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Kato, Newcomer Maina Win Reborn Sendai International Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

Cancelled following last year's disasters, the Sendai International Half Marathon returned May 13 in a new format putting more emphasis on mass participation and less on the elite race with a notable absence of any foreign competition based outside Japan.

The women's division suffered when former national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) scratched earlier this week, but in her place the young Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) came through with a PB of 1:11:21 for the win over Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera), dropping her late in the race after dueling much of the way.  Misato Horie (Team Noritz) was a distant 3rd in 1:13:21.

In the men's race, Kenyan newcomer Johana Maina (Team Fujitsu) easily won in 1:01:34, going out in front of elder teammate Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu) and gradually ratcheting up his pace.  The popular Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) tried to run with Gitau but soon faded back into the all-Japanese chase pack led by Olympic marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (Miki House).  As Gitau faded over the final 5 km Fujiwara surged, catching him at 19 km to take 2nd in 1:03:32.  Kawauchi likewised pushed hard, catching Gitau at the line but given 4th as both Gitau and Kawauchi clocked 1:03:49.  Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) was 5th in his first race since his breakthrough 2:09:16 PB at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

2012 Sendai International Half Marathon
Sendai, 5/13/13
results via STITCHrunner

Men
1. Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:34
2. Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:03:32
3. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:49
4. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 1:03:49
5. Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 1:04:15
6. Satoshi Yoshii (Team Sumco) - 1:04:25
7. Keisuke Wakui (Team Yakult) - 1:04:26
8. Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) - 1:04:28

Women
1. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:11:21 - PB
2. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:12:07
3. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 1:13:21
4. Sakiko Matsumi (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:13:59
5. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 1:14:00
6. Mami Furuse (Team Kyocera) - 1:14:27
7. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 1:15:11
8. Miu Kato (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:15:12

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

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The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
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
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

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.

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