Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mizuki Noguchi 4th at Rock 'n' Roll Lisbon Half Marathon

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20120930-OHT1T00281.htm

translated by Brett Larner

2004 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) ran at a half marathon in Lisbon on Sept. 30, finishing 4th in 1:12:20.  Having run her first marathon in four years at March's Nagoya Women's Marathon, the 34-year-old Noguchi ran the race as a training run with an eye toward making the team for next year's World Championships in Moscow.  Noguchi's coach Hisakazu Hirose commented, "Her race showed that there are still some issues to work out, but as an indication of her condition at this stage I'd say it was OK."

Honda Runners Fujiwara and Ishikawa 9-10 in Berlin Marathon

by Brett Larner

photo by Dr. Helmut Winter

2010 Tokyo Marathon winner and collegiate/debut marathon national record holder Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) had a minor breakthrough at the 2012 Berlin Marathon, breaking 2:12 for the first time since his 2:08:12 marathon debut in 2003 to take 9th place, the first non-Kenyan finisher. Setting out at mid-2:08 pace, Fujiwara and 2:11 men Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) and Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) ran together, fading off that seemingly reasonable pace as a group with each passing 5 km split even as the lead pack spearheaded by eventual winner Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) accelerated. Ishikawa, who debuted in 2:11:14 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, briefly ran into trouble just before 30 km but quickly recovered. After 32 km it was Ikawa, coached by 2:06 man Takayuki Inubushi, who faded, 24 seconds behind Fujiwara and Ishikawa by 35 km.

Just as Mutai was non-battling debuting 25 km world record holder Dennis Kimetto (25 km) down the home straight for the win in 2:04:15, Fujiwara broke away from teammate Ishikawa before 40 km to head in to the finish without pressure.  Ishikawa took 10th in 2:11:46 while far behind him Ikawa faded badly to 16th, finishing in a career-worst 2:14:20.  In the women's race 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) took an introduction on the starting line but did not record even a 5 km split.  In her absence, the top Japanese woman was Yuka Aikawa, 18th in 2:49:52.

2012 Berlin Marathon
Berlin, Germany, 9/30/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 2:04:15
2. Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2:04:16 - debut
3. Geoffrey Kipsang (Kenya) - 2:06:12 - debut
4. Nicholas Kamakya (Kenya) - 2:08:28
5. Josphat Keiyo (Kenya) - 2:08:41
6. Jonathan Maiyo (Kenya) - 2:09:19
7. Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) - 2:09:59
8. Felix Keny (Kenya) - 2:10:22
9. Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) - 2:11:31
10. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 2:11:46
-----
16. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:14:20

Women
1. Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:20:30
2. Tirfi Tsegaye (Ethiopia) - 2:21:19
3. Olena Shurhno (Ukraine) - 2:23:32
4. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 2:24:56
5. Fate Tola (Ethiopia) - 2:25:14
6. Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia) - 2:28:45
7. Caroline Chepkwnoy (Kenya) - 2:30:34
8. Anna Hahner (Germany) - 2:30:37
9. Sonia Samuels (GBR) - 2:30:56
10. Degefa Biruktayit (Ethiopia) - 2:33:27
-----
DNF - Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2012 Dr. Helmut Winter
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shanghai Marathon Eliminates 15-Year Title Sponsor Toray and Eight Other Japanese Sponsors

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/news/120929/chn12092920570005-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Sept. 29 China's Shanghai Metropolitan Sports Bureau announced the 17th running of the Shanghai Marathon on Dec. 2, with applications scheduled to open Oct. 6.  Noteworthy in the announcement was that Japanese corporation Toray, title sponsor since the Shanghai Marathon's second running, has been removed from the official race title, with eight other major Japanese companies including Japan Airlines and Uniqlo also having been taken off the sponsor list.

On Sept. 11 the same organizers had scheduled a press conference to release the outline of the race but stopped midway to announce, "Due to the Japanese government's attitude toward the Senkaku Islands (a.k.a. Diaoyu Islands) situation it is unacceptable to have a Japanese company as our title sponsor," clearly indicating that their actions are motivated by anti-Japanese sentiment.  This year the race aims to have 4000 more runners than last year and move up to a field of 30,000, but it is likely that the number of Japanese participants will be lower.

The photo below on the Shanghai Marathon website has been poorly doctored to remove the Toray name from the runners' race bibs, although it is still visible in the smaller version of the picture at lower left.


The current list of sponsors on the Shanghai Marathon is thin at best, with AIMS listed as the only international sponsor.  It is difficult to see an international organization such as AIMS condoning this politicization of the sport.

'Stars Coming Out for Rock 'n' Roll Portugal'

http://running.competitor.com/2012/09/news/stars-coming-out-for-rock-n-roll-portugal_59480

Marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) will line up for tomorrow's Rock 'n' Roll Portugal half marathon in Lisbon.  The year-leading half marathon time by a Japanese woman is 1:09:47 by Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), set in winning March's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships.  No Japanese woman has broken 1:09 since Yukiko Akaba's 1:08:50 win at the 2009 Sendai International Half Marathon.

Noguchi's 2:19:12 course record at the Berlin Marathon will be under attack as well tomorrow by a group of top Ethiopians.  Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) will also be in the women's race, with a group of Japanese men including 2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) and 2:11 men Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) in the men's race.  More information:

http://iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=67853

Meanwhile, a major typhoon threatens to scuttle two of the weekend's biggest domestic Japanese races, the Fukuoka Prefecture Road Race Championships and the Chubu Corporate Track and Field Championships.  Stay tuned for more information.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kano Hoping to Kickstart Career in Berlin

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2012092701007

translated by Brett Larner

Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) and other top athletes running the Sept. 30 Berlin Marathon appeared at a press conference Sept. 27.  "In Berlin I want to get things off to a good start building toward my future marathons," she said of her ambitions.  Kano, 33, finished 7th in the 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon, going on the next year to win the 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon.  Of her training for this weekend's race she said, "Even though I wasn't feeling good I pushed through and did two months of altitude training."  She is hopeful of running a good time.

Translator's note: Along with Kano, 2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda), 2:11 men Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) and others are scheduled to run Berlin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thanks for 59 Years - Yashima Track to Close at End of October

http://www.shikoku-np.co.jp/kagawa_news/locality/20120920000139

translated by Brett Larner

Having become outdated and too old for use, the Yashima Field track and field grounds in Takamatsu, Kagawa are scheduled to close at the end of October for a complete renovation and modernization.  A memorial event to commemorate the track's 59-year history is scheduled to take place at Yashima Field on Nov. 3.  The event will feature a talk on running form from 2010 Asian Games 400 mH bronze medalist Naohiro Kawakita and activities including the attending crowds forming human letters.  It is sure to be a memorable experience.  Demolition and construction work will begin in mid-November, and the new and improved facility is scheduled to open in 2016.

The Kagawa prefectural government build Yashima Field for the 1953 National Sports Festival.  In 1983 the track was upgraded to an all-weather surface, and in 2008 the prefecture transferred ownership to the city.  As the only track in eastern Takamatsu, Yashima Field has played an important role not only as the site of national and international-level competition but also for elementary and junior high school time trials, high school meets and kindergarten exercise days, a regular part of the running lives of many prefectural citizens.

The closing event on Nov. 3 will have three main parts.  At 10:00 a.m. Takamatsu Track and Field Association director Masafumi Arima will conduct a running clinic for people older than elementary school-aged, showing runners how to run with beautiful form. At 1:00 p.m. Kawakita will lead a session titled "Learn the secret of how to run fast!" where elementary school students can learn the best way to swing their arms and move their legs as they run.

Between 11:45 and 12:30, all participants will gather on the field to spell the word "Arigato" [thank you] together for a commemorative aerial photo.  Each participant will receive a small section cut from the track as a memento.  Participation in both Arima's clinic and Kawakita's session is limited to 100 people each.  There is no entry fee.  Interested people may apply between Sept. 24 and Oct. 5.  To enter or to find out more, call the city sports bureau at 087-839-2626.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fukushima Examines Bid for 2014 National Championships

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news/120926/fks12092602030000-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Under the leadership of director Toshio Katahira, the Fukushima Prefecture Track and Field Association made a formal request to the prefectural government on Sept. 25 to back a bid to host the 98th National Track and Field Championships in 2014.  Delivering his petition to lieutenant governor Masao Uchibori, Director Katahira told him, "We want to show the whole country that even though we're in a tough situation because of the nuclear disaster, Fukushima is still alive and well."  The lieutenant governor responded, "We have to closely examine to what degree the prefecture can prioritize the Championships as we continue to deal with recovery efforts."

In Olympic and World Championships years the National Championships serve as the selection race for the Japanese national team.  According to Fukushima Prefecture Track and Field Association officials, apart from Tokyo eighteen prefectures have hosted the Championships.  Osaka was the host this year, with the Championships scheduled to return to Tokyo next year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mogusu Wins Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

http://news.ibc.co.jp/item_18091.html
http://www.47news.jp/sports/localsports/2012/09/2_74.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Once again the streets of Ichinoseki were host to an international half marathon, the 31st running of the Ichinoseki Half Marathon.  A record 2313 runners including professional corporate league athletes and invited runners from abroad took part.  Due to ongoing reconstruction work within the city from last year's disasters this year's race featured a new course starting and ending at the Ichinoseki Civic Gymnasium.  Course record holder Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) was the overall winner in the half marathon, running 1:02:15.  Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) won the women's race in 1:14:12, with her teammate Noriko Nakamura (Team Toto) taking the women's 10 km in 34:48. Highlights of the race will be broadcast on IBC starting at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 7.

20 Year Old Hagiwara Fourth in National Corporate Women's 10000 m

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp201209220128.html

translated by Brett Larner

On the first day of competition at the National Corporate Track and Field Championships, Sept. 21 at Fukuoka's Hakatonomori Field, Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) won the men's 10000 m in 27:30.22  The top Japanese finisher, Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), was 4th in 27:41.57, the fastest time ever by a Japanese runner at the Championships.  Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Toyota) took the women's 10000 m in 31:33.76, with Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) 2nd, London Olympian Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) 3rd, and Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) 4th in 32:00.73.

Just 20, the unknown Hagiwara put on a show in the 10000 m.  Running for Uniqlo in just her second year out of high school, Hagiwara challenged national record holders Kobayashi and Fukushi throughout the race, ultimately finishing just behind them in 4th.  Just 155 cm, the diminutive new star's eyes were bright as she told reporters, "It was really exciting to be up there mixing it up with world-class people like that."

In just her second time running 10000 m Hagiwara didn't appear to have any kind of systematic approach.  Running with rough, uncontrolled form, she opened running even with Kobayashi in pursuit of the fast-starting Fukushi.  Running as a trio after overtaking Fukushi, with 1900 m Hagiwara surged ahead and was briefly the top Japanese runner in 2nd overall.  Despite falling back in the final stage of the race she succeeded in taking a massive 30 seconds off her best time.

Former Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo head coach Hideo Suzuki has been coaching Hagiwara for two years.  "At Uniqlo the coach is the famous one," Hagiwara said.  "I want to help make the whole team one of the strongest and most famous."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kawauchi Runs Double 1500 m and 5000 m PBs, Targets 1500 m at 2013 National Championships

by Brett Larner

Just six days after winning his second marathon in three weeks, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) did the unexpected and ran 3:50.51, a PB by six seconds, to win the 1500 m A-heat at the first Nittai University Time Trials Meet of the season.  "It wasn't hard at all today," Kawauchi told JRN after the race.  "It reinforced to me that Lydiard was right when he said that marathon training doesn't just give you better stamina but also improves your speed.  The mainstream approach right now is to work on speed, but I want to take the approach of working on distance.  Amateur runners have few opportunities to do high-quality speed training, and the risk of injury is much higher.  A lot of people also think that doing marathon training will make you slower, but if I can show them that that's not true I'll be very happy.  Next spring I'm going to target the 3:48 qualifying time for the National Track and Field Championships 1500 m."



A day later Kawauchi was back in the A-heat of the Nittai men's 5000 m.  Starting off in the lead pack with a 2:39 first km behind frontrunner Patrick Mutunga (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku), Kawauchi settled into PB pace and succeeded in pulling off the PB double, shaving a second off his year-old best as he finished 7th in 13:58.62.  Mutunga, who started the race at sub-13 pace, slowed into the 13:20's but, along with runner-up Leonard Barston (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin), still managed a time nearly rivaling the winning time at the National Corporate Track and Field Championships.  Mutunga took the win in 13:24.45, Barston 2nd in 13:26.84.  Japanese year-leader Daisuke Shimizu  (Team Kanebo) was 3rd in 13:42.45.

Kawauchi's next major race will be the World Half Marathon Championships in two weeks, his second time making a Japanese national team after running the marathon at last year's Daegu World Championships.

The Nittai Univ. Time Trials women's 3000 m was the fastest of at least four meets on Saturday which saw more than thirty women altogether, virtually all high schoolers, go under 9:30.  Kenyan junior Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) had the fastest time of the weekend with a 9:05.56 in the junior women's 3000 m at the National Corporate Track & Field Championships, but outside the corporate championships Mary Waithira (Sendai Ikuei) led the way at Nittai with a 9:09.34.  Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) topped the Japanese lists at the corporate championships with a 9:08.66, but high schooler Reia Iwade (Toyokawa H.S.) was next with a 9:13.30 for the win at the Toyokawa Long Distance Time Trials Meet.  Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet winner Eri Makikawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) also delivered a quality performance, running 9:16.96.  Like Kawauchi, Murugi returned Sunday for the 5000 m double, winning in a solid 15:22.82 nearly 40 seconds ahead of the nearest competition.

With most of the top pro runners in Fukuoka for the National Corporate Championships the 10000 m A-heat at Nittai was somewhat thin, primarily featuring second-tier athletes and those recovering from injuries.  Newcomer Hassan Agat Yashin (Team Chuo Hatsujo) took the win in 28:13.97 over a pack including Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) and Asmerow Mengistu (Ethiopia/Team Honda).  With Honda's top African, 2011 World Championships 10000 m Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia) still out of commission with long-lasting injury troubles Mengistu may find himself the team's key man in the fast-approaching ekiden season.

226th Nittai University Time Trials
Nittai University, Yokohama, 9/22-23/12
click here for complete results

Men's 1500 m Heat 12
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 3:50.51 - PB
2. Takumi Katano (Niigata Univ.) - 3:51.17
3. Akiyoshi Kamijo (Team YKK) - 3:51.65
4. Daichi Suenaga (Meiji Prep Nakano H.S.) - 3:52.40
5. Asumi Honma (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 3:52.82

Women's 3000 m Heat 7
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:09.34
2. Monami Ichimura (Narita H.S.) - 9:20.81
3. Ayumi Uehara (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:21.23
4. Asahi Takeuchi (Hadano H.S.) - 9:22.37
5. Kaho Sasaki (Hanawa H.S.) - 9:23.42
6. Miho Tanaka (Nishinomiya Prefectural H.S.) - 9:23.44
7. Yu Mizogami (Team Yutaka Giken) - 9:27.44
8. Aki Saito (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:27.55
9. Asami Matsuura (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:27.90
10. Natsuko Goto (Team Univ. Ent.) - 9:28.85

Men's 5000 m Heat 37
1. Patrick Mutunga (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:24.45
2. Leonard Barston (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:26.84
3. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 13:42.45
4. Abera Meraku (Ethiopia/Team Kurosaki Harima) - 13:45.78
5. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Team Sendai Ikuei) - 13:49.04
6. Takeshi Makabe (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 13:52.15
7. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 13:58.62 - PB
8. Kazuma Ito (Waseda Univ. Graduate School) - 13:59.55
9. Takayuki Maeno (Meiji Univ.) - 13:59.64
10. Hayato Yamada (Meiji Univ.) - 14:02.26

Women's 5000 m Heat 32
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 15:22.82
2. Caroline Nyakagua (Kenya/Team Toto) - 15:59.84
3. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 16:00.42
4. Sakiko Naito (Funabashi Civic H.S.) - 16:08.11
5. Megumi Aoba (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 16:09.31
6. Sayuri Baba (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:09.54
7. Namiko Yamamoto (Team Daihatsu) - 16:10.91
8. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 16:15.04
9. Hiromi Katakai (Josai Univ.) - 16:16.16
10. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 16:19.89

Men's 10000 m Heat 13
1. Hassan Agat Yashin (Team Chuo Hatsujo) - 28:13.97
2. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 28:16.03
3. Asmerow Mengistu (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 28:19.40
4. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:40.15
5. Johnson Kiumbani (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 28:45.63
6. Tomoya Shirayanagi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 29:06.20
7. Takuya Suzuki (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 29:10.46
8. Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) - 29:11.93
9. Tomoyuki Kawakami (Team Hitachi Logistics) - 29:12.80
10. Shota Inoue (Team Toyota) - 29:13.08

Toyokawa Long-Distance Time Trials
Toyokawa, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m
1. Reia Iwade (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:13.30
2. Hanami Sekine (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:14.85
3. Kie Watanabe (Okazaki Gakuen H.S.) - 9:24.09

Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials
Ecopa Stadium, Fukuroi, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m Heat 11
1. Eri Makikawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:16.96
2. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:19.81
3. Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:20.38
4. Chihiro Kato (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:20.59
5. Mai Hirota (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:20.68
6. Natsuki Omori (Kunei Joshi H.S.) - 9:24.46
7. Honoka Yuzawa (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:25.79
8. Megumi Hirai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:28.15
9. Nao Yamamoto (Tokoha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 9:29.27
10. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:32.71

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Kogo, Nasukawa Win Rock 'n' Roll Denver Marathon'

http://www.coloradorunnermag.com/2012/09/22/lemoncello-aoyama-win-half-marathon/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ColoradoRunner+%28Colorado+Runner%29

Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Univ. Ent.) previously won the 2009 Tokyo Marathon and held the course record until this year.

Chepyego and Karoki Win National Corporate 5000 m

by Brett Larner

After winning the 2012 National Corporate Track and Field Championships 10000 m Friday night and her 5000 m heat Saturday, Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) returned to Fukuoka's Hakatanomori Field Saturday evening to score her third win in 24 hours, just outrunning Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) and the three others in the tightly-packed lead group to win the 5000 m final in 15:32.37.  In addition to the triple win it was Chepyego's second-straight national corporate 5000 m title.  Although Onishi was unable to match Chepyego's closing speed in the home straight she had the satisfaction of doing what Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) was unable to do in the men's 10000 m, clipping 0.01 seconds off her best to record a new PB of 15:32.88.  Hanae Tanaka of 2011 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion Team Daiichi Seimei held off Kenyans Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) and Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) for 3rd in 15:34.79.

Kenyan Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) likewise finished on top in the junior women's 3000 m, running 9:05.56 for the win over Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso) and Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku), one of the year's fastest Japanese women over 5000 m.

The men's 5000 m delivered the hoped-for battle between Sera High School graduated Bitan Karoki (Team S&B), the top Kenyan in the London Olympics 10000 m, and first-year pro Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel), rarely defeated in competition in Japan.  With Karoki favoring mid-race surges and Ndirangu more apt to a fast start it was an exciting matchup, and the pair went head-to-head in front of the rest of the field.  After a drawn-out battle Karoki's experience and closing speed got the better of the younger Ndirangu, Karoki running 13:21.02 for the win by a margin of two seconds.  Defending national corporate 5000 m champion Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) was a distant 3rd in 13:37.50 ahead of 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin).  After winning the 10000 m and his 5000 m heat Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) was unable to match Chepyego's achievement in the women's 5000 m, finishing only 6th.

2012 National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day Two Finals
Hakatanomori Field, Fukuoka, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m Final
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 15:32.37
2. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:32.88 - PB
3. Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:34.21
4. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 15:34.79
5. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 15:37.28
6. Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi) - 15:39.84
7. Yuka Miyazaki (Team Kyudenko) - 15:44.62
8. Kotomi Yakayama (Team Sysmex) - 15:47.43
9. Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 15:52.56
10. Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) - 15:55.22

Men's 5000 m Final
1. Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) - 13:21.02
2. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 13:23.40
3. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 13:37.50
4. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:38.51
5. Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 13:39.72
6. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 13:41.62
7. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:48.58
8. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 13:50.83
9. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:50.87
10. Ryohei Kawakami (Team Kanebo) - 13:52.32

Junior Women's 3000 m Final
1. Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:05:56
2. Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso) - 9:06.57
3. Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:08.66
4. Rose Maranga (Kenya/Team Toto) - 9:10.16
5. Akari Ota (Team Tenmaya) - 9:13.89
6. Naoko Koizumi (Team Denso) - 9:15.99
7. Madoka Mitsueda (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 9:23.82
8. Yuko Aoki (Canon AC Kyushu) - 9:30.24
9. Yui Okada (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:31.58
10. Nene Kawanishi (Team Wacoal) - 9:32.83

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chepyego and Tanui Return to Win 5000 m Qualifying Heats at National Corporate T&F Championships

by Brett Larner

Fifteen hours after winning the National Corporate Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Kenyan teammates Sally Chepyego and Paul Tanui of Team Kyudenko returned to win their  5000 m qualifying heats.  Chepyego took the women's 5000 m heat one in 15:52.97, the fastest time among the 27 qualifiers for the final, with heat two going to Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) in a relaxed 16:07.28.  Tanui's 13:58.81 was good enough to win the second men's heat but was the slowest of the three men's winning times.  Sera H.S. graduates Bitan Karoki (Team S&B) and Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) won the other two heats, Karoki in 13:55.72 and Ndirangu in 13:53.61, the fastest time among the 27 qualifiers.  Close behind Ndirangu, Hayato Saito (Team Honda) had the fastest qualifying time by a Japanese runner, 13:55.37.  Karoki and Ndirangu's matchup in the final should be one of the highlights of this year's Championships.

2012 National Corporate Track & Field Championships Day Two
Hakatanomori Field, Fukuoka, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m Qualifying Heat One
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 15:52.97 - Q
2. Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi) - 15:53.01 - Q
3. Yuka Miyazaki (Team Kyudenko) - 15:53.42 - Q
4. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 15:53.57 - Q
5. Akiko Matsuyama (Team Panasonic) - 15:53.84 - Q
6. Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) - 15:54.00 - Q
7. Yurie Doi (Team Starts) - 15:54.14 - Q
8. Misako Suguro (Team Shiseido) - 15:54.27 - Q
9. Hiromi Suga (Team Denso) - 15:56.85 - Q
10. Yuka Ando (Mizuno) - 15:57.61 - Q
11. Anna Hasuike (Team Higo Ginko) - 16:10.57 - q

Women's 5000 m Qualifying Heat Two
1. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 16:07.28 - Q
2. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 16:07.95 - Q
3. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:09.61 - Q
4. Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) - 16:09.77 - Q
5. Rina Yamazaki (Team Panasonic) - 16:09.95 - Q
6. Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 16:09.97 - Q
7. Sayuri Sendo (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 16:10.03 - Q
8. Kotomi Takayama (Team Sysmex) - 16:10.05 - Q
9. Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) - 16:10.06 - Q
10. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 16:10.06 - Q
11. Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 16:10.11 - q
12. Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) - 16:10.26 - q
13. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 16:11.08 - q
14. Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) - 16:11.23 - q
15. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 16:11.24 - q
16. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 16:14.19 - q

Men's 5000 m Qualifying Heat One
1. Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) - 13:55.72 - Q
2. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:56.55 - Q
3. Ryohei Kawakami (Team Kanebo) - 13:56.60 - Q
4. Tomoya Adachi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:56.61 - Q
5. Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) - 13:56.65 - Q
6. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:56.66 - Q
7. Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) - 13:56.76 - Q
8. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 13:56.93 - Q
9. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 13:57.74 - q

Men's 5000 m Qualifying Heat Two
1. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 13:58.81 - Q
2. Masamichi Yasuda (Team Aichi Seiko) - 14:01.22 - Q
3. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 14:01.56 - Q
4. Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) - 14:01.69 - Q
5. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 14:01.90 - Q
6. Yuya Ito (Team Toyota) - 14:01.96 - Q
7. Kohei Matsumura (Team Aisan Kogyo Nagasaki) - 14:02.04 - Q
8. Hidehito Takamine (Team Fujitsu) - 14:02.69 - Q

Men's 5000 m Qualfying Heat Three
1. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 13:53.61 - Q
2. Hayato Saito (Team Honda) - 13:55.37 - Q
3. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 13:55.91 - Q
4. Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 13:56.07 - Q
5. Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:56.17 - Q
6. Naohiro Domoto (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 13:56.23 - Q
7. Hiroyuki Ono (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:56.59 - Q
8. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 13:57.11 - Q
9. Yuji Sasanuma (Team NTN) - 13:58.23 - q
10. Yoshiyuki Oseki (Team Subaru) - 13:58.59 - q

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Teammates Tanui and Chepyego Take National Corporate 10000 m Titles

by Brett Larner

Kenyan teammates Paul Tanui and Sally Chepyego of the Kyushu-based Team Kyudenko swept the 10000 m A-heats on the first day of this year's National Corporate Track and Field Championships, Sept. 21 at Hakatonomori Field in Fukuoka.  Holding the home-soil advantage, Tanui and Chepyego ran virtually identical races, going out solo and leading throughout the race to take the win unchallenged, Tanui in 27:30.22 and Chepyego in 31:33.76.  For Tanui it was a successful defense of his 2011 national corporate 10000 m title.

In both the men's and women's races a pack of three pursued the leader.  In the men's race the pack included Kenyans Edward Waweru (Team NTN) and Patrick Muwaka (Team Aisan Kogyo) along with 21-year-old Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), the sixth-fastest Japanese man ever over 10000 m with a best of 27:41.57 from last November.  Miyawaki fell off the pace of Waweru and Muwaka but, as with his PB run last fall, ran a fast final km, closing in 2:38 to finish just behind Waweru and Muwaka who clocked 27:40.25 and 27:41.39.  Enigmatically, Miyawaki exactly tied his 27:41.57 best, 9 seconds better than the previous Championships best by a Japanese runner but later kicking himself on Twitter that he could not have squeezed out another 1/100th of a second.  2010 national 5000 m champion Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) was 5th, getting under 28 for the first time in 27:59.78.  With a 1:00:53 half-marathon debut to win March's National Corporate Half-Marathon Championships Miyawaki is the leading Japanese man at next month's World Half Marathon Championships, and with a solid tune-up run like this he may well have a shot at the national record there if the course and weather allow.

In the women's race the chase pack included 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki), multiple national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and 20-year-old newcomer Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo).  Fresh off the official announcement that she will run November's New York City Marathon, Fukushi initially tried to pursue leader Chepyego before falling back in with Kobayashi and Hagiwara.  Once forming a trio the three stayed together until near 8000 m when Hagiwara made a move to break away.  Kobayashi, who made the move up to the 10000 m this spring, responded with a surge of her own to which only Fukushi could respond.  The two traded attacks until the final 200 m when Kobayashi managed to get away, claiming 2nd in a new PB of 31:51.91, Fukushi with a solid 31:52.54 for 3rd.  The relatively unknown Hagiwara took 30 seconds off her best and just missed going under 32 as she finished 4th in 32:00.73.  National 10000 m champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) never factored in the race but managed 32:09.10 for 5th.

The 2012 National Corporate Track & Field Championships continue throughout the weekend.

2012 National Corporate Track & Field Championships Day One
Hakatanomori Field, Fukuoka, 9/21/12
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 27:30.22
2. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:40.25
3. Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 27:41.39
4. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 27:41.57 - PB tie, JPN MR
5. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 27:59.78 - PB
6. Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 28:00.90
7. Desta Alemu (Ethiopia/Team Yasukawa Denki) - 28:06.06
8. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:06.28
9. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 28:20.24
10. Ryuji Kashiwabara (Team Fujitsu) - 28:21.58

Women's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 31:33.76
2. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 31:51.91 - PB
3. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 31:52.54
4. Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) - 32:00.73 - PB
5. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 32:09.10
6. Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 32:27.70
7. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 32:30.83
8. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 32:38.03
9. Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) - 32:45.72
10. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 32:45.96

Men's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:10.74
2. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 28:29.29
3. Keita Baba (Team Honda) - 28:36.69
4. Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo) - 28:40.12
5. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 28:42.09

Women's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Misaki Katsumata (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 32:26.55
2. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 32:30.33
3. Eri Sato (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 32:34.51
4. Aya Nagata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:42.68
5. Michi Numata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:45.86

Men's 10000 m C-Heat
1. Hiroyuki Ogawa (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 28:52.36
2. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 28:53.94
3. Taichi Takase (Team JFE Steel) - 28:54.91
4. Takuji Morimoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:55.56
5. Mahoro Ikeda (Team Aichi Seiko) - 28:56.69

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, September 21, 2012

Federation Evaluation of Olympic Track & Field Performance: "We Beat Ourselves"

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20120920/ath12092020060002-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

Speaking to members of the media on Sept. 20, Rikuren executive Susumu Takano evaluated the results of the Japanese Olympic team in athletics, where the team's record of one medal and two top eight performances fell short of the federation's goal of one medal and five top eight performances.  "It's a very disappointing result," he said.  "We beat ourselves."  Takano was positive about hammer thrower Koji Murofushi's bronze  medal but identified the female marathoners' inability to cope with pace changes and the disqualifications of the race walkers as challenges that must be dealt with in the future.

With regard to the men's and women's marathon teams' inability to score a medal, board member Toshihiko Seko spoke frankly, saying, "The volume of their training is insufficient.  Kenyan athletes are training more than the Japanese."  Sydney Olympic gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and Athens Olympics gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) trained at over 1000 km per month, but Seko was critical of London 19th place finisher Yoshimi Ozaki's (Team Daiichi Seimei) peak volume of only 800 km a month.  "Our women are in for tougher times than our men," he predicted.

Director Yohei Kono commented, "The results were unfortunate, but we haven't thrown away all hope," calling for Japan's athletes to rouse themselves and rise to the challenge.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Shanghai Marathon Latest Event Hit By Sino-Japan Crisis'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/athletics/1010922-shanghai-marathon-latest-event-hit-by-sino-japan-crisis

Toyo University Starts Nanao Training Camp to Kick Off Big Three University Ekiden Season

http://www.hokkoku.co.jp/subpage/LS20120920601.htm

translated by Brett Larner

2012 Hakone Ekiden course record-setters Toyo University arrived in Nanao, Ishikawa prefecture Sept. 19 for an intensive training camp.  Having lost Fifth Stage record setter Ryuji Kashiwabara and three other members of this year's superb winning team to graduation, the remaining members are focused on bringing newfound strength to this year's university ekiden season and show their competitive spirit as they run fast workouts around the Nanao waterfront and on Noto Island.

This year marks the eighth time that Toyo have trained in Nanao.  As the team's last major training camp before the start of the three major university ekidens this season, running repeatedly on the flatlands around the waterfront and the steep slopes of Noto Island is key in tempering their strength.  Asked about the candidates for the spot as the team's new ace member, head coach Toshiyuki Sakai raised the names two of the runners crucial to Toyo's Hakone win this past January, juniors Keita Shitara and his twin brother Yuta Shitara.  "Our theme for this season is, 'Defining Competitive Spirit,'" Sakai said.  "We want to build a different kind of strength than we had last year, showing our thanks to all our supporters through our running."

Translator's note: The big three university ekiden season starts Oct. 8 with the Izumo Ekiden.  The second race, the National University Ekiden Championships, is a month later, with the season wrapping up Jan. 2-3 at the Hakone Ekiden, Japan's biggest sporting event.

Fukushi and Okubo to Run New York City Marathon

A press release from the NYRR:

New York, September 19, 2012 — Two-time champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil and three-time Olympian Kayoko Fukushi of Japan will add fierce competition to the already stacked men’s and women’s fields in the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Joining Gomes dos Santos in the men’s race will be Olympic marathoners Abderrahime Bouramdane of Morocco and Great Britain’s Scott Overall. 2011 runner-up Buzunesh Deba of Ethiopia and national record-holders Valeria Straneo of Italy and Adriana Da Silva of Brazil will add to the women’s field, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

2011 winner Masazumi Soejima of Japan and runner-up Shelly Woods of Great Britain were announced for the men’s and women’s wheelchair races.

Nationally, the telecast will be available on ESPN2, online at WatchESPN.com, and—for fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider—on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Locally, New Yorkers can watch the race on WABC-TV and 7online.com.

Previously announced runners for the men’s race include 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi (USA), 2010 champion Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia), Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Moses Mosop (Kenya), four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, 2012 Boston Marathon fourth-placer Jason Hartmann (USA), and 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials fifth-placer Brett Gotcher.

In the women’s race, previously announced runners include Olympic marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia), bronze medalist Tatyana Arkhipova (Russia), defending champion Firehiwot Dado (Ethiopia), 2010 champion Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), 2012 Boston winner Sharon Cherop (Kenya), New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, 2012 U.S. Olympians Julie Culley, Amy Hastings, and Janet Bawcom, and top U.S. contenders Michelle Frey, Alisha Williams, Serena Burla, and Molly Pritz.

Previously announced wheelers include Krige Schabort, Adam Bleakney, and Josh George in the men’s race and Amanda McGrory, Tatyana McFadden, and Shirley Reilly in the women’s race, all of the USA.

“We are honored to attract such a dominant international pro field for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon,” said Wittenberg. “Many of these runners grace us year after year, and we always welcome their boundless talent and ability to undoubtedly “wow” us. Marilson Gomes dos Santos and Kayoko Fukishi are dedicated competitors that will surely challenge the men’s and women’s field. Likewise, we look forward to hosting Olympians Abderrahime Bouramdane and Scott Overall, and Buzunesh Deba will be a test to the women’s contest after placing second last year—it is going to be a phenomenal race day.”

Gomes dos Santos, 35, of Brazil, is a two-time winner of the ING New York City Marathon (2006, 2008). This will be his sixth appearance in the race. He is the South American record-holder at 5000 and 10,000 meters and the half-marathon. Gomes dos Santos won the 2011 South American Half-Marathon Championships in Buenos Aires last September, and he placed fourth at the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in a personal-best 2:06:34.

Bouramdane, 34, of Morocco, has twice placed in the top five at the ING New York City Marathon. He is a two-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest Moroccan in history with his personal-best time of 2:07:33, which he ran at the 2010 Virgin London Marathon.

Overall, 29, of Great Britain, is a 2012 Olympian. He ran a personal-best 2:10:55 at the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon. Overall set his half-marathon personal best of 1:01:25 at the 2011 NYC Half.

Solonei Rocha Da Silva, 30, of Brazil, is the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist and has a personal best of 2:11:32. He also won the São Paulo Marathon in June in 2:12:25—four minutes ahead of the runner-up.

Fukushi, 30, of Japan, is a three-time Olympian and the Japanese record-holder at 3000 and 5000 meters and the half-marathon. She is also the Asian 15K record-holder. She set a personal best of 2:24:38 at the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Straneo, 36, of Italy, holds the Italian record of 2:23:44, which she set at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. She finished eighth at both the 2012 London Olympic Marathon (2:25:27) and the 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon (2:26:33).

Da Silva, 31, of Brazil, won the 2011 South American Half-Marathon Championships in Buenos Aires last September. She was the 2011 Pan American Games Marathon gold medalist and ran a Brazilian record of 2:29:17 at the 2012 Tokyo Marathon last February.

Deba, 30, of Ethiopia, who currently resides in the Bronx, NY, was the 2011 ING New York City Marathon runner-up in a personal-best time of 2:23:19. She won both the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon and the Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, where she broke the course-record.

Eri Okubo, 29, of Japan, is a fast-rising marathoner with a personal best of 2:26:08, set at the 2012 Tokyo Marathon.

Ana Dulce Félix, 29, of Portugal, is the 2012 European Championships 10,000-meter gold medalist and a two-time European Cross Country Championships medalist. She finished fourth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Hilda Kibet, 31, of the Netherlands, is a 2012 Olympic marathoner and was the 2008 European Cross Country Champion. She won the 2007 NYC Half and the 2008 NYRR New York Mini 10K.

Jelena Prokopcuka, 35, of Latvia, is a two-time ING New York City Marathon champion (2005, 2006).

The top international contenders in the wheelchair division recently competed at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. On the men’s side, Marcel Hug of Switzerland, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, and Josh Cassidy of Canada will headline the field; the women’s field will include Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, Sandra Graf of Switzerland, Christie Dawes of Australia, and Canada’s Diane Roy.

“The international contenders in this year’s wheelchair division are coming to New York after winning a host of medals on the track and on the roads at the recent Paralympic Games in London,” said division coordinator Bob Laufer. “They are looking to end their 2012 racing season with more of the same in our marathon.”

Soejima, 42, was a member of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Japanese Paralympic teams. He placed fourth at the marathon in London this past summer. Soejima won the 2011 Boston Marathon with a time of 1:18:50 and holds the Japanese certified-course record for the wheelchair marathon (1:21:23). He will be looking to defend his ING New York City Marathon crown this year.

Shelly Woods, 26, of Great Britain, has finished second in New York four times (2011, 2009, 2007, 2006) and third in her debut (2005). She won the 2012 Virgin London Marathon and took the silver medal in the London Paralympics Marathon.

Other top contenders in the wheelchair division:

Kurt Fearnley, 31, of Australia, is the winner of four consecutive ING New York City Marathon titles (2006-2009). He also won the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Fearnley has competed on four Paralympic teams (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) and was the London Paralympic Games Marathon bronze medalist, finishing one second behind the winner. He has won nine Paralympic marathon gold medals and a World Championships Marathon gold.

Marcel Hug, 27, of Switzerland, placed fifth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and was the runner-up at the2012 Paralympic Games Marathon in London. In 2009, he had four marathon victories and finished third at the ING New York City Marathon. In 2010, Hug finished second at the Virgin London Marathon and later that year won the Oita (Japan) Wheelchair Marathon. This will be his fifth ING New York City Marathon.

Josh Cassidy, 27, of Canada, is making his seventh appearance at the ING New York City Marathon. He won the 2012 Boston Marathon in an all-conditions world record time of 1:18:25 and placed 12th at the 2012 Paralympics. Cassidy won the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2009 and both the Ottawa Marathon and the Virgin London Marathon in 2010.

Heinz Frei, 54, of Switzerland, holds world wheelchair records from 10,000 meters (20:25.90) to 100 kilometers (3:38:50). He has won 14 Paralympic gold medals and 12 World Championships gold medals. He was eleventh in the marathon at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Kota Hokinoue, 38, of Japan, placed sixth in the London Paralympic Marathon and was the third-place finisher at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Tomas Hamerlak, 37, of Poland, placed eighth in the London Paralympic Marathon and sixth at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Rafael Botello, 33 of Spain, placed ninth in the London Paralympic Marathon and 10th at the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

Wakako Tsuchida, 38, of Japan, placed fifth in the London Paralympic Marathon. She won her fifth consecutive Boston Marathon in 2011. Her time of 1:34:06 broke the women’s all-conditions marathon world record, which had stood since 1994. Tsuchida has also won in London (2010) and Oita (2009). She has finished third (2009) and fourth (2011) at the ING New York City Marathon.

Sandra Graf, 42, of Switzerland, was the bronze medalist at the 2012 Paralympic Marathon. In 2008, she won the Virgin London Marathon.

Christie Dawes, 32, of Australia, had a successful Paralympic Games, placing sixth in the marathon and taking the bronze medal at 5000 meters. She finished third at the ING New York City Marathon in 2008, fourth in 2009, and fifth in 2011.

Diane Roy, 41, of Canada, finished sixth in both the 2011 ING New York City Marathon and the 2012 London Paralympic Marathon.

About the ING New York City Marathon
NYRR’s premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, more than 47,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nagoya Women's Marathon Upgraded to Highest IAAF Ranking

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2012/09/18/kiji/K20120918004142040.html
http://www.gifu-np.co.jp/news/sports/20120919/201209191210_5077.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The organizers of the Nagoya Women's Marathon announced Sept. 18 that based on criteria established by the IAAF to evaluate worldwide road races on the quality and size of their fields, beginning with next year's running on Mar. 10 the Nagoya Women's Marathon will be upgraded from its current silver label to a gold label, the highest ranking.  Nagoya is the fourth domestic Japanese race to receive a gold label, following the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Fukuoka International Marathon, and the first women-only marathon featuring both professional and amateur runners to be recognized as a gold-label event.  This year Nagoya changed from its historic elite Nagoya International Women's Marathon format to become a mass-participation event.  With 13000 runners it was the world's largest women-only marathon.

Also announced on the 18th was that the Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon will pick up a bronze label for its third running next May.  The IAAF awards eligible races one of three rankings, gold, silver or bronze, under its ranking system.  Seventy-one major races worldwide received labels this year, with nine domestic Japanese races slated for labels next year.  Criteria for receiving a bronze label include an elite field of more than five athletes from at least five countries.  9250 people took part in this year's second running of the Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon.  Sydney Olympics marathon gold medalist and former world record holder Naoko Takahashi oversees the race, which has a course certified according to IAAF and JAAF regulations.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two Ethiopian Marathoners Training in Nagano With Support From Tokyo NPO

http://www.shinshu-liveon.jp/www/topics/node_226793

translated by Brett Larner

Two Ethiopian marathoners are training in the Iizuna highlands of Nagano for the Nov. 18 Yokohama International Women's Marathon at the invitation of former marathoner Hiroki Okuma, 53, who runs a Tokyo-based non-profit organization that supports an Ethiopian orphanage.  Okuma hopes that by giving young runners from a country with so many competitive athletes the opportunity to race overseas he will help call attention to the level of poverty within Ethiopia and garner support for charitable works.

The two athletes are Salam Mawit Almaiyo, 20, and Almarz Tilahun, 22.*  Going by Japanese nicknames Sakura and Tsubaki, the two Ethiopians are interacting with the local residents of Iizuna in their day-to-day lives.  Aiming for good results in Yokohama they are training hard everyday on the area's hills and trails.

Okuma, who ran the Hakone Ekiden and Beijing International Marathon in his time as a competitive athlete, has been working with Ethiopian athletes for ten years.  While visiting Ethiopia to attend a festival he was shocked by the level of poverty among the average citizens. "A lot of young people in Ethiopia dream of escaping that existence by finding success as a marathoner," he says.  In the hope of doing something to help the situation he formed an organization to select two promising young female athletes and invite them to Japan each year.  The athletes the group has invited so far include several who have gone on to be good enough to receive support and attention from their national federation.

The program's athletes visit the Iizuna highlands every September.  According to Okuma, "With the Togakushi Birdline roadway and lots of mountain trails there is nowhere else in Japan as good as here to train."  After focusing on cross-country training the pair will return to Tokyo later in the month.  "I'm glad to receive local support for these two athletes who have formed a unique bond with Nagano," said Okuma.

*Translator's note: Transliterated from katakana.  Actual romanizations are likely different.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Koki Kawauchi Takes First Marathon Win at Tazawako Marathon

http://www.sakigake.jp/p/akita/news.jsp?kc=20120916k

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 27th Tazawako Marathon took place Sept. 16 on a course around Lake Tazawa in Senboku, Akita.  4869 runners from both inside and outside Akita prefecture took part in the race, which included 45 divisions over four different distances, 3 km, 10 km, 20 km and full marathon.  With temperatures climbing to 30 degrees under a cloudless sky 4198 runners succeeded in completing their races.  Koki Kawauchi (Takasaki Keizai Univ.), younger brother of 2011 World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.), took his first marathon win in 2:37:49, while Eri Suzuki (Noshiro) won the women's race in 3:10:56.

Translator's note: Click here for complete results.  The same day as Koki Kawauchi's win, his brother Yuki Kawauchi won the Sydney Marathon in a course record 2:11:52.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ikebe Tops Weekend Overseas Half Marathon Results at Great North Run

by Brett Larner

Three Japanese men from two rival companies were on the roads in Europe this weekend competing over the half marathon distance.  At the Great North Run former Meiji University captain Minoru Ikebe (Team Honda) had the fastest time of the three, running just off his PB in 1:03:48, the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on the Great North Run course even though far off winner 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon winner and London Olympics bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang's winning time of 59:06.  Former Team Denso runner and 2012 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) took 3rd in the women's race behind the outstanding debut of Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) and runner-up Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), the 2011 World Championships marathon gold medalist.

In the Czech Republic at the Usti nad Ladem Half Marathon, 2011 World Championships men's marathon team member Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) ran almost 30 seconds off Ikebe's GNR time, clocking 1:04:18 for 4th, far behind winner Henry Kiplagat's solo 1:01:26.   His teammate Shingo Mishima (Team Toyota) was 30 seconds back in 1:04:48 for 6th.  Another former Team Denso Ethiopian, Betelhem Moges, won the women's race in 1:11:51.

2012 Great North Run Half Marathon
Gateshead, U.K., 9/16/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) - 59:06
2. Micah Kogo (Kenya) - 59:07 - PB
3. Imane Merga (Ethiopia) - 59:56 - debut
4. Mike Kigen (Kenya) - 1:00:18
5. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 1:00:56 - debut
6. Chris Thompson (U.K.) - 1:01:00 - PB
7. Collis Birmingham (Australia) - 1:01:25 - PB
8. Ryan Vail (U.S.A.) - 1:02:04 - PB
9. Nick McCormick (U.K.) - 1:02:44 - PB
10. Mustafa Mohamed (Sweden) - 1:03:12
-----
13. Minoru Ikebe (Team Honda) - 1:03:49

Women
1. Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 1:07:35 - debut
2. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:07:41
3. Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) - 1:07:48
4. Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia) - 1:08:09
5. Jo Pavey (U.K.) - 1:09:20
6. Rene Kalmer (South Africa) - 1:10:13
7. Gemma Steel (U.K.) - 1:10:46
8. Caryl Jones (U.K.) - 1:11:18
9. Freya Murray (U.K.) - 1:12:23
10. Amy Whitehead (U.K.) - 1:13:15

2012 Usti nad Labem Half Marathon
Czech Republic, 9/16/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Henry Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:01:26
2. Adugna Tekele (Ethiopia) - 1:03:38
3. Boniface Kirui (Kenya) - 1:04:10
4. Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 1:04:18
5. John Kiprotich (Kenya) - 1:04:48
6. Shingo Mishima (Team Toyota) - 1:04:48

Women
1. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia) - 1:11:51
2. Tadelech Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:12:01
3. Pamela Lisoreng (Kenya) - 1:13:13
4. Olga Kotovska (Ukraine) - 1:15:07
5. Yulia Ruban (Ukraine) - 1:15:30

text and photo (c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Kawauchi 2:11:52 CR in Sydney For Second Marathon Win in 3 Weeks

by Brett Larner
photo by Adrian Miles

Lining up for his sixth marathon of the year after a late Friday night flight, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) turned in his second win in three weeks as he set a 2:11:52 course record to lead a Japanese sweep at the Sept. 16 Sydney Marathon.

Just three weeks after winning the hot and humid Hokkaido Marathon in 2:18:38, Kawauchi set off in a small lead pack on pace to break the 2:14:12 Sydney course record set back in 1994.  Splitting 1:06:08 for the first half, he soon dropped Kenyan Felix Kandie and was on his own as he pushed on to run a negative split despite the challenging nature of the Sydney course which some estimates put at two to three minutes slow.  Kawauchi crossed the line with a margin of more than four minutes over Kandie, his time of 2:11:52 taking nearly two and a half minutes off the course record and the third-best time of his career.  Next up Kawauchi will run October's World Half Marathon Championships before pursuing a 2:07 at December's Fukuoka Marathon.

Alongside Kawauchi's win, Japanese runners took the titles in the women's marathon and both the men's and women's races in the half marathon.  Mountain runner Mitsuko Hirose ran a remarkably steady 4 min/km pace in the women's marathon, splitting 1:24:23 on her way to a 2:48:49 win with Yukie Tamura five minutes back in 2nd.  2011 Ichinoseki International Half Marathon winner Takahiro Gunji of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University outran Australians Scott Wescott and Ben St. Lawrence for the men's half in 1:04:19, Natsumi Matsumoto taking the women's honors in 1:15:03.

Update: The same day that Yuki Kawauchi won Sydney his younger brother Koki Kawauchi (Takasaki Keizai Univ.) won the Tazawako Marathon.

2012 Sydney Running Festival
Sydney, Australia, 9/16/12
click here for complete results

Men's Marathon
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 2:11:52 - CR
2. Felix Kandie (Kenya) - 2:16:12
3. Joel Kiprimo Kemboi (Kenya) - 2:18:34

Women's Marathon
1. Mitsuko Hirose (Japan) - 2:48:49
2. Yukie Tamura (Japan) - 2:52:33
3. Risper Kemaiyo (Kenya) - 2:54:04

Men's Half Marathon
1. Takahiro Gunji (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:19
2. Scott Wescott (Australia) - 1:04:47
3. Ben St. Lawrence (Australia) - 1:05:45

Women's Half Marathon
1. Natsumi Matsumoto (Japan) - 1:15:03
2. Sinead Driver (Australia) - 1:16:02
3. Lauren Shelley (Australia) - 1:16:30

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2012 Adrian Miles
all rights reserved

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marathon to be Cancelled Due to Lack of Tsunami Evacuation Routes

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20120913-OYT1T01096.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Held each year in March on the toll roads along the Sagami Bay waterfront in Atami, Shizuoka, the organizers of the Atami Yurakkusu Marathon have announced that next year's 29th running will be cancelled because they "cannot ensure adequate evacuation routes in the event of a tsunami."  Over 3000 runners from around the area take part in the race each year, but due to the inability of organizers to come up with an alternate course it is very likely that the race's cancellation will be permanent.

The Atami Yurakkusu Marathon was first held in 1985, its main draw coming in the chance to run on the 6 km Atami Beach Line toll road in Atami and Kanagawa Prefecture.  In the event that the predicted Great Kanto Earthquake along the Sagami Trough takes place, a 10.5 m-high tsunami is expected to hit the area within 5 to 10 minutes.  In order to ensure runners' safety race organizers sought to establish three escape routes along the marathon course but were only able to find one road capable of handling a large number of people evacuating at once.  As a result, city government officials and others involved in overseeing the race made the determination that "the planned evacuation routes are insufficient."  With regard to next year's race city officials said, "We cannot guarantee the safe evacuation of all runners," making the final decision to cancel the event.

'Great North Run - Official Starting Lists'

http://www.albertostretti.org/2012/09/greatnorthrunofficial-startinglists.html

Former Meiji University captain Minoru Ikebe (Team Honda) will make his British half-marathon debut at Sunday's Great North Run with assistance from JRN.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'Kebede and Kidane Set to Compete for 2012 Chicago Marathon Crown'

http://www.chicagomarathon.com/CMS400Min/uploadedFiles/Chicago_Marathon/Press_Center/Press%20Release%2009-12-12.pdf

Along with the six Japanese men in the Chicago Marathon field, 2011 Fukuoka Marathon winner Samuel Ndungu is a longtime Japanese-based runner, Thomas Frazer was a member of the Shibuya Ekiden course record-setting team, and Lucy Kabuu is a graduate of Aomori Yamada H.S. and a former runner for Suzuki Hamamatsu.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Omwamba Doubles and Suzuki Defends in National University T&F Championships 5000 m

by Brett Larner

Two days after winning the National University Track & Field Championships 10000 m title, Kenyan first-year Enock Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) returned to outrun Nihon University's Kenyan pair Benjamin Gandu and Daniel Kitonyi and all Japanese comers for the 5000 m title.  Running off a slow first 2000 m in 5:40, Omwamba accelerated throughout the second half of the race to take the win in 13:53.53, Gandu 2nd in 13:55.81.  Shuho Dairokuno (Meiji Univ.) was the top Japanese finisher, 4th overall in 14:02.01 a step ahead of Aoyama Gakuin University's star first-year recruit Kazuma Kubota with Aoyama Gakuin captain Takehiro Deki just behind in his first quality performance since his 2:10:02 marathon debut at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  Defending collegiate 5000 m champion Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) was only 14th in 14:22.38 just ahead of his twin brother Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.)

The women's 5000 m went out the other way, defending champion Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) taking things out very fast with a 3:03 first km and burning off all competition early. Suzuki was alone for almost the entire race, opening a 20-second gap on chaser Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) before fading badly over the final 2000 m. Suzuki slowed to 3:20/km but still managed to hold on for her second-straight win, clocking a solid 15:44.45 to Shoji's 15:51.25. 10000 m champ Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) was 8th in 16:04.93.

2012 National University T&F Championships Day Three
National Stadium, Tokyo, 9/11/12
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m
1. Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:53.53
2. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:55.81
3. Daniel Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:57.68
4. Shuho Dairokuno (Meiji Univ.) - 14:02.01
5. Kazuma Kubota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 14:02.70
6. Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 14:03.71
7. Yuki Maeda (Waseda Univ.) - 14:05.56
8. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 14:06.18
9. Shuhei Yamamoto (Waseda Univ.) - 14:08.10
10. Tatsuya Oike (Juntendo Univ.) - 14:14.21

Women's 5000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:44.45
2. Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) - 15:51.25
3. Shiho Takechi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:56.78
4. Miho Shimizu (Hakuoh Univ.) - 15:58.50
5. Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:59.25
6. Sairi Maeda (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:59.81
7. Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 16:04.15
8. Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 16:04.93
9. Mutsumi Ikeda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 16:05.63
10. Hitomi Suzuki (Tamagawa Univ.) - 16:11.90

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Morton and Dimitriadu Take World Titles at 24-Hr. IAU Championships'

http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/index.asp?menucode=h02&col001=1270&tmp=tmp3&foto=photo0

Click here for complete individual results.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Haruka Kyuma, Enock Omwamba Win National University T&F Championships 10000 m Titles

by Brett Larner

Day one of the 2012 Japanese National University Track & Field Championships saw a breakthrough run in the women's 10000 m from one half of Tsukuba University's Kyuma twins, Haruka Kyuma, who dominated the competition to take the win in a solid best mark of 32:59.64, five seconds ahead of runner-up Ai Furukubo (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) who in turn held off 3rd-place Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) by three seconds.  Kyuma's twin sister Moe Kyuma, also of Tsukuba, was a distant 5th in 33:36.18.

Kenyan newcomer Enock Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) continued his rise up through the ranks this year in the men's 10000 m, outgunning defending national collegiate camp Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) by two seconds to take the national title in 28:58.77.  Gandu's first-year teammate Daniel Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) picked up the 1500 m title in 3:44.51 in the absence of defending champion Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), who has been racing in Italy this month.  The women's 1500 m title went to another Haruka, Haruka Mochizuki (Juntendo Univ.), who took her first national title in 4:20.36.

2012 National University T&F Championships Day One
National Stadium, Tokyo, 9/9/12
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 32:59.64
2. Ai Furukubo (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:04.49
3. Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:07.72
4. Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 33:11.25
5. Moe Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 33:36.18
6. Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) - 33:46.36
7. Narumi Shirataki (Nihon Univ.) - 33:54.06
8. Mari Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:56.43
9. Rina Asano (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 33:57.05
10. Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 34:12.55

Men's 10000 m
1. Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:58.77
2. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 29:00.57
3. Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) - 29:25.47
4. Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.) - 29:33.21
5. Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:33.66
6. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 29:33.67
7. Kazuki Noda (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 29:34.38
8. Kazuhiro Kuga (Komazawa Univ.) - 29:37.93
9. Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:40.93
10. Takashi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:42.61
DNF - Leul Gebrselassie (Ethiopia/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.)

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Haruka Mochizuki (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:20.36
2. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:21.80
3. Satoe Kikuchi (Matsuyama Univ.) - 4:22.13
4. Mayuko Nakamura (Kyoto Kyoiku Univ.) - 4:22.37
5. Miki Kobayashi (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:23.16

Men's 1500 m Final
1. Daniel Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) - 3:44.51
2. Hideyuki Tanaka (Juntendo Univ.) - 3:45.41
3. Takayuki Maeno (Meiji Univ.) - 3:47.06
4. Toshihiro Kenmotsu (Asia Pacific Univ.) - 3:48.52
5. Ryo Iketani (Kanaya Taiku Univ.) - 3:50.51

(c) 2012 Brett Larner

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fukui Runs PB in European Marathon Debut at Muenster Marathon

text and photos by Brett Larner

Makoto Fukui (Team Fujitsu) and Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) in the early going at the 2012 Muenster Marathon

Unseasonably hot temperatures kept the field at the 2012 Muenster Marathon from approaching the course record of 2:10:25, but despite the heat the front end of the men's race was the deepest and most international in the race's 11-year history. The two men with 2:10 bests went 1-2 as Moroccan Ahmed Nasef took the win by five seconds over Kenyan Paul Kimaiyo Kimugul, 2:12:21 to 2:12:26 after breaking away near 35 km.  Kimugul challenged Nasef's win, saying that Nasef had received unfair aid from a cyclist giving him water in the final 7 km, but the protest was dismissed after judges investigated the claims and could find no supporting evidence or witnesses.

                                     The Muenster Marathon finish

Defending champion Elijah Kimaiyo Kimugul ran only one second slower than his winning time last year but was nearly a minute back in 2:13:11.  Martin Kiprugut (Kenya) and Makoto Fukui (Team Fujitsu) closed hard after falling off the pace after 30 km, both running 2:13 PBs to take 4th and 5th.  Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) rounded out the top six, running a disappointing 2:15:48 after colliding with a Kenyan competitor at the 15 km drink station and injuring his back.  Both Fukui and Fukuyama made their European debuts in Muenster with support from JRN.

The women's race started slow on the twisting cobblestoned streets of the race's initial 10 km, running just over 19 minutes for the first 5 km split.  Kenyans Joan Rotich and Caroline Kwambai worked together to break Ethiopian pair Abiyot Eshetu Deme and Desso Dunkane Kebo, the Kenyans going a close 1-2 in 2:38:12 and 2:38:26, three minutes ahead of Deme in 3rd.

2012 Volksbank Muenster Marathon
Muenster, Germany, 9/9/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Ahmed Nasef (Morocco) - 2:12:21
2. Paul Kimaiyo Kimugul (Kenya) - 2:12:26
3. Elijah Kipkemoi Yator (Kenya) - 2:13:11
4. Martin Kiprugut (Kenya) - 2:13:35 - PB
5. Makoto Fukui (Team Fujitsu) - 2:13:57 - PB
6. Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) - 2:15:48
7. Pharis Kimani (Kenya) - 2:17:21
8. Hailemariam Atsebha Kahsay (Ethiopia) - 2:17:51

Women
1. Joan Rotich (Kenya) - 2:38:12
2. Caroline Kwambai (Kenya) - 2:38:26
3. Abiyot Eshetu Deme (Ethiopia) - 2:41:26
4. Desso Dunkane Kebo (Ethiopia) - 2:43:56
5. Lilian Koech (Kenya) - 2:47:31

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Okamura Completes Japanese Hat Trick of Men's Distance Asian Records at London Paralympics

by Brett Larner

Following Asian Records by Japanese athletes in both the men's 5000 m T-11 and T-12 divisions, Masahiro Okamura became the third Japanese man at the London Paralympics to set a new Asian Record, running 2:28:51 for 4th in the men's marathon T-12.  All three of the medalists ahead of him likewise set area records, with winner Laso Suarez (Spain) setting a world record of 2:24:50.  5000 m Asian Record holder Shinya Wada took a distant 5th in 2:40:08, with 2004 Athens Paralympics marathon gold medalist Yuichi Takahashi 7th in 2:42:09.

2012 London Paralympics Men's Marathon T-12
Sept. 9, 2012
click here for complete results

1. Laso Suarez (Spain) - 2:24:50 - WR
2. Moreno Serna (Colombia) - 2:26:39 - AR
3. Abderrahim Zhiou (Tunisia) - 2:26:56 - AR
4. Masahiro Okamura (Japan) - 2:28:51 - AR
5. Shinya Wada (Japan) - 2:40:08
6. Gabriel Macchi (Portugal) - 2:40:13
7. Yuichi Takahashi (Japan) - 2:42:09
8. Joaquim Machado (Portugal) - 2:43:17
9. Ildar Pomykalov (Russia) - 2:43:48
10. Andrea Cionna (Italy) - 2:43:59

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wada Takes London Paralympics Men's 5000 m - T11 Bronze


2012 London Paralympics 
Men's 5000 m - T11

London, U.K., 9/7/12
click here for complete results


1. Cristian Valenzuela (Chile) - 15:26.26 - PB
2. Jason Joseph Dunkerley (Canada) - 15:34.07 - PB
3. Shinya Wada (Japan) - 15:55.26 - AR
4. Francis Thuo Karanja (Kenya) - 15:56.67 - PB
5. Nuno Alves (Portugal) - 16:06.28

Fukui and Fukuyama to Make European Debuts at Muenster Marathon


Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) and Makoto Fukui (Team Fujitsu) will make their European marathon debuts at this Sunday's Volksbank Muenster Marathon in Germany with support from JRN.  Fukui ran a PB of 2:14:15 at February's Tokyo Marathon, with Fukuyama running a PB of 2:13:55 a week later at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marathoner Fujiwara Finds New Resolve to Face Four More Years

http://mytown.asahi.com/toyama/news.php?k_id=17000001209070002

translated by Brett Larner

London Olympics marathoner Arata Fujiwara (30, Miki House), a native of Nagasaki, visited Toyama city hall on Sept. 6 to talk to mayor Masashi Mori about his Olympic experience.  Asked whether he is targeting the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil four years down the road he replied, "Of course," showing his resolve to make his third Olympic marathon team.

In the course of his casual chat with Mayor Mori, Fujiwara looked back on the endless parade of little curves and undulations on the Olympic marathon course, saying, "It was a rough, unsteady course and it just cracked my strength."  When the topic turned to the psychological demands of competing in an event that lasts for hours Fujiwara told the mayor, "When you're running for a long period of time a lot of things float through your mind to fill the emptiness.  Sometimes I find myself singing songs inside," laughing as he shared his insights into the mind of a competitor.

Looking to his future he said, "If I run a marathon [this winter] it'll be either Fukuoka or Tokyo."  Talking to reporters after his visit with the mayor, Fujiwara told them, "The Olympics were a total failure, but I can take pride in the fact that I gave it my best shot."  Looking again to Rio he said with determination, "In four years I'll be 34.  There's no reason you can't still be competitive at that age, so I want to do everything I can to get there."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Horikoshi Sets Asian Record in London Paralympics Men's 5000m - T12

2012 London Paralympics Men's 5000 m - T12
London, U.K., 9/3/12
click here for complete results

1. El Amin Chentouf (Morocco) - 13:53.76 - WR
2. Abderrahim Zhiou (Tunisia) - 14:19.97 - PB
3. Henry Kirwa (Kenya) - 14:20.76 - PB
4. Gustavo Nieves (Spain) - 14:22.93 - AR
5. Tadashi Horikoshi (Japan) - 14:48.89 - AR
6. Alberto Suarez Laso (Spain) - 14:50.28 - PB
7. Nacer-Eddine Karfas (Algeria) - 15:11.41
8. Masahiro Okamura (Japan) - 15:45.98
DQ - Jose Luis Santero (Argentina)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Japanese Men and Women Make Podium Finishes at Great Scottish Run and R'n'R Virginia Beach

Great Scottish Run Half Marathon
Glasgow, 9/2/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Joseph Birech (Kenya) - 1:03:14
2. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:49
3. John Kelai (Kenya) - 1:04:17
4. Masamichi Shinozaki (Team Hitachi Logistics) - 1:05:10
5. Yuki Takamiya (Team Yakult) - 1:05:19
6. Masashi Kada (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:05:41

Women
1. Bezunesh Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:09:09
2. Aya Nagata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:12:02
3. Grace Momanyi (Kenya) - 1:12:41
4. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 1:13:23
5. Hayley Haining (U.K.) - 1:15:03


Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
Virginia Beach, 9/2/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Nicholas Kurgat (Kenya) - 1:04:45
2. Henry Rutto (Kenya) - 1:05:01
3. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:05:58
4. Samuel Ndereba (Kenya) - 1:06:00
5. Rui Yonezawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:06:32
-----
8. Kazuki Tomaru (Team Toyota) - 1:11:13

Women
1. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:13:50
2. Chihiro Takato (Team Wacoal) - 1:14:10
3. Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) - 1:15:26
4. Krista De Chene (Canada) - 1:16:08
5. Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 1:17:41
6. Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) - 1:19:06