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

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

New Balance Nationals and Record-Breaking Times Nationwide at Japanese High School Regionals

The New Balance Nationals Outdoor was the weekend's big high school meet in the U.S.A., but from Thursday through Monday regions across Japan also held their qualifying meets for the July 29 - Aug. 2 National High School Track and Field Championships in Yamagata. Performances were at a high level across the board, with at least eight meet records nationwide in distance events.

Five girls broke 4:20 in the 1500 m, with Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) leading the way with a 4:09.67 meet record to win the Tohoku Region. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) was the fastest Japanese girl, winning the Kinki Region title in 4:18.32. On the boys' side, four broke 3:50 in the 1500 m, three of them in the Kinki Region meet. Yusuke Takahashi (Hyogo H.S.) took the Kinki title in 3:46.86.



In the girls' 3000 m, five girls including both Ekarare and Tanaka were under 9:05 nationwide. Ekarare and Tanaka both doubled with 3000 m wins, but the fastest time came from Tabitha Kamau (Kamimu…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…