Skip to main content

Njoroge Wins 2012 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

by Brett Larner

A developmental race in its 61st running, the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon lucked out with almost windless conditions conducive to fast times.  The large lead pack ran consistently at just sub-2:09 pace through much of the race, whittling down to a final pack of eight at its ultimate stage.  First-timers Yakob Jarso (Ethiopia), the former Ethiopian 3000 mSC national record holder, and Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei), famous for DNF'ing on the anchor stage of the Hakone Ekiden a few years ago with 2 km to go after breaking his foot in a rail crossing more than 10 km earlier, made the first serious move just past 30 km, very early for the inexperienced.  2011 Hokkaido Marathon winner Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) was quick to respond but took his time catching up, drawing the rest of the pack with him.  Two-time Hofu Yomiuri Marathon champion Serod Batochir (Mongolia) and top-ranked Japanese man Yuki Moriwaki (Team JFE Steel) were close behind him, Batochir despite stopping and searching for his drink bottle in visible frustration a few km earlier.

The lead turned over frequently in the final few km as different runners took turns trying to break away, but ultimately it shook down to Njoroge, Jarso and Moriwaki in a leading trio.  Moriwaki was the first to slip away, but the debuting Jarso was no match for Njoroge's experience either and could not keep up.  Njoroge sailed off to win unchallenged in a PB of 2:09:38, his first time under 2:10.  Moriwaki and Jarso both faded and were run down by the superb Batochir, who clocked another PB in 2:11:05 with Jarso not far behind in a strong debut of 2:11:13.  Moriwaki looked safe for 4th but was caught by the unknown Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki), who ran a good debut of 2:11:18 to take the top Japanese position.  Moriwaki held on to 5th, also breaking 2:12 with a mark of 2:11:51.

Aggressive first-time Arakawa faded to 10th, just outrun by Australian Jeff Hunt who ran a characteristic fast-closing race but could not reach his goal of an Olympic-qualifying sub-2:12 mark.  Defending women's champion and women's course record holder Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu) won her second-straight year in 2:43:12.

2012 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
Oita, 2/5/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 2:09:38 - PB
2. Serod Batochir (Mongolia) - 2:11:05 - PB
3. Yakob Jarso (Ethiopia) - 2:11:13 - debut
4. Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:11:18 - debut
5. Yuki Moriwaki (Team JFE Steel) - 2:11:51 - PB
6. Desta Gebrehiwet (Ethiopia) - 2:12:22
7. Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) - 2:12:25 - debut
8. Keisuke Wakui (Team Yakult) - 2:12:55 - PB
9. Jeff Hunt (Australia) - 2:13:19
10. Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:39 - debut

Women
1. Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:43:12
2. Naomi Ochiai (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:55:18
3. Naoyo Utsunomiya (Beppu Marathon Club) - 2:56:37

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…

Itagaki Runs Second-Fastest 100 km Ever to Win Lake Saroma

The IAAF-certified Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon took place June 25 along the lake's interior shore in the Okhotsk coast towns of Yubetsu, Saroma and Kitami, the selection race for the Japanese national team for the 2018 IAU 100 km World Championships.

Three weeks after winning the JAL Chitose Marathon in 2:17:19, Tatsuya Itagaki (Sapporo Kokusai Univ.) won the men's race for the second year in a row. His time of 6:14:18 was the second-fastest ever run for 100 km on the roads, missing the 6:13:33 world record set at Lake Saroma in 1998 by Takahiro Sunada by just 45 seconds after going through halfway in 3:00:50.

In the women's race 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon 7th-placer and 2010 Nagoya International Women's winner Yuri Kano (Will Forward RC) ran 7:37:21 to win her debut.



32nd Lake Saroma Ultramarathon
Yubetsu, Hokkaido, 6/25/17

Men's 100 km
1. Tatsuya Itagaki (Sapporo Kokusai Univ.) - 6:14:18
2. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 6:29:52
3. Nao K…