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Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Announces 51st Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The organizers of the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon released the elite field on Jan. 28 for this year's 51st running, scheduled for Feb. 10.  Traditionally an elite developmental race for first- or second-time marathoners, this year's race is capped by 2010 Asian Games marathon silver medalist and 2011 World Championships marathoner Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN).  Kitaoka has been mostly injured since 2010 and will be seeking a return to the kind of form he showed that year.  His main challengers among the marathoners are the Koichi Morishita-coached Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu) and Etsu Miyata (Team Fujitsu), a teammate of former national record holder Atsushi Fujita.

This year's race is heavy on people making their debuts.  Chief among them are sub-63 men Ayumu Sato (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) with a 1:02:33 best from last year's Marugama Half and Nittai University grad Kazuya Deguchi (Team Nissin Shokuhin) with a best of 1:02:46.  2009 Ome 30 km winner Hirokatsu Kurosaki (Team Konica Minolta) will also finally make a long-awaited debut in the marathon after running a half marathon best in 2012.  The talented Ryo Kiname (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) will serve as the lone pacer, and with the race expected to go at the 2:11-2:12 level the 2:11:05 course record could fall with the right conditions.  Check back closer to race date for Nobeoka coverage details.

51st Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field
Nobeoka, 2/10/13
click here for complete field listing

1. Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 2:10:51 (Lake Biwa 2010)
41. Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 2:12:44 (Nobeoka 2011)
2. Etsu Miyata (Team Fujitsu) - 2:13:19 (Nagano 2010)
42. Naoki Yamashita (Team NTN) - 2:16:11 (Lake Biwa 2012)
3. Jun Matsumoto (Team Aichi Seiko) - 2:16:35 (Nobeoka 2012)
4. Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:16:55 (Ohtawara 2012)
5. Kenji Sakata (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 2:18:19 (Nobeoka 2011)
43. Sho Matsumoto (Dream AC) - 2:18:59 (Fukuoka 2012)
9. Ayumu Sato (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 1:02:33 (Marugame Half 2012)
10. Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:46 (Nossapu Misaki Half 2008)
11. Mitsutaka Imura (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:03:12 (Marugame Half 2010)
6. Takahiro Ozaki (Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:12 (Marugame Half 2008)
12. Yohei Fujiwara (Team Sagawa Express) - 1:03:15 (Marugame Half 2012)
13. Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) - 1:03:16 (Tachikawa Half 2009)
44. Takashi Goto (Team Nishitetsu) - 1:03:30 (Tachikawa Half 2009)
14. Norimasa Yoshida (Team Subaru) - 1:03:31 (Ageo City Half 2006)
15. Hirokatsu Kurosaki (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:03:32 (National Corporate Half 2012)
7. Satoshi Abe (Team Toenec) - 1:03:34 (Nagoya Half 2009)
45. Hajime Koizumi (Iwaki T&F Assoc.) - 1:04:01 (Ageo City Half 2007)
16. Kazuaki Shimizu (Team Yakult) - 1:04:11 (Marugame Half 2008)
8. Makoto Hasegawa (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:04:28 (National Corporate Half 2008)
17. Yoshihiro Shimazawa (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:04:36 (Ageo City Half 2002)
19. Takuya Suzuki (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 1:05:13 (Moriya Half 2012)
18. Keiji Akutsu (Team Subaru) - 1:05:35 (Tachikawa Half 2007)

Pacer
31. Ryo Kiname (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki)

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
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The Kawauchi Counter

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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
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Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
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Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
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