Skip to main content

Moscow World Championships Marathoners Kawauchi and Noguchi Headline Sunday's Sendai International Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

In its second edition since being cancelled after the 2011 tsunami, the May 12 Sendai International Half Marathon plays host to Moscow World Championships marathon team members Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex). Having moved to a mass-participation format with a scaled-back elite field that has largely moved to the new Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon a week later, Sendai nevertheless still presents Kawauchi with tough competition.  Defending champion Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) returns after improving his PB at Feburary's Marugame International Half Marathon.  Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya) has run sub-60 to win the Marugame, Sapporo International and Ichinoseki half marathons but has never finished better than 2nd in Sendai and will be looking to remedy that situation.  2012 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) and Mogusu's college-era rival Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) round out the international end of the race.

National record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), 2011 Daegu World Championships marathon team member Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) and sub-62 man Yuta Igarashi (Team JR Higashi Nihon) make up the top-seeded Japanese list, while a large number of men to have run sub-2:12 marathons in the last two years will also be looking to improve their half bests.  Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda), Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult), Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) and Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) are the best of this bunch, but look out also for Horiguchi's teammate Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) who pulled out a incredibly fast finish for a surprise 2:12:14 win in his marathon debut in Nobeoka in February.

Two-time Sendai winner Noguchi, should she start, has no real competition in the women's race, with identical twins Hiroko and Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) the only other sub-70 Japanese women in the race and no world-class foreign competitors.  One potential challenge could come from debuting Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo), who just missed the World Championships 10000 m A-standard as she finished 3rd at last month's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in 31:45.29.  2010 Sendai Half and 2011 Tokyo Marathon winner Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) also returns.

23rd Sendai International Half Marathon
Sendai, 5/12/13
click here for complete elite field listing

Men
Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 59:48
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:00:25
Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:01
Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 1:01:19
Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:28
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 1:01:41
Yuta Igarashi (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:01:46
Yoshihiro Yamamoto (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:02:03
Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:02:08
Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:02:16
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 1:02:17
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:18
Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:02:22
Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:02:26
Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) - 1:02:29
Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 1:02:32
Kazuki Ikenaga (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:02:33
Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:02:35
Shoji Akutsu (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:38
Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:02:40
Kenta Chiba (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:41
Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) - 1:02:49
Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 1:02:58
Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) - 1:03:02
Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) - 1:03:16

Women
Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) - 1:07:43
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23
Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:54
Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 1:10:26
Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 1:10:48
Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 1:10:52
Chihiro Takato (Team Wacoal) - 1:11:16
Yuka Hakoyama (Team Wacoal) - 1:11:29
Sachi Tanaka (Sports Yamagata 21 AC) - 1:12:42
Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) - debut - 31:45.29

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

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
           …