Skip to main content

Akaba and Kawauchi Top Japanese Entries for Gold Coast Airport Marathon

by Brett Larner
photo courtesy of Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon has announced that it has recruited its best-ever lineup of elite Japanese athletes for this year's running on July 7.  Passed over for the Moscow World Championships despite running 2:24:43 for 3rd at April's London Marathon, Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) is a coup for organizers and should make short work of Eriko Asai's twenty-year-old course record of 2:29:29.  Hoping to join her is Sydney Marathon course record holder Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), 4th in last year's race in 2:13:26 and looking to improve on both his placing and the 2:10:01 men's record in his last marathon before the World Championships.  If both are successful it will be the first Japanese sweep since 2007.

Eri Okubo set her best of 2:26:08 at last year's Tokyo Marathon and will be making her first major appearance since quitting the Second Wind AC team earlier this spring.  Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) ran a then-PB of 2:13:16 at the 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon before improving that to 2:11:15 in Tokyo this year.  With quality performances Okubo and Ito could provide Akaba and Kawauchi with challenges up front.

Also in the field are a number of athletes running on invites thanks to winning sister races within Japan. The best of these are Kobe Marathon course record holders Yui Ouchi (Team Noritz) and former Team Toyota member Kensuke Takahashi.  Ouchi's best of 2:39:06 came at the 2011 Ohtawara Marathon and she has hovered right around that mark in the year and a half since, including her 2:39:52 record on the more difficult Kobe Marathon course. Takahashi ran his best of 2:11:25 at the 2009 Tokyo Marathon to earn a spot as the alternate for the Berlin World Championships marathon team, his most recent mark being his 2:21:14 course record in Kobe.  Age 59+ world record Yoshihisa Hosaka (Natural Foods AC) will also be in the field as he works toward a bid for the age 64 record of 2:42:44.

JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon to cover the Japanese angle on the race and more.  Check back closer to race date for more on the elite field, online viewing, and original interviews with the Japanese elites.

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Robert McKenzie said…
How come Kaori Yoshida is not running this year?
Brett Larner said…
She is injured, apparently.
Robert McKenzie said…
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2013/05/24/more-sports/marathon-runner-yoshida-gets-one-year-doping-ban/
Brett Larner said…
Thanks for the link. I had not seen that article yet. I was told by GCAM organizers a few weeks ago that she was not returning due to injury, presumably before this sad news became public.

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…