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

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…

Kamulu Breaks Fukushi's 10000 m Meet Record - National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day One Highlights

The fastest woman in the world over 10000 m this year with her 30:41.85 Japanese all-comers record at July's Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet, Pauline Kamulu Kaveke (Route Inn Hotels) added another sub-31 clocking to her name with a 30:56.94 meet record win on the first day of the 86th National Corporate Track and Field Championships in Osaka's Nagai Stadium. Starting off with company from fellow Japan-based Kenyan Grace Kimanzi (Starts) and the Japanese duo of Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) and Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), Kamulu was alone by 2000 m dead on track to equal her July mark.

Fading slightly over the second half of the race she still managed to shave nearly a second off Kayoko Fukushi's 2006-era meet record, nearly lapping the entire field. Kimanzi held on to 2nd in 32:02.39, with first Yamanouchi and then Ichiyama dropping back through the field. Seemingly close to her A-game again after a long period off with injury and a change in corporate team and coaching…