Skip to main content

Kipkorir Wins Beppu-Oita, Australian Hunt Almost Steals Show

by Brett Larner

click here for JRNLive's detailed race commentary

Click photo for a gallery of images from the 2010 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.

In a tactical race of few surprises, Jonathan Kipkorir (Kenya), the strongest man of '09 in the field, took the 2010 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon on Feb. 7 in a sprint finish over the final 500 m against aging 2:06:16 runner Daniel Njenga (Kenya/Team Yakult), holder of the fastest PB in the field. Japanese debutant Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) had a good race, 4th overall in 2:11:04 after repeatedly attacking the lead pack of eight over the final 10 km. Track darling Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) performed below expectations in his own marathon debut, 9th in 2:12:59. However, the biggest news of the race was Australian Jeffrey Hunt.

Debuting at the marathon, Hunt spent the early parts of the race far back in the third pack while the leaders ran on track for 2:08. Despite a fast new course and good conditions, the pacemakers sagged in the middle stages to 3:10 pace and put a new record out of reach. The pack accelerated over the second half, but Hunt was running even faster and clocked 15:03 between 30 and 35 km. With 6 km to go he suddenly appeared in the cameras, flying past Mitsuya and rapidly closing on the lead pack of seven. Race announcers immediately fixed their attention on Hunt and marathon great Shigeru Soh was full of praise for the Australian. Hunt made contact with the leaders with 3 km to go, and when Njenga attacked in the final 2 km went in pursuit with Kipkorir. Unable to match strides with the two Kenyans, Hunt nevertheless held on for an outstanding debut of 2:11:00. It was a near-miss for a show-stealer but an extremely impressive performance nevertheless considering that he finished within 10 seconds of a man who ran 2:07:31 last year.

After Achilles tendon problems in the two weeks before the race Ikawa was pleased with his debut. "That was fun," he said afterwards. "It wasn't as hard as I expected." Njenga's teammate Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) survived some difficulties in the last 5 km to clock a PB of 2:11:07 for 6th, while Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) likewise made the top 10 with a PB of 2:11:42. For Mitsuya, the marathon was a tough challenge. With the country hungry for its men to step back up to the world level Mitsuya was under tremendous pressure as one of the top young track runners. His run will no doubt be viewed as a disappointment, but at age 25 he still has plenty of time and room for improvement.

2010 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Top Finishers
click here for complete results
1. Jonathan Kipkorir (Kenya) - 2:10:50
2. Daniel Njenga (Kenya/Team Yakult) - 2:10:55
3. Jeffrey Hunt (Australia) - 2:11:00 - debut
4. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:11:04 - debut
5. Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:11:05
6. Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 2:11:17 - PB
7. Chala Lemi (Ethiopia) - 2:11:37
8. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 2:11:42 - PB
9. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 2:12:59 - debut
10. Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:13:16

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Jeffrey Hunt's 5k splits vs. winner Jonathan Kipkorir's:

5k: 15:36 / 15:16
10k: 15:41 / 15:20
15k: 15:34 / 15:31
20k: 15:41 / 15:54
half: 1:05:57 / 1:05:24
25k: 15:42 / 15:19
30k: 15:32 / 15:28
35k: 15:03 / 15:36
40k: 15:23 / 15:57
finish: 2:11:00 / 2:10:50

I kind of wish he'd just kept going when he made contact with 3k to go instead of resting behind the pack for a km, but I guess that wouldn't necessarily have turned out for the best.
Stephen Lacey said…
Excellent write-up, Brett! Bob alerted us (me and the other Namban Aussies) by email and I confess I missed the race whilst out and about today. Your report definitely brought a sense of the excitement that must have unraveled. Mr Hunt will be a name to watch, and I hearby dub him the Pack Hunter!
Jeffrey Hunt said…
i wanted that rest guys... it was tough... i loved the twitter commentary. glad i made the race interesting.

pack hunter... i like it... haha

my facebook has gone mental since that race. i love japan!!!
Brett Larner said…
Great race, Jeffrey. I think you're what people will remember about this one. Good luck at the Commonwealth Games.
Ken Green said…
Nice comments thank you Brett, we are all very pleased and very proud. All in the sqaud in Sydney will take a lot of heart from an outstanding performance. - Ken Green (Jeff's coach).

Most-Read This Week

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
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…