Skip to main content

London World Championships Marathoners Kawauchi and Nakamoto Headline Sendai International Half Marathon

http://sp.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201704/20170411_14037.html

translated by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 27th Sendai International Half Marathon on May 14 have announced the field of four domestic invited elite athletes.  Former Hakone Ekiden  star Masato Imai (33, Team Toyota Kyushu) and civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) top the list.

During his days at Juntendo University Imai was crowned "God of the Mountain" after winning the Hakone Ekiden's uphill Fifth Stage three years in a row.  In the marathon he went on to run 2:07:39 two years ago to become the sixth-fastest Japanese man ever.  He won the Sendai International Half Marathon for the first time last year.

Kawauchi is running Sendai for the sixth year in a row.  A member of the 2011 and 2013 World Championships marathon teams, Kawauchi won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games.  Named to the 2017 London World Championships team alongside Kawauchi, Kentaro Nakamoto (34, Team Yasukawa Denki) is also set to run Sendai.

Topping the women's field is Reia Iwade (22, Team Noritz) who in 2014 ran the fastest marathon time ever by a Japanese woman under age 20.  2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympian Hiroyuki Yamamoto, 50, leads the field of four invited athletes in the wheelchair race.

Former women's marathon world record holder and 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi, 44, returns as a special ambassador.  Guest runners include 1991 Tokyo International Women's Marathon winner Mari Tanigawa, 54, and two-time Olympic marathoner Takeyuki Nakayama, 57. 12,053 people are entered in the half marathon, with an additional 2,688 entered in the 5 km and 2 km divisions.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …