Skip to main content

Kawauchi Wins Hofu in 2:09:46, Yoshimatsu Breaks Own Women's CR by 2 Seconds

by Brett Larner

With strong winds and erratic pacing in the early going a shot at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon's 2:08:16 course record and his goal of a 2:07 was never in the works, but in his 13th marathon of 2014 Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored the win in 2:09:46.

Kawauchi followed Kenyan pacer Charles Wanjohi through 5 km splits that varied from 15:07 to 15:34, well off the target pace of 3:02/km, accompanied by Ugandan Philip Kiplimo, Kenyans Willy Kibor and Cyrus Njui (Arata Project) and Japan's Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta).  Nitta lost touch just before 25 km and 5 km later Njui did the same.  Following the struggling Wanjohi's departure at 30 km Kawauchi ran with Kiplimo and Kibor before dropping things to 2:55/km at 33 km to open a lead that took him away to the win.  Running 15:16 from 35 to 40 km, he faded slightly in the final 2.195 km to finish in 2:09:46, his second sub-2:10 of the year and just missing the year-best 2:09:36 he ran in May's Hamburg Marathon.

Despite coming up far short of his time goal, as his eighth career sub-2:10 Kawauchi's Hofu performance further solidified his position in the Japanese record books.  The only Japanese man to break 2:10 twice this year, as the eleventh Japanese sub-2:10 of the year Kawauchi's performance also adds to the net positive current trend in Japanese men's marathoning.  Kawauchi ends his year at the Dec. 31 Cursa dels Nassos 10 km in Barcelona.

Further back, Kawauchi's youngest brother Koki Kawauchi (Takasaki Keizai Univ.) finished 36th in 2:32:57.  Fully blind runner Shinya Wada (Wakachan FRC) ran 2:35:39 for 48th, a new Japanese national record in his category.

In the women's race, course record holder and three-time winner Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) did it again, breaking her own record by 2 seconds for a fourth title in 2:37:55.  Yoshimatsu went out on 2:36-flat pace determined to get the record but gradually faded, drawing closer and closer to 2:38 but pushing hard on the last lap of the track to just clip her old record.

45th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon
Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/21/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:46
2. Philip Kiplimo (Uganda) - 2:13:24
3. Willy Kibor (Kenya) - 2:13:28
4. Norimasa Nishina (Team Fujitsu) - 2:13:47
5. Sho Matsumoto (Team Nikkei Business) - 2:17:29
6. Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:17:37
7. Jun Matsumoto (Team Aichi Seiko) - 2:20:04
8. Takeshi Tagen (Team Monteroza) - 2:20:40
9. Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:20:47
10. Yasutaka Monde (Team Ito) - 2:22:06

Women
1. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:37:55 - CR
2. Chika Tawara (Fukuoka T&F Assoc.) - 2:41:29
3. Sakiko Ishibashi (Dasewa) - 2:49:25
4. Miyuki Kaneko (AC Kita) - 2:51:20
5. Nana Higashi (Daiwa AC) - 2:52:16

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

Fresh off a 1:00:17 half marathon national record last weekend and a 28:55 road 10 km the one before, Yuta Shitara (Honda) lived up to expectations at today's Berlin Marathon, trying to go with the lead group and running the first part of the race alone between the first and second groups.

Whatever his plan, Shitara was swallowed up by the second pack, a good turn of events as it was travelling ahead of Japanese national record pace on track for just sub-2:06. Shitara hung with that group through 25 km before his projected time started to creep away, drifting to high-2:06 pace by 30 km, high-2:07 by 35 km, and high-2:08 by 40 km. In the end he was well short of Toshinari Takaoka's 2:06:16 national record, but with a 2:09:03 for 6th Shitara took 24 seconds off his best with the fastest Japanese men's performance in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. And just 8 days after the greatest half marathon performance in Japanese history.

『ベルリンマラソン動画 設楽悠太…

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …