Skip to main content

Unknown Runner Emerges, Outruns Kawauchi for Tanigawa Mari Half Course Record (updated)

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20140112-1243077.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20140112-1243078.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20140112-1243079.html
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20140113-OHT1T00039.htm

translated and edited with additional background information by Brett Larner

At the 15th Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon, Jan. 12 along the Arakawa River in northern Tokyo, unknown university runner Hideyuki Ikegami (20, 2nd-yr., Kyoto Kyoiku Univ.) ran 1:03:09, opening a massive lead over defending champion Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) and 2012 winner Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Monteroza) to take the win. Around 10 km he attacked with a series of surges before pulling away to run the final 10 km alone. Thinking, "What do you know, Kawauchi's mortal after all," Ikegami broke the finish line tape with a lead of 1:08, his time a PB by more than two and a half minutes and a new course record.  Tokumoto took 3rd in 1:05:35.

A native of Kameoka, Kyoto, Ikegami graduated from Rakunan H.S., alma mater of 10000 m and marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka and home of sprint sensation Yoshihide Kiryu, before entering Kyoto Kyoiku University.  He ran in the National High School Ekiden Championships all three years at Rakunan, but even then he knew he wanted to be a marathoner and had no interest in spending his university years focused on the Hakone Ekiden.  As a first-year at Kyoto Kyoiku Univ. he won the Division II 10000 m and half marathon at the Kansai Region University Track and Field Championships, setting the D-II meet record in the 10000 m, but then quit the school's track team to train his own way.  At the end of last year he joined independent Olympic marathoner Arata Fujiwara's Team Arata training project.

This was already Ikegami's second road race win of 2014, having won his local Kameoka Yunohana 10 km in 30:55 on New Year's Day.  "I lucked out with the win today," he said after the Tanigawa Mari Half.  "I'm not that confident, but I hate to lose to anybody so if we ever have the chance to race again I'll be going for the win."  His innocent young face couldn't hide the competitor's spirit hiding within.

Kicking off his year, civil servant runner Kawauchi took 2nd in 1:04:17, his fastest time on the Tanigawa Mari Half course and just 7 seconds off the old course record.  Running side-by-side, he fell behind when Ikegami made a move near 10 km.  He came back on a downhill and they were again head-to-head, but when Ikegami attacked again Kawauchi was suddenly left on his own. "It's still early in the new year, but this was a real smack on the head," Kawauchi said.  Having lost to another independent amateur for the first time in ages and by a wide margin he gave due credit to Ikegami, saying, "He crushed me. In terms of time there was nothing wrong with how I ran, but he taught me a valuable lesson. Before the race I was all snug and comfortable in a nice warm hospitality tent, but he was different. A difference of attitude. You can't let yourself get too comfortable and complacent.  I have to be more stoic."

Both of Kawauchi's younger brothers also ran, the first time in years that all three brothers have done the same race together.  Yuki, the oldest of the three, kept face by taking 2nd in 1:04:17, with his youngest brother Koki (3rd yr., Takasaki Keizai Univ.) 13th in 1:09:18 and 23-year-old middle brother Yoshiki 26th in 1:11:53.  Professional Yuki Kawauchi impersonator Takashi M, 29, was 84th in 1:18:26.  Akane Mutazaki (Team Edion) won the women's race in 1:15:30 in the absence of five-tiime defending champion Kaori Yoshida (Puma RC).

In March Kawauchi is running the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  "I have to work hard to be able to run a 2:07," he said of his goals for that race.  Until then he will race almost every week, running the Okukuma Road Race in Kumamoto on Jan. 19 and the Okumusashi Ekiden in Saitama on Jan. 26.

In other early-season half marathon action across the country over the long weekend, Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) delivered one of the fastest winning times in the 54-year history of the Oita City Half Marathon as he won in 1:03:59 by 20 seconds over Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu).  Shiraishi will return to Oita in three weeks to go for another win at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.  19-year-old Wakana Itsuki (Fukuoka Univ.) took the women's division by nearly two minutes in 1:16:37.  Hakone Ekiden 5th-placers Aoyama Gakuin University and 13th-place Tokai University turned the 41st Takanezawa Half Marathon into a virtual JV dual meet as their B-teams filled the top ten, giving Takanezawa greater depth than in the weekend's other half marathon. Tokai's Atsunori Higuchi came out on top in a PB 1:04:39, two seconds ahead of Aoyama Gakuin's Takashi Mino.

15th Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon
Arakawa, Tokyo, 1/12/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Hideyuki Ikegami (Kyoto Kyoiku Univ.) - 1:03:09 - PB, CR
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:17
3. Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Monteroza) - 1:05:35
4. Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business) - 1:05:37
5. Nao Kazami (Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 1:05:38
6. Yusuke Kodama (Team Comodi Iida) - 1:05:38 - PB
7. Kodai Matsumoto (Puma RC) - 1:05:39

Women
1. Akane Mutazaki (Team Edion) - 1:15:30
2. Yukie Sarada (Team Edion) - 1:16:31
3. Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) - 1:16:36
4. Mitsuko Hirose (Tokyo Wings AC) - 1:17:22
5. Naoko Tsuchiya (Shizuoka T&F Assoc.) - 1:18:18

54th Oita City Half Marathon
Oita, 1/13/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:03:59
2. Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu) - 1:04:19
3. Nobuki Hatayama (Nippon Bunri Univ.) - 1:05:11
4. Yuki Nanba (Oita Tomei H.S. Staff) - 1:05:32
5. Ryuichi Tabuki (Hita City Hall) - 1:05:57

Women
1. Wakana Itsuki (Fukuoka Univ.) - 1:16:37
2. Hazuki Kadoyanagi (Fukuoka Univ.) - 1:18:21

41st Takanezawa Half Marathon
Takanezawa, Tochigi, 1/12/14

Men
1. Atsunori Higuchi (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:39 - PB
2. Takashi Mino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:41
3. Toshinori Watanabe (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:44
4. Haruka Suzuki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:57
5. Nanami Arai (Tokai Univ.) - 1:05:12

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…

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…