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Hakone Ekiden Stars Dominate 2014 Kumanichi 30 km Elite Field

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translated and edited by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 58th Kumanichi 30 km and 3rd Kumamoto-jo Marathon on Feb. 16 announced the 20 members of its 2014 elite field on Feb. 2.  Previously-announced Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), has elected to run the marathon division rather than defend his course record win last year in the 30 km division, but the 30 km will focus on university athletes from the popular Hakone Ekiden, making it one of the freshest young fields in years.  From Hakone winner Toyo University come ace Yuma Hattori who took 3rd on Hakone's Second Stage, its most competitive, and Eighth Stage winner Ryu Takaku. Hakone runner-up Komazawa University sends two of its best men, team captain Shinobu Kubota and 2013 National University Half Marathon champion Shogo Nakamura.  3rd-place Nittai University sends top man Takumi Honda.  2012 National University Half Marathon winner Toshikatsu Ebina is also in the field, representing Hakone 8th-placer Teikyo University.

Not to be outdone, the corporate leagues are represented by Hayato Ideue of New Year Ekiden runner-up Team Toyota Kyushu, three members of New Year Ekiden 6th-place Team Fujitsu led by Kenyan Johana Maina, and more.  The small women's field of four is topped by 2011 Tokyo Marathon winner Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) and elite marathoner Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera).  The races begin at 9:00 a.m. on the 16th.

58th Kumanichi 30 km and 3rd Kumamoto-jo Marathon Elite Fields
Kumamoto, 2/16/14
listed times are half-marathon bests except where noted

Marathon - Men
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul 2013)
Shota Jige (Kumamura Town Hall) - 2:17:06 (Lake Biwa 2011)

30 km - Men
Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:28 (Nat'l Corp. Half Marathon 2013)
Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:38 (Marugame 2012)
Shota Yamaguchi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:01:42 (Marugame 2012)
Toshikatsu Ebina (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:02:23 (Nat'l Univ. Half Marathon 2012)
Takumi Honda (Nittai Univ.) - 1:02:37 (Nat'l Univ. Half Marathon 2012)
Shogo Nakamura (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:41 (Nat'l Univ. Half Marathon 2013)
Kosuke Murasashi (Team YKK) - 1:02:46 (Marugame 2012)
Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) - 1:02:57 (Ageo 2013)
Yuya Taguchi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:03:19 (Nat'l Corp. Half Marathon 2013)
Ryu Takaku (Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:20 (Nat'l Univ. Half Marathon 2013)
Hiroki Kubota (Team Yasukawa Denki) 1:03:38 (Nat'l Corp. Half Marathon 2013)
Hayato Ideue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:42 (Tamana 2012)
Kazuki Sakurai (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:04:47 (Ageo 2013)
Shintaro Ogami (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:05:00 (Ageo 2013)
Yusuke Sato (Team Fujitsu) - 59:28 (Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km 2011)
Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 28:22.43 (HDC Kitami Meet 10000 m 2013)

30 km - Women
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23 (Sanyo Women's 2011)
Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 1:10:51 (Marugame 2010)
Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 1:13:30 (Nat'l Corp. Half Marathon 2012)
Kana Orino (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:13:38 (Matsue Ladies' 2013)

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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
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 26: New Caledonia International Marathon, New Caledonia
Sept. 2: Wakkanai Heiwa Marathon, Hokk…