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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
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