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

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…