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2011 As Seen By JRN Readers

JRN's most-read articles of 2011 by month:

January
Waseda over Toyo as both break Hakone Ekiden course record.Jan. 3
Blood testing for better performance - learning from Hakone and pro baseball. - Jan. 8

February
Study finds to become world-class, don't work too hard in junior high. - Feb. 5
World's first two-legged robot-only marathon set for Feb. 24. - Feb. 16
Jason Lehmkuhle wins Ome 30 km road race - first American win since 1983. - Feb. 20
World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki 2:23:56 Yokohama win.Feb. 20
Mekonnen wins Tokyo Marathon, amateur Kawauchi 3rd in 2:08:37. - Feb. 27
Japanese Federation and corporate league feel stinging impact of Kawauchi's run. - Feb. 28
"The Rocky of the marathon world" - Saitama Governor praises Kawauchi. - Feb. 28

March
What to do when the dream comes true?  Federation officials push management role as Kawauchi Fever sweeps Japan. - Mar. 3
Wilson Kipsang wins Lake Biwa with world-leading 2:06:13 course record. - Mar. 6
Federation tells World Championships marathoner Horibata to go on diet. - Mar. 8
Two pro runners hit by truck during half-marathon. - Mar. 9
Tokyo Marathon 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi gives $72,000 BMW prize to mother. - Mar. 11
104-year-old masters world record holder killed in tsunami. - Mar. 25

April
Niiya 15:17.84 PB after being fired from Toyota Jidoshokki corporate team. - Apr. 29

May
Track training Kawauchi-style. - May 5
Samuel Kamau Wanjiru, 1986-2011. - May 16
Wanjiru in the words of those who knew him. - May 16

June
Yuki Kawauchi building up for World Championships with 50 km ultra this Sunday. - June 16
Kawauchi taken to hospital after suffering heat stroke near end of 50 km ultra. - June 19

July
Murasawa and Sreedharan impress in Asian Athletics Championships 10000 m. - July 7

August
'09 World Championships silver medalist Ozaki runs 50 km at altitude in prep for Daegu gold. - Aug. 9
A report from World Championships marathoner Akaba on Boulder's Magnolia Road. - Aug. 11
Kawauchi looking forward to post-Worlds coffee. - Aug. 15
Osako wins World University Games 10000 m. - Aug. 17
Team Honda's Ibrahim Jeilan wins World Championships 10000 m. - Aug. 28

September
Post-race quotes from the Japanese men's World Championships marathon team. - Sept. 5
New Tokai University coach Morozumi discusses value of cross-country training after Saku Chosei H.S. success. - Sept. 29

October
Toyo University takes first-ever Izumo Ekiden win.Oct. 10
Charles Ndirangu 13:15.44 national high school record at Oita Challenge 5000 m. - Oct. 23

November
Kenya over Japan as both break International Chiba Ekiden course record.Nov. 23

December
Watch the Fukuoka International Marathon live - viewing guide. - Dec. 2
Ndambiri with the win, Kawauchi with the wonder - Fukuoka International Marathon. - Dec. 4
Kawauchi throws Olympic selection process into confusion. - Dec. 5
Working out the tactics that will take him to the World Championships, Kawauchi set for Hofu Yomiuri Marathon. - Dec. 16
Bat-Ochir and Kawauchi duel at Hofu Yomiuri Marathon. - Dec. 18
Japan in Wanjiru. - Dec. 19
Charles Ndirangu leads Sera back to National High School Boys Ekiden Championships title. - Dec. 25
Japan in Wanjiru - in conclusion..... - Dec. 26

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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Most-Read This Week

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

Fresh off a 1:00:17 half marathon national record last weekend and a 28:55 road 10 km the one before, Yuta Shitara (Honda) lived up to expectations at today's Berlin Marathon, trying to go with the lead group and running the first part of the race alone between the first and second groups.

Whatever his plan, Shitara was swallowed up by the second pack, a good turn of events as it was travelling ahead of Japanese national record pace on track for just sub-2:06. Shitara hung with that group through 25 km before his projected time started to creep away, drifting to high-2:06 pace by 30 km, high-2:07 by 35 km, and high-2:08 by 40 km. In the end he was well short of Toshinari Takaoka's 2:06:16 national record, but with a 2:09:03 for 6th Shitara took 24 seconds off his best with the fastest Japanese men's performance in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. And just 8 days after the greatest half marathon performance in Japanese history.

『ベルリンマラソン動画 設楽悠太…

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…