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JRN's Top Ten Most-Read Articles of 2016

From Farah to Fukushi to Kawauchi, Ageo to Hakone to New York and back, JRN's ten most-read articles of the year.


1. Kawauchi Breaks World Record for Half Marathon in a Suit by 18 Minutes - Mar. 13
A week after running 2:11:53 at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran his hometown Kuki Half Marathon dressed in his work clothes, a full three-piece suit including tie, belt and dress socks.  Kawauchi ran 1:06:42 for 3rd to beat the official Guinness World Record by 18 minutes, but because Kuki is not a certified course his time was not ratified as a new record.

2. Tsegay Over Makau for Fukuoka Win, Miracle-Worker Kawauchi 3rd - Dec. 4
2015 World Championships silver medalist Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) stopped former world record holder Patrick Makau (Kenya) from claiming a third-straight Fukuoka title.  Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) overcame injuries to both legs to take 3rd in one of the greatest performances of his career, all but guaranteeing himself a place on the 2017 London World Championships team.  Preview.

3. Mungara Downs Kawauchi By One Second, Horie Cracks Course Record at Gold Coast Airport Marathon - July 3
40+ world record holder Kenneth Mungara of Kenya raced Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) over the last 12 km of Australia's Gold Coast Marathon, getting the win by one second in 2:09:00 and Kawauchi scoring his first sub-2:10 in over a year and a half.  Misato Horie (Team Noritz) bettered 2015 Paris Marathon winner Meseret Biru and 2015 Frankfurt Marathon winner Gulume Chala of Ethiopia to take 37 seconds off the women's course record with a 2:26:40 PB win. Preview.

4. Mo Farah Scores Greatest Victory of His Career - Oct. 8
Gold medal collector Mo Farah (Great Britain) earned his greatest accolade to date, outperforming top Japanese models and comedians to win the Akasaka 5-Chome Mini Marathon, a 3.6 km race held around and through broadcaster TBS' studios as part of the fall 2016 edition of their All-Star Kanshasai variety show.  Farah overcame a 5:55 handicapped start to run down the last three comedians in the final few hundred meters.


5. Aoyama Gakuin University Leads Start to Finish to Win 2016 Hakone Ekiden - Jan. 3
Defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University became the first school in 39 years to lead the Hakone Ekiden start to finish as it won the world's biggest and best road race for a second-straight year.  Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) outran Aoyama Gakuin star Daiichi Kamino to win the uphill Fifth Stage, Hakone's most prestigious, and become its first-ever Kenyan winner. Day One results and report. Preview.

6. Kawauchi Scores First European Win at Snowy Zurich Marathon - Apr. 24
Immediately following Prince's untimely death his song "Sometimes it Snows in April" came true as 2015 runner-up Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) endured unexpected sleet and snow to win Switzerland's Zurich Marathon, his 25th win in 60 marathon starts.  2015 Zurich women's winner Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC) fell victim to the conditions while leading and dropped out but was helped by a kindhearted spectator.  Preview.


7. An Honest Look at American Marathoning - Feb. 17
JRN attended the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles, where Galen Rupp won the men's race in his marathon debut and Amy Cragg outran former and current teammates for the women's win.  JRN looked back at almost 50 years of world and American marathon history to understand where American marathoning is going.

8. Takeda Follows Osako as Fourth Man to Break 62 Minutes at Ageo City Half, Leading 197 Under 66 - Nov. 20
Waseda University fourth-year Rintaro Takeda won a five-way sprint finish on the track, passing Kenta Ueda (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) on the last corner to win one of the world's deepest half marathons in 1:01:59.  The top five, all students from different universities tuning up for January's Hakone Ekiden, all ran 1:02:05 or better. Takeda and Ueda earned invitations to March's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon.

9. Rotich Wins Wild Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Kitajima Leads Four Japanese Men Sub-2:10 in Chase for Rio - Mar. 6
Kenyan Lucas Rotich won a chaotic Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon that saw 19-year-old Ethiopian Shura Kitata more than 45 seconds ahead at 25 km.  Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) won a tense four-way battle for the top Japanese spot and a place on the Rio Olympic team, almost running Rotich down on the last lap of the track. Preview.

10. Japan Surpasses U.S. as World's Largest Amateur Marathon Market - Jan. 22
In 2015 more people finished marathons in Japan than in the United States, the first time since 1961 that the U.S. fell to 2nd worldwide in total marathon finishers.  Japan also led the world in the number of 10,000+ finisher marathons with 19 taking place in Japan in 2015, nearly half the worldwide total for the year.

Honorable mention: In the top 25 most-read, this article was JRN's best work of the year but didn't get the reads it deserved.

The Kayoko Show: Long-Term Consequences of Agonistic Interactions Between Lobsters, and the Osaka Women's Marathon - Jan. 28
An example of a model for neurophysiological changes underlying long-lasting psychological effects of winning and losing, and of the potential to manipulate those changes via performance-enhancing substances.

all photos and video © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
except Kawauchi suit half marathon photos

Comments

Steven Sherburn said…
The lobster story was my personal favourite.

Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Yoshitomi Survives Four Marathons in Four Weeks to Win Saga Sakura Marathon

Arguably the highest-volume elite-level marathoner in the world, Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) survived four straight weekends of marathons to win her hometown Saga Sakura Marathon yesterday.

Starting the month off at the Mar. 3 Tokyo Marathon Yoshitomi ran 2:32:30 for 13th. A week later at the Mar. 10 Nagoya Women's Marathon it was 2:34:49 for 31st. Last weekend she headed overseas in a bid to win the Mar. 17 New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon in Taiwan, but in a rare off day she finished 6th in only 2:48:45. Heading back home she rallied to win the Mar. 24 Saga Sakura Marathon in 2:42:02.

At an expo talk show appearance the Wan Jin Shi organizers billed Yoshitomi as "the female Kawauchi," but not even he has come close to the kind of volume of racing Yoshitomi has been turning out over the years while working at her parents' botanical farm. Expect to see more, and more, and more from her in the months to come.



photos courtesy of Wan Jin Shi Marathon organizers
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