Skip to main content

Fujiwara and Nojiri Lead Weekend Marathon Results



With the 22nd typhoon of the season hitting Japan's eastern coast, five of Japan's biggest amateur marathons faced the decision of whether to go ahead as scheduled.

The biggest of them, the third running of the Yokohama Marathon, 10th largest in the world last year with 22,594 finishers, was the only one to cancel, a controversial decision that went out Saturday evening ahead of milder-than-expected conditions on race morning.

With almost 13,000 finishers last year, the Kanazawa Marathon scored a new course record in its third edition as Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) won in 2:18:44, the event's first sub-2:20 apart from disqualified Russian Victor Ugarov's 2:17:19 at Kanazawa's first running two years ago. Deguchi ran Kanazawa as a tuneup for December's Fukuoka International Marathon. Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishi Nippon) took eight minutes off the women's course record with a 2:42:24 win.



For the second time in its three runnings to date, local resident Olympian Arata Fujiwara won the 11,000 runner-plus Toyama Marathon, breaking his own course record with a training run-effort 2:16:32. Former sub-2:25 elite Azusa Nojiri (Raffine) had a comeback of sorts to win the women's race, breaking 2:40 for the first time in three years with a 2:38:46 course record.

On the edge of clearing the 10,000 finisher barrier in its first running last year, the Mito Komon Manyu Marathon also saw new course records in both the men's and women's races. Haruki Okayama (Comody Iida) took the men's title in 2:22:57, with Shoko Miyazaki running 2:49:11 to win the women's race.

The smallest of the five with just over 7,500 finishers last year, the Shimada Oikawa Marathon joined the course record rush thanks to a 2:16:33 win in the men's race by Tadashi Suzuki (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), runner-up in the nearby Shizuoka Marathon last March and also Fukuoka-bound. Shiho Katayama won the women's race in 3:01:11. With nine runnings including this year Shimada Oikawa was the oldest of the day's five marathons, all part of the boom set off by the Tokyo Marathon in 2007.

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Toyota On Fire - Weekend Road Race Roundup

Everything right now in Japanese distance is about qualifying for September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials. On the men's side Toyota currently leads the way, Yuma Hattori running 2:07:27, Taku Fujimoto 2:07:57 and Chihiro Miyawaki 2:08:45 last year to qualify. Five more Toyota runners ran big today to set up some exciting last-shot bids at qualifying in Tokyo and Lake Biwa.

The National Corporate Half Marathon men's race went out relatively conservatively with a pack of 30 rolling through 10 km in 29:28. A series of runners including 35-year-old full-time-working amateur Takahiro Nakamura (Kyocera Kagoshima) took turns trying to get it moving before Amos Kurgat (Chudenko) took off for good to win unchallenged in 1:01:06. Along with Kenyans Paul Kuira (Konica Minolta) and Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Aisan Kogyo) Toyota's trio of Hideyuki Tanaka, Tsubasa Hayakawa and Minato Oishi emerged at the front of a chase group of 14.

As the pace picked up over the last 5 km th…

Endo and Matsuzaki Break National Records in Boston

Indoor track is pretty much non-existant in Japan, but in the last few years more Japanese athletes have been heading to the States after ekiden season to give it a go and coming back with national records. Two more records fell at Friday's David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston.

First up, in his indoor debut 20-year-old Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) ran 13:27.81 to break the indoor 5000 m national record set five years ago in New York by Suguru Osako by 0.19. Endo was one of Japan's all-time best high schoolers. Now in his second year in the corporate leagues after opting to skip university he is coached by Yasuyuki Watanabe, Osako's former coach at Waseda University. Also in the same race, Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) was 6th in 13:47.64.

Three hours later, Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) ran 9:00.86 in the women's 3000 m, taking 0.53 off the national record set way back in 1999 by Akiko Kawashima at the Maebashi World Indoor Championships. Matsuzaki is in the mid…

Beppu-Oita Marathon to Review Staff Training After Interpreter Refers to African Athletes as "Chimpanzees"

On Feb. 14 the organizers of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon confirmed that a local woman in her fifties who served as an interpreter at this year's race had published a blog post in which she referred to the African athletes on whose behalf she had worked as "chimpanzees." The woman said she had no malicious or racist intent behind her comments, but a spokesperson for the organizers called her choice of words "inappropriate." Organizers plan to review their training and guidance procedures for all race management staff members.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon took place in the two cities on Feb. 3. According to the spokesperson, the blog to which the woman posted the comments is for members of a sports club to which she belongs to report on what they have been doing. On Feb. 10 she wrote about her work with the African athletes, posting it with public access so that anyone could read it. She described the struggle of talking to the African athletes, saying …