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

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

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