Skip to main content

Russian Victor Ugarov Wins Inaugural Kanazawa Marathon (updated)

http://kanazawa.keizai.biz/headline/2553/
http://www.chunichi.co.jp/hokuriku/article/news/CK2015111602100006.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
updated 11/16/15 with a quote from organizers from the second article above

The first running of the Kanazawa Marathon took place Nov. 15, with 11,821 runners traversing the course from the start on Hirosaka Dori to the finish at Seibu Ryokuchi Koen Field and enjoying the best of the Kanazawa autumn.

At 9:00 a.m., almost in sync with the starting pistol fired by Mayor Yamano, the rain that had been falling all morning abruptly stopped.  Runners from across the country and from Taiwan, America and other far-off lands made their way through the 7-zone course designed with the catchphrase "Run the whole of Kanazawa!" in mind.

Volunteers along the course handed out unusual refreshments like traditional Japanese sweets and Kanazawa curry, and brass bands and local firefighters in fancy dress provided courseside entertainment and encouragement to the runners.  At the finish at the prefectural track and field grounds, children's taiko drum and women's hula dance groups helped runners summon up the last bit of their strength as they ran toward the finish line.

In the men's race, Victor Ugarov from Kanazawa's sister city Irkutsk in Russia won in a PB 2:17:19.  Mai Fujino from Hokkaido won the women's race in 2:53:22.  According to race organizers, because Ugarov is not a member of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) he is not subject to the ARAF's suspension and there was no problem with him participating.  The next edition of the Kanazawa Marathon is scheduled to be held Nov. 13, 2016.

Translator's note: According to its website the Kanazawa Marathon is certified by the IAAF, JAAF and AIMS and is held in compliance with 2015 JAAF rules and regulations.  As such, Ugarov's participation must be in violation of the IAAF's Nov. 13 suspension of the Russian Federation and prohibition on Russian athletes competing internationally.  Russian Tatyana Arkhipova was blocked from running today's Saitama International Marathon for this reason.

Update: The Kanazawa Marathon organizers' claim, added above, that there was "no problem" with Ugarov participating perfectly illustrates much of what JRN talked about yesterday in reference to problematic attitudes evinced at the Saitama International Marathon; details over big picture, relationships over appearances, indifference to attitudes overseas.  In the picture in the second article linked at the top Ugarov is the runner on the right in grey.  The Russian athlete next to him is rocking a Russian national color uniform.  Ugarov does have a profile on the IAAF website, and it has now been updated to include his post-ARAF suspension Kanazawa performance.  Apparently all it takes for Russian athletes to keep competing internationally is to cancel their ARAF memberships and find races that just don't give a shit.  

Kanazawa Marathon organizing committee contact info from the English-language section of its website for journalists and others wanting to follow up on this story: 

tel: +81 (0) 76-220-2726
email: info@kanazawa-marathon.jp

Update 11/18/15: Ugarov's victory has now been annulled and he faces a suspension of up to four years for running while ineligible.  Click here for more.

Comments

Unknown said…
I ran the Kanazawa Marathon yesterday, wondering how a 2:17 Russian marathoner was allowed to compete. There were two invited male Russian runners, one proudly wearing their national uniform. I assumed that since it was sister city relationship invitation the situation was different from the Saitama Marathon. I suppose if those two Russian runners were receiving Russian state funds to compete and Kanazawa is claiming to be abiding by IAAF rules then something isn't right here. I would like to hear an official statement from the Kanazawa Marathon.

Most-Read This Week

Hokuren Last Chance Meet Streaming and Preview

The JAAF has set up one last chance for its middle and long distance athletes to hit the qualifying standards for next month's World Championships, adding an early meet to the Hokuren Distance Challenge series today ahead of Sunday's deadline to qualify. Streaming starts at 16:00 local time. A breakdown of the races: Men's 800 m - 16:15 - No Japanese man has ever broken the 1:45.20 Worlds standard, but national champion Mikuto Kaneko (Chuo Univ.) is close at 1:45.85. Given that he's currently 57th against the 800 m's 48-deep quota it'll take a NR for him to make it to Eugene. Women's 1000 m - 16:25 - Nationals 800 m top 2 Ayano Shiomi (Iwatani Sangyo) and Nozomi Tanaka (Jidoshokki) are both relatively close to making the quota, but instead of going for the standard or maxing points they're opting for a go at Tanaka's 2:37.72 NR for 1000 m. Only 3 athletes are entered. Women's 5000 m - 16:40 - Nobody in this race is in contention for the Or

Gold Coast Marathon Returns With Solid Fields From Australia, U.S.A. and Japan

Australia's Village Road Show Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon is set to return next weekend for its first full-on in-person edition since 2019. The elite fields for its half marathon and marathon division are smaller than usual but full of top domestic talent with some international support from the U.S.A., Japan, and elsewhere. A familiar face in Japan, Eloise Wellings leads the women's half marathon, her PB of 1:09:29 set at the Marugame Half in 2016. Earlier this year she ran a marathon best of 2:25:10 in Nagoya and 1:10:42 for 4th at the Gifu Seiryu Half, setting up a good head-to-head race with Jessica Stenson , 2:25:15 in Perth last fall and with a 1:10:59 best in Marugame in 2018. Brett Robinson leads the men's half marathon with a 59:57 NR for the win in Marugame in 2020. Tim Vincent is his strongest competition on paper with a 1:01:43 on the aided Rome-Ostia Half course earlier this year, but Joel Tobin-White , 1:02:03 in Marugame 2019, Commonwealth Games-boun

Justus Soget and Benard Koech Clear Worlds Standards at Hokuren Distance Challenge

The Hokuren Distance Challenge 20th Anniversary Meet , a last chance set up by the JAAF for Japanese athletes to hit 2022 World Championships standards ahead of Sunday's deadline, produced two new qualifier. Pacing the men's 5000 m, Justus Soget (Honda) kept going when the rest of the field dropped off and crossed the line in a new PB of 13:12.90, the 18th Kenyan to qualify for Worlds in the 5000 m. Men's 10000 m pacer Benard Koech (Kyudenko) did the same, getting under the standard in 27:20.66 and also becoming the 18th Kenyan to qualify. Half marathon great Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) almost joined Koech but came up just short in 27:29.85 for 2nd. Among Japanese men the performance of the day was former 1500 m NR holder Nanami Arai (Honda), who ran an all-time JPN #3 PB of 3:36.63 for the win, short of the Worlds standard but adding further to the incremental step up this season for Japanese middle distance as a whole. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) gave the 8:22.00