Skip to main content

Defending Champions Hara, Njui to Return to Hokkaido Marathon

by Brett Larner

This year's Hokkaido Marathon is set for Sunday, Aug. 28, directly opposite the Daegu World Championships.  With a 12:10 start time Hokkaido is always hot and has some of the most strategic racing on the Japanese calendar.  The men's race features both defending champion Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) and 2009 winner Daniel Njenga (Kenya/Team Yakult) along with sub-2:12 domestic men Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki), Masaya Shimizu (Team Asahi Kasei) and Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult).  Njui is in good shape to defend his title after his second-straight win at last month's Sapporo International Half Marathon.  A number of competitive men are also entered in the general division, the best among these being 2:11:44 marathoner Kenichiro Setoguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu), Samuel Wanjiru's main training partner during Wanjiru's pro years in Japan.

The women's race likewise features the 2010 and 2009 winners, defending champ Yumiko Hara (Team Univ. Ent.) and course record holder Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC), along with 2006 winner Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC), who returns to Hokkaido off a sub-2:30 PB at last fall's Chicago Marathon.  Also in the race are former national record holder Yoko Shibui and two-time World Championships marathon medalist Reiko Tosa (both Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), Tosa seeking to make a comeback after giving birth to her first baby last year.  The strongest challenge may come from 2011 Asian Marathon champion Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal), who finished 2nd at February's Tokyo Marathon.

2011 Hokkaido Marathon Elite Field Highlights
Men
Daniel Njenga (Kenya/Team Yakult) - 2:06:16 (Chicago 2002)
Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) - 2:09:10 (Tokyo 2011)
Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:10:38 (Beppu-Oita 2009)
Masaya Shimizu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:10:50 (Biwako 2009)
Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 2:11:17 (Beppu-Oita 2010)
Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 2:11:43 (Beppu-Oita 2011)
Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:12:44 (Fukuoka 2010)
Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 2:14:44 (Tokyo 2011)

Women
Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:19:41 (Berlin 2004)
Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:22:46 (Boston 2002)
Yumiko Hara (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:23:48 (Osaka 2007)
Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:24:33 (Vienna 2006)
Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) - 2:25:10 (Hokkaido 2009)
Noriko Higuchi (Noriko Higuchi) - 2:28:49 (Tokyo 2011)
Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 2:29:45 (Chicago 2010)
Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 2:32:02 (Tokyo 2011)
Chinami Fukaminato (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:34:16 (Hokkaido 2009)

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Official Statement From Corporate Federation Director Nishikawa on Anti-Doping Violation and Sanction

A statement by Koichiro Nishikawa, chairperson of the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association

At the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden organized by the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association (JITA), a prohibited substance was detected in a sample taken from Moeno Nakamura, at the time a member of the Universal Entertainment team, in an in-competition drug test. After receiving notification of this result, in accordance with the recommendations of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel, Nakamura was suspended for one year and three months beginning Nov. 26, 2017.

As the JITA not only do we hold anti-doping education sessions for athletes and coaches in partnership with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and clearly specify that our events must be carried out in strict accordance with anti-doping regulations, but as the JITA chairperson I have personally given strong emphasis to the importance of "Clean Sport." In spite of these effort…

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

On July 18 it was learned from several sources connected with the situation that a member of the 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team Universal Entertainment who left the team at the end of last season tested positive for a banned substance in a doping test carried out at the ekiden. Universal Entertainment won the national championship race, its second-ever title and first in five years. But because the athlete's result will be annulled the team will also be stripped of its title, an unprecedented situation in the ekiden's history.

According to an involved source, before the race the athlete took her own personal medicine which included the prohibited substance. The athlete denied having taking the medicine in order to enhance her performance. Team management claimed the athlete had not informed then that she was taking it, and that the situation was the result of her personal carelessness.

The Universal Entertainment team was founded under the name Aruze…

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…