Skip to main content

Kawauchi, Yoshizumi Win Hokkaido Marathon, Tanaka Wins City to Surf

by Brett Larner

In his fifth marathon to date this year, 2011 World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) added the second marathon win to his resume as he took the Aug. 26 Hokkaido Marathon in 2:18:38. Osaka-based amateur Yuri Yoshizumi (Osaka Nagai AC) came from behind to win the women's race in 2:39:06.

Long one of Japan's peak elite summer races, this year saw Hokkaido all but eliminate its elite field this year, and as a result 2:08:37 man Kawauchi's win was never in serious doubt.  After a five-man lead pack went through halfway in 1:08:18, Kawauchi powered away to open a one-minute lead over his nearest competition. Although Kawauchi faded to a 1:10:20 second half in the rising temperatures, his competition faded more dramatically. Kawauchi's final margin of victory was more than three minutes over runner-up Shigeki Tsuji (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), who clocked 2:21:49.

In the women's race Yoshizumi started far behind sub-2:30 favorite Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren), but as Suzuki faded early in the second half Yoshizumi was there to take over, sailing on unchallenged to the finish. In an indication of Hokkaido's downgrading of its elite race, Kawauchi's winning time was the slowest in Hokkaido history since its first winner, Russian Fedor Ryzhov, ran 2:24:28 in 1987, while Yoshizumi's time was the slowest winning time since American Jane Welzel won the race's second edition in 2:40:53 in 1988.

The same day as Hokkaido, two-time Hokkaido winner Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) opted to head south, easily winning the City-to-Surf Marathon in Perth, Australia in 2:41:14.

2012 Hokkaido Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 8/26/12
click here for complete results and splits

1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 2:18:38
2. Shigeki Tsuji (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:21:49
3. Takaya Sakamoto (Tokushima T&F Assoc.) - 2:24:24
4. Makoto Ozawa (Team Sekino Reform) - 2:24:37
5. Naoki Yamashita (Team NTN) - 2:25:14

1. Yuri Yoshizumi (Osaka Nagai AC) - 2:39:06
2. Misuzu Okamoto (Team Hokkoku Ginko) - 2:45:46
3. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 2:47:32
4. Saki Tabata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:50:14
5. Noriko Toshima (Hokkaido Marathon Club) - 2:59:28

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …