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Morimoto Wins Photo Finish at Himeijijo 10-Miler

by Brett Larner

Takuji Morimoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) won a close Himejijo 10-Miler on Feb. 11, nearly clipped at the line by Daisuke Kumon (Kanagawa Univ.) after frontrunning the entire race.  The relatively slow 47:58 winning time meant a large pack was together behind Morimoto until late in the game, when only Kumon, Yuya Taguchi (Team Toyota Boshoku), 2011 Himejijo winner Takahiro Aso (Team Aisan Kogyo) and Hiroaki Inoue (Team Toenec) were able to remain in pursuit.  2009 winner Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) led the chase pack to take 6th, with 2006 and 2012 winner Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Monteroza) an apparent DNS.

Local Misaki Hayashida (Himeji Shogyo H.S.) had a similarly close victory in the women's 5 km, outrunning a pack of four from 2012 National High School Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. to win by 1 second in 16:24.  Yuki Fujiwara was Ritsumeikan Uji's top finisher a stride behind Hayashida.

53rd Himejijo 10-Mile Road Race
Himeji, Hyogo, 2/11/13
click here for complete results

Men's 10 Miles
1. Takuji Morimoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 47:58
2. Daisuke Kumon (Kanagawa Univ.) - 47:58
3. Yuya Taguchi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 47:59
4. Takahiro Aso (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 47:59
5. Hiroaki Inoue (Team Toenec) - 48:02
6. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 48:08
7. Tomonori Ikebuchi (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 48:10
8. Satoshi Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 48:11
9. Naoki Shibata (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 48:12
10. Tetsuya Kimura (Team Sumitomo Denko) - 48:22

Women's 5 km
1. Misaki Hayashida (Himeji Shogyo H.S.) - 16:24
2. Yuki Fujiwara (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:25
3. Kureha Seki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:26
4. Chika Umehara (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:31
5. Yuka Sako (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:31

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
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
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …