Skip to main content

Tomaru 2:11:43 Debut for Nobeoka Win - Weekend Road Race Roundup

by Brett Larner
photo courtesy marumaruko1201

Record-breaking snowfall in eastern Japan all day Saturday meant the cancellation of virtually every Sunday race in the area, including the elite-level Chiba International Cross-Country Meet, and kept many Tokyo-region runners bound for races in the west at home. Of the races that did go off, in his marathon debut 2008 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km winner Kazuki Tomaru (Team Toyota) was the star of the day's most important race, the 52nd running of the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon.

With impeccable pacing from former Waseda University standout Yuki Yagi (Team Asahi Kasei), who split 15:27, 15:26 and 15:26 for the first three 5 km segments, a large pack ran at around 2:10:30 pace, 45 seconds ahead of the event's course record.  The pace slowed slightly from 15 km to Yagi's departure at 25 km, but Tomaru quickly got to work with another 15:26 to get rid of the field.  Only Ryo Ishita (SDF Academy) went after him, but around 33 km Ishita was overtaken by Yagi's teammate Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei), 50 seconds behind Tomaru at 35 km.

Feeling the burn of his marathon debut, Tomaru's pace dropped to 16:03 from 35 to 40 km as Matsuo turned it on in pursuit.  Coming within 28 seconds at 40 km it looked as though Matsuo might have a shot at stealing the race, but Tomaru rallied and equalled Matsuo's closing split of 6:58.  Tomaru's debut time of 2:11:43 was the second-best winning time in Nobeoka's history, and coming with strong solo frontrunning after 25 km it marks him as a name to watch in Japanese men's marathoning over the next few years. Matsuo clocked a PB 2:12:11, three seconds faster than last year's winning time run by Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda).  Ishita held on to 3rd, running a nine-minute PB of 2:13:52 that would have won quite a few years in recent Nobeoka history.  Considering that Sano went on to run 2:10:29 at the 2013 Chicago Marathon there's a good chance all three could follow suit.



Two other marathons in western Japan featured solid results.  At the first running of the mass-participation Kita-Kyushu Marathon, 2007 Nobeoka winner Shinji Tateishi (Team Yasukawa Denki) was first across the line in 2:17:42.  Yuka Yano (Canon AC Kyushu) was the women's winner, running close to sub-2:30 pace but coming up just shy in a nearly five-minute PB of 2:31:03.  On the neighboring island of Shikoku, local Matsuyama University senior Natsumi Fujiwara set a course record of 2:37:03 at the Ehime Marathon, which like Nobeoka was celebrating its 52nd running.  Masayuki Inoue (Team Ehime Ginko) was the men's winner in 2:19:39.

Across the straits in Hiroshima, the Manabu Kawagoe-coached Edion corporate team won the 28th edition of the six-stage, 21.0975 km Chugoku Women's Ekiden in 1:11:19.  Off to a slow start when lead runner Akane Mutazaki finished only 4th, Edion spent the entire race in pursuit of the East Hiroshima T&F Assoc. select team.  With 4.8675 km to make up 18 seconds it was up to Edion's star runner Yuko Watanabe to deliver on the anchor stage and she did, running down East Hiroshima's Yoshiko Matsumoto with room to spare.  Edion's winning time of 1:11:19 was well off the 1:08:08 course record set three years ago by Bukkyo University but still good enough to secure a margin of more than a minute over runner-up Tamagawa University.

Back on Kyushu at the 54th running of the Karatsu Road Race, last year's 8th-placer Kaoru Hirosue (Team Toyota Kyushu) outran sub-60 minute half marathoner Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin), Moscow World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others to win the men's 10 mile division in a PB 47:17.  Kawauchi took well over a minute off his 10-mile PB, 4th in 47:28.  Women's 10 km 2011 winner Fumiko Hashimoto (Team Shimamura) came out on top of a five-way sprint finish to win again in 33:23, while Eikichi Kazaoka (Tottori Johoku H.S.) led three under 30 minutes to win the high school boys' 10 km in 29:47.  Rie Uchida (Shiraishi H.S.) rounded out the day with a 16:58 win in the high school girls' 5 km by one second over teammate Miki Hirai.

52nd Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon
Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 2/9/14
click here for complete results

1. Kazuki Tomaru (Team Toyota) - 2:11:43 - debut
2. Ryoichi Matsuo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:12:11 - PB
3. Ryo Ishita (SDF Academy) - 2:13:52 - PB
4. Yudai Yamakawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:14:28 - debut
5. Yuji Iwata (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:14:46 - PB
6. Masahiro Kawaguchi (Team Yakult) - 2:15:17 - debut
7. Yasuaki Kojima (Team Subaru) - 2:15:38 - PB
8. Koji Matsuoka (Team Mazda) - 2:16:45
9. Yasunori Onuma (Team Toenec) - 2:18:00 - PB
10. Kenta Chiba (Team Fujitsu) - 2:18:07 - debut

54th Karatsu Road Race
Karatsu, Saga, 2/9/14
complete results coming shortly

Men's 10 Miles
1. Kaoru Hirosue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 47:17 - PB
2. Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) - 47:22
3. Tatsuya Hayashi (Team Toyota) - 47:24 - debut
4. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 47:28 - PB
5. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 47:41

Women's 10 km
1. Fumiko Hashimoto (Team Shimamura) - 33:23
2. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 33:24
3. Yuki Nakamura (Team Miyazaki Ginko) - 33:23
4. Naoko Koizumi (Team Denso) - 33:25
5. Kaori Koriki (Team Denso) - 33:28

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Eikichi Kazaoka (Tottori Johoku H.S.) - 29:47
2. Hiroki Koga (Omuta H.S.) - 29:51
3. Keita Sakamoto (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) - 29:55

High School Girls' 5 km
1. Rie Uchida (Shiraishi H.S.) - 16:58
2. Miki Hirai (Shiraishi H.S.) - 16:59
3. Yuka Naganuma (Kyushu Kokusai Prep H.S.) - 17:36

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Official Statement From Corporate Federation Director Nishikawa on Anti-Doping Violation and Sanction

A statement by Koichiro Nishikawa, chairperson of the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association

At the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden organized by the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association (JITA), a prohibited substance was detected in a sample taken from Moeno Nakamura, at the time a member of the Universal Entertainment team, in an in-competition drug test. After receiving notification of this result, in accordance with the recommendations of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel, Nakamura was suspended for one year and three months beginning Nov. 26, 2017.

As the JITA not only do we hold anti-doping education sessions for athletes and coaches in partnership with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and clearly specify that our events must be carried out in strict accordance with anti-doping regulations, but as the JITA chairperson I have personally given strong emphasis to the importance of "Clean Sport." In spite of these effort…

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

On July 18 it was learned from several sources connected with the situation that a member of the 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team Universal Entertainment who left the team at the end of last season tested positive for a banned substance in a doping test carried out at the ekiden. Universal Entertainment won the national championship race, its second-ever title and first in five years. But because the athlete's result will be annulled the team will also be stripped of its title, an unprecedented situation in the ekiden's history.

According to an involved source, before the race the athlete took her own personal medicine which included the prohibited substance. The athlete denied having taking the medicine in order to enhance her performance. Team management claimed the athlete had not informed then that she was taking it, and that the situation was the result of her personal carelessness.

The Universal Entertainment team was founded under the name Aruze…

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…