Skip to main content

Kawauchi and Takemoto Headline Dec. 18 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon (updated)

by Brett Larner

update: both Tewelde and Igarashi have scratched.

Fresh off one of the greatest marathons of his career to date in Fukuoka last weekend, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) once again returns to the Dec. 18 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon for his year-ending marathon double.  With injuries to both legs before Fukuoka Kawauchi's condition is a question mark, but on paper he is the class of the field with an almost three-minute advantage over his nearest competition, the Toshinari Takaoka-coached Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo).  Taiki Yoshimura (Team Asahi Kasei), coached by Takeshi Soh, and Katsuta Marathon course record-setter Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Staff) are the other main domestic contenders. Perpetual pacemaker Isaac Macharia (Kenya) is listed in the field rather than as a pacer, but it has been years since Macharia has run a good marathon. That makes Rio Olympian Tsegai Tewelde (Great Britain) the top international runner in the field with a 2:12:23 at this year's London Marathon.

Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) has won the Hofu women's race five times including a 2:35:46 course record last year, but this year she faces two current corporate league women who lead Hofu's best-ever women's field. Yuka Takemoto holds the course record at the nearby Kitakyushu Marathon with a 2:31:02 win in 2014.  The same year Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) ran 2:31:39 at the Nagoya Women's Marathon.  Yoshimatsu will have a tough time overcoming either of them, let alone both, to score a sixth Hofu title.

47th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Elite Field Highlights
Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/18/16
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Isaac Macharia (Kenya) - 2:11:00 (Seoul 2012)
Tomoyuki Morita (Kanebo) - 2:11:41 (Tokyo 2015)
Tsegai Tewelde (Great Britain) - 2:12:23 (London 2016) - scratch with injury
Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:12 (Hofu 2015)
Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Staff) - 2:13:15 (Katsuta 2016) - scratch with injury
Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:13:46 (Tokyo 2016)
Ezekiel Jafary (Tanzania) - 2:14:05 (Seoul 2014)
Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:15 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Ryo Hashimoto (GMO Athletes) - 2:14:38 (Tokyo 2016)
Sora Tsukada (SGH Group) - 2:15:16 (Osaka 2016)

Women
Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:31:02 (Kitakyushu 2014)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Denso) - 2:31:39 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:35:46 (Hofu 2015)
Noriko Sato (First Dream AC) - 2:46:36 (Fukuoka 2014)
Chika Yokota (Hiroshima Univ.) - 2:47:47 (Shimonoseki 2015)
Hisayo Matsumoto (unattached) - 2:47:51 (Hofu 20159
Rika Kawashima (Canon AC Kyushu) - debut

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …

Ekiden Weekend Roundup

Ekiden season is in full swing, and across the country it was another busy weekend. Although there were four major ekidens nationwide, the best action came as runners from high school to the pros tuned up for the string of national championship ekiden races stretching from the end of this month to mid-January. At Kanagawa's Nittai University Time Trials meet, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) pipped 5000 m junior world championships bronze medalist William Malel (Honda) at the line in the 10000 m A-heat, winning in 27:22.73 to Malel's 27:22.79. Four other Kenyans including Ndiku's junior teammate Richard Kimunyan broke 28 minutes as their coaches eye who to run at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden.



Evans Yego of the tiny Sunbelx supermarket team won the more conservative 5000 m A-heat in 13:48.04, a race most notable for high schoolers Luka Musembi (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), Masato Suzuki (Suijo H.S.) and Reito Hanzawa (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) …

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…