Skip to main content

Kawauchi vs. Adachi at Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon

by Brett Larner

The Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon organizers have announced the field for their 53rd running on Feb. 8.  Run on the home ground of the Takeshi Soh-led Asahi Kasei corporate team, Nobeoka is primarily a developmental race focusing on first-timers and young athletes trying to get the marathon right and typically sees winning times in the 2:12~2:13 range.  It's noteworthy outside Japan mainly in that every year the people who run around that level in Nobeoka make up a major part of the runners included on their coaches' annual junket to the Chicago Marathon, where some go on to take a step toward bigger things.

Recently things have been getting a little faster in Nobeoka, with 2:11 winning times in two of the last three years.  This year the organizers have taken a slightly different tack, invited three experienced men who should be able to work together to take down the 2:11:05 course record.  Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) is the strongest by far with a 2:08:14 best, but after losing a month's training to an ankle sprain in late December he will get a solid challenge from Asahi Kasei's Tomoya Adachi, who became the tenth Japanese man of 2014 to go sub-2:10, just, when he ran a 2:09:59 PB in Fukuoka in December.  Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu) won Nobeoka in 2:11:57 in 2012 and should be the other major contender.

Noteworthy names trying to run quality times after failed marathon debuts include pre-course change Hakone Ekiden Sixth Stage record holder Kenta Chiba (Fujitsu) and sub-62 half marathoner Shuji Yoshikawa (Kyudenko), a training partner of 2:08:00 marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda and 2:09:10 man Masanori Sakai.  First-timers make up over half the invited athlete field, with sub-63 half marathoners Yuya Ito (Team Toyota), Sho Matsueda (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki), Masanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Hiroki Yamagishi (Hitachi Butsuryu) topping the list.

53rd Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field
Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 2/8/15
click here for complete field listing

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul 2013)
Tomoya Adachi (Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:59 (Fukuoka 2014)
Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu) - 2:11:57 (Nobeoka 2012)
Norimasa Nishina (Fujitsu) - 2:13:12 (Hofu 2014)
Sho Matsumoto (Nikkei Business) - 2:13:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Yasushi Yamamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:15 (Biwako 2013)
Takuya Suzuki (Aisan Kogyo) - 2:15:40 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Yasunori Onuma (Toenec) - 2:18:00 (Nobeoka 2014)
Kenta Chiba (Fujitsu) - 2:18:07 (Nobeoka 2014)

Do-Over
Shuji Yoshikawa (Kyudenko) - 1:01:58 (Marugame Half 2012)
Ryota Matoba (Komori Corp.) - 1:03:15 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Ryota Nakamura (Chudenko) - 1:03:16 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2010)

Debut
Yuya Ito (Toyota) - 1:02:21 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Sho Matsueda (Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 1:02:41 (Marugame Half 2013)
Masanori Kitajima (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:50 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2010)
Hiroki Yamagishi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:02:51 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2013)
Takamitsu Hashimoto (Komori Corp.) - 1:03:13 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Masahito Sumimoto (Mazda) - 1:03:13 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Tatsuya Oshinomi (Nishitetsu) - 1:03:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2012)
Norikazu Kato (Yakult) - 1:03:18 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:03:19 (Marugame Half 2012)
Tsukasa Koyam (Subaru) - 1:03:28 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2012)
Atsushi Yamazaki (Subaru) - 1:03:34 (Kyoto Half 2009)
Daiki Kubota (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:03:38 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Yuma Morii (SG Holdings) - 1:03:57 (Marugame Half 2014)
Hajime Koizumi (Iwaki T&F Assoc.) - 1:04:01 (Ageo Half 2007)
Takashi Maie (Konica Minolta) - 1:04:16 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2009)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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 university 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 sta…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved