Skip to main content

The Land of the Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

With last weekend's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships, National University Women's Half Marathon Championships and NYC Half Marathon bringing Japan's post-championship ekiden winter half marathon season to a close, yesterday I looked at the top 100 men's and women's performances by country so far this year and tweeted the results.  The totals have been making the rounds on Twitter since then, so although they will be out of date tomorrow as the European half marathon season rolls on here is the current breakdown using the results listed here.

Top 100 Men's Half Marathon Performances of 2012 by Country
Kenya: 39
Japan: 31
Ethiopia: 15
Morocco: 4
U.S.A.: 4
Brazil: 2
England: 2
other: 3

Top 100 Women's Half Marathon Performances of 2012 by Country
Japan: 40
Kenya: 23
Ethiopia: 10
U.S.A.: 4
Morocco: 3
Netherlands: 3
Poland: 2
Scotland: 2
other: 13

Combined Men's & Women's Top 100 Half Marathon Performances of 2012 by Country
Japan: 71
Kenya: 62
Ethiopia: 25
U.S.A.: 8
Morocco: 7
England: 3
Netherlands: 3
Australia: 2
Brazil: 2
Poland: 2
Scotland: 2
other: 13

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Arai said…
Very impressive (although Japan probably wouldn't do as well in a comparison of the top 50 performances).
Eryn said…
Quit impressive, although Japan would do much better on the top 1000 performances...
Brett Larner said…
For the people sending me 2011 numbers, you are not taking into account that the disasters last year resulted in the cancellation of most of the late winter/spring Japanese half marathon season, including but not limited to the National Corporate Half Marathon Championships, the National University Half Marathon Championships, the National University Women's Half Marathon Championships and the Sendai International Half Marathon. Needless to say, this impacted the numbers for 2011.
franck said…
I am sorry,
i like japan athletics, but
2010 results (men)
kenya 70
ethiopia 19
morocco 3
eritrea 2
japan 1
(women)
kenya 32
ethiopia 26
japan 16
Anonymous said…
2011 was certainly not a regular year, yet the numbers for 2010 and 2011 are pretty similar, aren't they?
Brett Larner said…
Well, as I said, these numbers will go out of date quickly, but it would be more meaningful if you were comparing the first ~three months of 2010 and 2011 rather than the entire year to the first three months of 2012. I think 2010 was slightly better than 2011, as you'd expect, but either way the numbers this year, especially for the men, are dramatically better than in than the past. I don't think Japan has ever had near this number of people sub-62, and the year is still young.

Most-Read This Week

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Kawauchi Outruns 103 Teams to Win Yashio Isshu Ekiden

2017 London World Championships marathon 9th-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) gave local club and high school runners something to remember when he ran Sunday's Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden solo against 103 six-runner teams. Kawauchi spent most of the 20.0 km race in 2nd, briefly taking the lead at the end of the 3.9 km Second Stage before falling behind after a Third Stage course record run by Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.).

Down 13 seconds, Kawauchi came back to split a time 14 seconds faster for the 2.7 km Fifth Stage than its fastest ekiden runner, Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A). Now ahead of Matsudo and out front alone, Kawauchi saved his biggest running for last, dropping a 2:40 final km to split 14 seconds under the 12:34 course record for the 4.0 km anchor stage. Desperate to catch him, Matsudo anchor Shunsuke Matsui went 6 seconds under the old record to become its official new holder but couldn't match Kawauchi's closing speed.

Kawauchi's…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men