Skip to main content

Upcoming Non-Tokyo Marathon Weekend Action

by Brett Larner

With the opening of the Tokyo Marathon expo tomorrow JRN will be focused on coverage of what looks set to be the most exciting edition yet.  Check back starting tomorrow for our race previews and other coverage.

But there is other action lined up across Japan this weekend.  First and foremost is Saturday's Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet.  Fukuoka usually plays the role of one of the two selection races for the Japanese teams for the World Cross-Country Championships, but with no World XC this year only places on the Japanese team's for next month's Asian Cross-Country Championships and April's World University Cross-Country Championships are there for the taking.  The junior races are as always stacked with the best high school talent and the senior women's 6 km promises a great rematch between defending champ Hitomi Niiya (Sakura AC) and 5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno), but the most interesting race looks set to be the senior men's 10 km.

On the entry list for the men's race are last year's winner and newly-minted Kenyan XC champion Bedan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B), 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin), past 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B), 2011 and 2012's top Japanese half-marathoner Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota), World University 10000 m champion Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), New York City Half-Marathon invited athletes Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.) and Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.), university stars Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.), Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) and Keita Shitara (Toyo Univ.), Kenyans Nicholas Makau (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) and Jacob Wanjuki (Team Aichi Seiko) and many, many more.

Fukuoka will be broadcast nationwide on TBS from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.  Overseas viewers should be able to watch online through the miracle of Keyhole TV.  Click here for more info.

As with last year Karoki is scheduled to pace the first 10 km of the Tokyo Marathon the day after Fukuoka.  He is said to have signed with the same management company who represented Samuel Wanjiru.  This management has reportedly entered Karoki in this weekend's World's Best 10 km in Puerto Rico despite Karoki's previous engagements to run in Fukuoka and Tokyo, bringing to mind comparisons to Wanjiru other than just in the area of his running.  If true, let's hope it all turns out better for Karoki than this kind of thing did for Sammy.

At the same time as the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, three competitive half-marathons will also be going on across the country, the Kashima Yutoku Half-Marathon in southern Japan, the central Inuyama Yomiuri Half-Marathon, and, northwest of Tokyo, the Fukaya City Half Marathon. All three races feature top university runners winding down their road seasons before track season gets underway.  10000 m national champion Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) is scheduled to run Inuyama, and Daegu World Championships marathoner Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) is also slated to run the 10 km in Inuyama as her final tuneup for the Mar. 11 Nagoya Women's Marathon where she will face a tough field looking to qualify for the London Olympics.  Check back on Sunday and Monday for results from all three road races alongside our Tokyo coverage.

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
I am heading to Tokyo and possibly meet my hero, Haile Geb!!

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …