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Hokkaido Marathon Announces Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The Hokkaido Marathon has announced the elite field for this year's race, scheduled for Aug. 30 on a new course. The premier summer Japanese marathon, Hokkaido has attracted a top field of domestic athletes not running the World Championships a week prior.

The women's race promises to be the highlight of the event, with this year's Tokyo Marathon winner Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Aruze), inexplicably omitted from the World Championships marathon team, squaring off against teammate and defending champ Yukari Sahaku (Team Aruze) who is running the 10000 m in the Berlin World Championships, 2008 Tokyo Marathon winner Claudia Dreher (Germany), 2008 Honolulu Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC), 2006 Hokkaido winner Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) and more.

In the men's race, defending champ Masaru Takamizawa (Saku Chosei H.S.) will face former teammates Yuzo Onishi (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin), Kenyan great Daniel Njenga (Team Yakult), 2009 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon runner-up Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) who narrowly missed making the Berlin World Championships team, and others.

2009 Hokkaido Marathon - Elite Field
Women
Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:21:51 (Osaka 2003)
Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Aruze) - 2:25:38 (Tokyo 2009)
Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) - 2:26:14 (Hokkaido 2005)
Aki Fujikawa (Team Shiseido) - 2:27:06 (Nagoya 2004)
Claudia Dreher (Germany) - 2:27:55 (Hannover 1999)
Akemi Ozaki (Second Wind AC) - 2:28:39 (Tokyo Int'l 2007)
Yukari Sahaku (Team Aruze) - 2:28:55 (Tokyo 2009)
Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 2:30:58 (Nagoya 2008)
Naoko Ota (Saku AC Hokkaido) - 2:48:52 (Nagoya 2008)
Mai Fujisawa (Hokkaido City Hall) - 2:50:23 (Nagoya 2009)

Men
Daniel Njenga (Team Yakult) - 2:06:16 (Chicago 2002)
Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:07:55 (Fukuoka 2003)
Yuzo Onishi (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:08:54 (Biwako 2008)
Tomoya Shimizu (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:09:23 (Biwako 2008)
Laban Kagika (Team JFE Steel) - 2:10:24 (Fukuoka 2001)
Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:10:38 (Beppu-Oita 2009)
Yuri Hyuchun (Ukraine) - 2:10:59 (Debuno 2008)
Masaru Takamizawa (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 2:12:10 (Hokkaido 2008)
Toyoshi Ishige (Team Yakult) - 2:12:45 (Biwako 2008)
Hiroshi Matsuda (Saku AC Hokkaido) - 2:23:38 (Fukuoka 1999)

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Wait a minute...a Japanese high school kid ran a 2:12 last year...as a HS junior??
Brett Larner said…
No, he's a teacher there. Young, but not that young. Takamizawa ran for Nissin for a year or two then quit last year to take a job at Saku Chosei where he'd gone to high school. He ran in a SC singlet last year and I remember the announcers repeatedly saying that he was not actually a high school student.

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