Skip to main content

Solid Fields Lined Up for Kumamoto Kosa 10 Miler and Nittai Time Trials

by Brett Larner

The Fukuoka International Marathon is not all that is happening in Japan this weekend. Across Kyushu the Kumamoto Kosa 10 Miler, annually the world's most competitive race at that distance, has a fantastic matchup of a large share of the top young talent to make the pro ranks in the last two years, all tuning up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national championships. 10 mile junior world record holder Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) is unquestionably the favorite as he continues his build toward an impending marathon debut, but the domestic field includes the likes of Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei), Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei), Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo), Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu), Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei), sub-28 minute 10000 m men one and all. If Ono is back to full health after a year lost to injury Asahi Kasei's prospects for the New Year Ekiden will be very promising indeed even without an African ringer.

Many of those not running Fukuoka or Kumamoto Kosa will be lining up in Yokohama at this year's final full edition of the Nittai University Time Trials. The entry list for the two-day meet of long distance track events includes past junior World XC champions Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) and Caleb Ndiku (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin), 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu), 2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda), 2010 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.), 2010 Kanto Regional University 5000 m champion Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.), 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.), 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) and many more. Look for exclusive coverage by JRN photographer Daniel Seite.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

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 …

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …

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…