Skip to main content

Elite Athletes Gather at Nobeoka Marathon Pre-Race Banquet

http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/item/347573

translated by Brett Larner

Celebrating the 80th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Nobeoka in Miyazaki prefecture, the 51st Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon pre-race banquet took place Feb. 9 at an area hotel.  Including athletes and organizers, 300 people attended the banquet to share their hopes for a successful race.

After the introduction of the 23 invited athletes, TV Miyazaki's Michinori Watanabe spoke on behalf of the organizing committe, telling the athletes, "I'm sure that you are all aware of Nobeoka's long history as a race where many of our best athletes get their start.  I hope that each of you running tomorrow will be doing it with the intent of making your own name."  Mayor Masaharu Sudo commented, "This year's race commemorates Nobeoka's 80th year as a city, but most of you are probably more interested in this being the marathon's 51st running.  Nobeoka is Japan's Athlete Town and the marathon is our flagship event.  I hope to see the best race that we've had so far."

Including invited athletes over 400 people are entered.  The field includes 2012 national 5000 m champion Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) in his marathon debut, 2012 Ohtawara Marathon winner Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei) and, with a 2:10:51 best the fastest man in the field, 2010 Asian Games silver medalist Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN).  As the race unfolds it should be a tough and thrilling battle for the win up front.

The Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon begins at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday the 10th in front of Nobeoka City Hall and will be broadcast live in Kyushu on TV Miyazaki and nationwide on Fuji BS.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Wins BMW Oslo Marathon in Fastest Time Since 1986

Running his first race of any distance since finishing 9th at last month's London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Saturday's BMW Oslo Marathon in the fastest time in Oslo since before he was born.

Pre-race Kawauchi's goal was to take a shot at the 2:12:58 Norwegian all-comers record, the fastest time ever run on Norwegian soil. With a new two-loop course featuring a pair of tough hills interspersed by a flat seaside section on each loop his game plan was to try to run 3:10/km until midway through the second lap, then try to push it on the climb and descent of the last hill to make up whatever seconds he needed.

15 km into the first lap he was 10 seconds ahead of schedule in 47:20 and 90 seconds clear of 2nd place, but the steep hill starting a kilometer later took its toll and by 20 km he was 24 seconds behind.  Over the second lap the strong sunlight and warmer than usual temperatures and the two weeks he took off after London also began …