Skip to main content

Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

With just over a week to go the organizers of the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon have seen fit to release the elite field for the 52nd edition of their event on Feb. 9.  A developmental race with a focus on first-timers and men at the 2:12 to 2:16 level, Nobeoka has seen the debuts of the likes of Moscow World Championships marathon 5th-placer Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and serves as a selection race for the annual corporate league junket to the Chicago Marathon.  Last year's winner Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) debuted in Nobeoka in 2:12:14 before going on to dip under gold label status with a 2:10:29 in Chicago, showing that Nobeoka success can lead to bigger things.

Kohei Ogino (Team Fujitsu) is the fastest man in the field with a 2:13:12 best seven weeks ago at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon.  If his recovery has gone smoothly he is the favorite, but look for possible challenges from Tadashi Suzuki (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Yasuaki Kojima (Team Subaru), whose 2:16-level PBs came on the rolling course of November's amateur-level Ohtawara Marathon, and Yoshikazu Kawazoe, a top member of the Asahi Kasei corporate team still looking to find his feet in the marathon.

Top-seeded among those shooting for a first marathon finish are Taiki Yoshimura (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.), who turned in a solid run at October's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km before breaking 29 minutes for 10000 m for the first time, and Yudai Yamakawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Kenta Chiba (Team Fujitsu), former rivals at Teikyo University and Komazawa University who both broke 1:03 at the 2012 National University Half Marathon Championships.  The course record holder on the Hakone Ekiden's brutal downhill Sixth Stage, Chiba looks like the best bet to follow past Sixth Stage stars Hiromi Taniguchi and Yuki Kawauchi with a successful move to the marathon.

52nd Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon
Nobeoka, 2/9/14
click here for complete field listing

Kohei Ogino (Team Fujitsu) - 2:13:12 (Hofu 2013)
Etsu Miyata (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 2:13:19 (Nagano 2010)
Sho Matsumoto (Nikkai Business) - 2:13:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Koji Matsuoka (Team Mazda) - 2:14:42 (Lake Biwa 2013)
Naoki Yamashita (Team NTN) - 2:16:11 (Lake Biwa 2012)
Tadashi Suzuki (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:16:15 (Ohtawara 2013)
Tatsunori Sento (Team SGH Group Sagawa) - 2:16:18 (Nobeoka 2009)
Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:16:28 (Paris 2013)
Yasuaki Kojima (Team Subaru) - 2:16:47 (Ohtwara 2013)
Akiyuki Iwanaga (Team Kyudenko) - 2:17:13 (Lake Biwa 2012)
Shoji Takada (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:17:15 (Kobe 2013)
Yoshikazu Kawazoe (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:18:47 (Beppu-Oita 2013)
Yuji Iwata (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:19:58 (Nobeoka 2012)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 2:20:13 (Nobeoka 2013)
Yuki Marubayashi (Team Toenec) - 2:20:18 (Senshu 2012)
Ryo Ishita (SDF Academy) - 2:22:34 (Sapporo 2013)
Keita Kurihara (Team Chudenko) - 2:23:01 (Beppu-Oita 2013)
Shingo Mishima (Team Toyota) - 2:25:09 (Hofu 2013)
Takaaki Tanaka (Team NTN) - 2:26:29 (Beppu-Oita 2012)

Debut
Taiki Yoshimura (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 1:00:24 (Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km 2013)
Yudai Yamakawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:02:36 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Kenta Chiba (Team Fujitsu) - 1:02:41 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:50 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2010)
Kyohei Nishi (Team Kyudenko) - 1:02:59 (Marugame 2012)
Kazuki Tomaru (Team Toyota) - 1:03:04 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2012)
Ryota Matoba (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:03:15 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) - 1:03:34 (Kyoto 2009)
Masahiro Kawaguchi (Team Yakult) - 1:03:40 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Hajime Koizumi (Iwaki T&F Assoc.) - 1:04:01 (Ageo 2007)

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

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…