Skip to main content

Nagano Marathon Proudly Welcomes Tejeda and Yoshida

by Brett Larner

With its long history of hosting Russians now interrupted by the IAAF's doping scandal suspension of all Russian athletes, Japan's Nagano Marathon proudly welcomes two other athletes with recent drug suspensions to lead the women's field at next weekend's 18th edition.  Gladys Tejeda (Peru) tops the list with the loss of her gold medal in last summer's Pan-Am Games marathon after testing positive for the masking agent furosemide.  Close behind is Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse), who holds the honor of being the only Japanese athlete to have been publicly suspended for EPO after testing positive at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.

With both having run 2:28 bests last year they are almost 4 minutes ahead of the fastest athlete in the field never to have served a drug suspension, Kenya's Hellen Mugo.  Neither is currently under suspension, an indication that Nagano and its elite coordinator share the familiar focus here on details at the expense of the big picture or moral considerations.  A growing number of other races might not touch people like Tejeda and Yoshida, but with a win by one of them likely there's not much doubt that the Nagano Marathon will get what it's asking for.  Together with other events Nagano sends the clear message: remember, if you're serving a drug suspension don't lose heart.  You can always find Japanese races and elite coordinators ready to take you back.

The men's field looks drug suspension-free, Laban Mutai (Kenya) the favorite with a 2:08:03 at the 2014 Linz Marathon.  On paper Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) is his toughest competition, but with wild swings in performance ranging from a 1:02:10 national record at February's Marugame Half to a blistering 2:27:30 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon he's hard to read.  Other internationals include Jairus Chanchima (Kenya), 2005 World Half Marathon gold medalist Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) and Harry Summers (Australia).

Last year's Nagano ran hot for the home crowd with three Japanese men breaking 2:12.  The fastest one not to do it, Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 5th in 2:12:04, is back, along with the Japanese stars of the last two years' Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathons, Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) and Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu).  Look also for surprise additions from the depths of the general division.

18th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/16/16
click here for detailed elite field listing
times listed are 2013-2016 bests except where noted

Women
Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:28:12 (Rotterdam 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Runners Pulse) - 2:28:43 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Hellen Mugo (Kenya) - 2:32:00 (Kosice 2013)
Winfridah Kebaso (Kenya/Nittori) - 2:32:08 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:32:42 (Marrakesh 2016)
Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan/Second Wind AC) - 2:35:49 (Tokyo 2015)

Men
Laban Mutai (Kenya) - 2:08:03 (Linz 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:10:37 (Xiamen Int'l 2013)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Kazuya Ishida (Japan/Nishitetsu) - 2:12:25 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) - 2:13:57 (Hofu 2015)
Hiro Tonegawa (Japan/Alps Tool) - 2:18:55 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuta Koyama (Japan/Kotohira Kogyo) - 2:20:43 (Nagano 2013)
Harry Summers (Australia) - 2:21:23 (Lake Biwa 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.
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 26: New Caledonia International Marathon, New Caledonia
Sept. 2: Wakkanai Heiwa Marathon, Hokk…