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

Men
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

Women
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

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…

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…

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…