Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hashimoto and Yoshimatsu Win Hofu Yomiuri Marathon

by Brett Larner


In just his second marathon, 2016 Aoyama Gakuin University graduate Ryo Hashimoto (Team GMO Athletes) ran a PB of over three minutes to win the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in 2:11:20.  Pacers took the race through 25 km at a relatively steadily pace on target for around 2:11:45.  With their departure at 26 km Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) repeated his big play from the Fukuoka International Marathon two weeks ago, throwing in a hard surge and opening a gap of 10 seconds over the rest of the field.  Hashimoto and Taiki Yoshimura (Team Asahi Kasei) were the only two to try to follow, and by 30 km they had started to close the gap.


Hashimoto passed Kawauchi near 32 km, splitting 15:05 from 30 to 35 km as he pulled away.  It was a pace he couldn't sustain but enough to guarantee him the win with a solid negative split.  Yoshimura passed Kawauchi around 34 km, pushing on for a one-minute PB of 2:12:19 for 2nd.  Showing the effects of his hard run in Fukuoka, Kawauchi had none of his usual finishing power, taking 3rd in 2:12:45. Hashimoto's 2:11:20 winning time made him the #9 Japanese man of the year in the marathon, a solid achievement in his first year as a pro at the new GMO Athletes team after being a benchwarmer at Aoyama Gakuin who never made the school's Hakone Ekiden team.  For Kawauchi it was his 34th career sub-2:13, 40th sub-2:14 and 50th sub-2:16, all new world records.


In the women's race, course record holder Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) went out head-to-head with top-ranked pro Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), the pair splitting 18:00 through 5 km on pace to break Yoshimatsu's year-old course record of 2:35:46 by four minutes.  Surprisingly, Takemoto fell off quickly, 36 seconds behind at 10 km and plummeting backwards after that on the way to a DNF.  Yoshimatsu pushed on solo, her pace slowing before evening out to mid-2:34.  After 35 km she ran into trouble, splitting 21:06 from 35 to 40 km, but with a lead over over 10 minutes she was never in danger of losing the race.  Shuffling in to break the tape in 2:40:21, Yoshimatsu claimed her fourth-straight and sixth total Hofu Yomiuri Marathon win, the most dominant champion female or male in Hofu's 47-year history.

47th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon
Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/18/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Ryo Hashimoto (GMO Athletes) - 2:11:20 - PB
2. Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) - 2:12:19 - PB
3. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:12:45
4. Isaac Macharia (Kenya) - 2:15:09
5. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:35
6. Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) - 2:16:22 - PB
7. Nao Kazami (Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 2:17:29 - PB
8. Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:18:15
9. Yuki Fujii (Tokuyama) - 2:19:08 - PB
10. Mahoro Ikeda (Aichi Seiko) - 2:19:38 - PB
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DNF - Ezekiel Jafary (Tanzania)

Women
1. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:40:21
2. Noriko Sato (First Dream AC) - 2:48:51
3. Ai Ogo (Himeji T&F Assoc.) - 2:50:01
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DNF - Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu)

© 2016 Brett Larner
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