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

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…