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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
all rights reserved

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Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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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
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           …