nakamura's 3rd place finish in 33:28, the Japanese women placed 2nd overall in the team competition at the Bolder Boulder 10 km. Veteran Hiromi Ominami was 9th in 35:01, with 2008 Honolulu Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara finishing 12th to complete the team score in 35:35 just a week after running San Francisco's Bay to Breakers road race.

Copenhagen Marathon
As previously reported, Toyokazu Yoshimura and Chihiro Tanaka pulled off a rare overseas Japanese marathon double, winning the men's and women's divisions of the Copenhagen Marathon in 2:18:04 and 2:40:59 respectively and garnering IAAF coverage. Tanaka was 14th overall; her husband Katsutoshi Tanaka, a retired former professional steeplechase runner, ran the race for fun and finished in 2:57:54. Video highlights of the Copenhagen Marathon are available through race sponsor Politiken.

Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships pt. II
Nihon Univ. senior Daniel Gitau completed a rare quadruple crown on the second weekend of the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, Japan's most competitive university meet. After winning the 1500 m and 10000 last weekend, Gitau set a meet record of 1:48.06 in the men's 800 m, then returned an hour later to win the 5000 m in 13:47.19. As in the 10000 m last week, Toyo Univ. star sophomore Ryuji Kashiwabara was close behind, beating out Meiji Univ. senior Takuya Ishikawa by a stride for 2nd in 13:48.54.

Tamagawa Univ. junior Takumi Komiya had a surprise win over Nihon Univ. ace senior Natsuko Goto in an equally surprisingly slow women's 5000 m. Coming back to from a year of injury which kept her out of last winter's ekiden season, Komiya won her first Kanto title in 16:19.30 with Goto nearly 4 seconds back in 16:23.10. Defending champion Yui Sakai of Josai Univ. was a DNS after running poorly in last week's 10000 m.

Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. senior Aoi Matsumoto won a two-man battle against Chuo Univ. sophomore Yuki Munakata in the men's 3000 m SC. Matsumoto clocked 8:41.56 to Munakata's 8:43.85, with their nearest competitor finishing almost 6 seconds behind.

The biggest result of the meet came in the men's half marathon. Run on a hilly, twisting 10-loop course on which athletes enter and exit Tokyo's National Stadium on each lap, the Kanto Championships half marathon has never been known as a fast event. Last year Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. senior Mekubo Mogusu, a runner with three sub-hour half marathons to his name at the time, became the first man to break 1:03 on the course when he set its record of 1:02:23. The now-graduated Mogusu's younger teammate and countryman Cosmas Ondiba picked up where Mogusu left off, winning the half marathon in 1:02:29. The sophomore Ondiba had not previously shown any signs of being close to Mogusu in ability, but this result suggests Yamanashi Gakuin may have another titan on its hands. Last year's 2nd and 3rd place finishers both broke last year's times but switched places, Waseda Univ. senior Takahiro Ozaki landing 2nd this time in 1:04:00 and Komazawa Univ. senior Tsuyoshi Ugachi 3rd in 1:04:09.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Brett Larner said…
No, I didn't run. I had too much to take care of and had to be there when Toyokazu and Chihiro finished to translate for them.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…