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Fujiwara Vs. Kawauchi in Hofu Dec. 17

2015 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon winner Arata Fujiwara (Toyama T&F Assoc.) and 2012 / 2014 winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) return to lead the field for the Dec. 17 edition of the race. Fujiwara comes in three weeks after a win at the Tsukuba Marathon, which itself came just four weeks after a course record win at the Toyama Marathon. Kawauchi cuts it even closer, running both Fukuoka and Hofu as usual but adding a third marathon, the Jan. 1 Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, just two weeks later.

The pair's main competition comes from the Toshinari Takaoka-coached Hiroki Kadota (Kanebo) and former Hakone Ekiden star Tadashi Isshiki (GMO). At least three other members of the elite field will be emulating the past champs' high-volume racing, Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanjo City Hall) having run the Oct. 15 Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina, Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) the Nov. 26 Asian Marathon Championships in Dongguan, China, and Yusuke Tobimatsu (Hioki City Hall) scheduled to duplicate Kawauchi's Fukuoka-Hofu double. Kenyans Boniface Kirui and David Wanjohi lend some international flair to the proceedings.

48th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Elite Field

Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/17/17
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Hiroki Kadota (Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Tadashi Isshiki (GMO) - 2:11:45 (Tokyo 2016)
Arata Fujiwara (Toyama T&F Assoc.) - 2:11:50 (Hofu 2015)
Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanjo City Hall) - 2:12:12 (Tokyo 2015)
Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:13:46 (Tokyo 2016)
Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:15 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Sora Tsukada (SG Holdings) - 2:15:16 (Osaka 2016)
Yusuke Tobimatsu (Hioki City Hall) - 2:15:32 (Kagoshima 2017)
Boniface Kirui (Kenya) - 2:12:50 (Seoul 2012)
David Wanjohi (Kenya) - debut - 1:04:50 (Ottendorf Half 2012)

photo © 2014 Mari Tanigawa, all rights reserved
text © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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