Skip to main content

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The 65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon has announced the elite field for its 65th running on Feb. 7.  Coming just before the second and third selection races for Japan's Olympic marathon team it's small up front but features a solid mid-pack of relatively young runners including some good first-timers.

Evans Ruto (Kenya) leads the internationals with a 2:08:55 at last year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, with competition from sub-2:10 men Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) and Anthony Maritim (Kenya).  Japan-based Ethiopian Melaku Abera (Team Kurosaki Harima), the course record holder at Oita's Half Marathon, is scheduled to debut and should be another to watch.

On the home front, Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) is the only Japanese man on the list sub-2:11 recently with a 2:10:36 in Beppu-Oita two years ago.  High-volume marathoner Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) follows close behind with a 2:11:15 in Tokyo in 2013.  Most interesting among the debuting Japanese runners is Hiroto Kanamori (Takushoku Univ.), holding a half marathon PB of only 1:03:14 but having run 1:02:00 for 3rd on the ultra-competitive 21.3 km First Stage at the Hakone Ekiden earlier this month, worth 1:01:25 for the half marathon.

Japan's #1 amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) leads the small women's field with a 2:31:28 best in Tokyo 2013.  Yoshitomi has won her last three marathons, all since the beginning of November, and last weekend pulled off a crazy double with a 2:45:22 course record win at the Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon on Sunday followed by a 1:17:27 win the next day at Monday's Imari Half Marathon.  Yoshitomi's competition comes from Mayumi Uchiyama (Yamanashi Gauin Univ.), 2:39:54 in Tokyo last year, and Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita), 2:41:56 in Beppu-Oita two years ago.

65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
Elite Field Highlights
Oita, 2/7/16
click here for complete field listing
times listed are 2013-15 bests except where noted

Men
Evans Ruto (Kenya) - 2:08:55 (Gold Coast 2015)
Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Nice-Cannes 2014)
Anthony Maritim (Kenya) - 2:09:39 (Linz 2015)
Kenichi Shiraishi (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:10:36 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Kiflom Sium (Eritrea) - 2:11:39 (Prague 2013)
Ihor Olefirenko (Ukraine) - 2:12:04 (Bila Tserkva 2015)
Tatsunari Hirayama (Japan/Yasukawa Denki) - 2:12:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Keita Akiba (Japan/Komori Corp.) - 2:13:12 (Biwako 2014)
Son Myeong Jun (South Korea) - 2:13:30 (Seoul 2015)
Kim Young Jin (South Korea) - 2:13:49 (Seoul 2013)
Kenta Chiba (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:14:00 (Nobeoka 2015)
Shogo Kanezane (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:22 (Nobeoka 2015)
Yudai Yamakawa (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:14:28 (Nobeoka 2014)
Naoya Hashimoto (Japan/Chudenko) - 2:14:36 (Beppu-Oita 2013)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:14:37 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Yuji Iwata (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 2:14:46 (Nobeoka 2014)
Sho Matsueda (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 2:14:50 (Nobeoka 2015)

Debut
Melaku Abera (Ethiopia/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:02:47 (Oita City Half 2015)
Salah Bounasr (Morocco) - 1:03:01 (Casablanca Half 2011)
Hiroto Kanamori (Japan/Takushoku Univ.) - 1:03:14 (Ageo City Half 2014)
Yuta Takahashi (Japan/DeNA) - 1:03:23 (Hakodate Half 2006)
Keisuke Kusaka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:03:44 (Ageo City Half 2012)
Yuki Munakata (Japan/Kanebo) - 1:03:58 (Ageo City Half 2009)

Women
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/First Dream AC) - 2:31:28 (Tokyo 2013)
Mayumi Uchiyama (Japan/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 2:39:54 (Tokyo 2015)
Haruka Yamaguchi (Japan/AC Kita) - 2:41:56 (Beppu-Oita 2014)

© 2016 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 Hakone 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 stay wi…

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