Skip to main content

Gorotani and Yoshizumi Defend Fuji Mountain Race Titles

Just ahead of an approaching typhoon former Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage man Shun Gorotani and established mountain runner Yuri Yoshizumi both repeated their summit climb wins in Friday's 71st edition of the iconic Fuji Mountain Race.


Already having established himself as one of Japan's premier uphill specialists, Gorotani had a lead of over four minutes by halfway into the run up to the peak of Mt. Fuji. Gorotani covered the 21 km, 3000 m+ elevation gain course in 2:39:28, almost 8 minutes off his winning time last year but 14 minutes ahead of runner-up Miki Ushida. Speaking to Dogsorcaravan post-race Gorotani expressed disappointment with his time, saying he couldn't move his legs at all. "I've still got a long way to go," he said.


Training for the climb last week Yoshizumi fell and broke her left hand. Refusing to let either the pain or heavy cast slow her down, Yoshizumi was the first woman to the summit in 3:11:14. Like Gorotani she was far off her 2017 time of 3:01:17 but had an unassailable lead over 2nd place, the next woman Mina Ogawa reaching the finish line in 3:23:53. "It was a little awkward but I didn't think [my hand] was going to have much impact on my run," Yoshizumi told Dogorcaravan. "But my time was terrible! I was trying to break 3 hours, but I wasn't even close."

A former marathoner before switching to mountain running, Yoshizumi won the Hokkaido Marathon in 2012. Another past Hokkaido winner, 2006 champ Kaori Yoshida, won the women's short course race to Mt. Fuji's Fifth Stage. Gorotani's Comody Iida teammate Yuki Yamada won the men's short course race.

special thanks to Dogsorcaravan
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Osako Brings Japanese National Record Back to Chicago

Just over seven months since Yuta Shitara broke Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding 2:06:16 national record from the 2002 Chicago Marathon with a 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February, U.S.-based Suguru Osako brought the record back home to Chicago with a 3rd-place finish in 2:05:50.

Running the same pattern as in his first two marathons, Osako sat back in the lead men's pack, never exerting himself as it whittled down to the core members. Just past the turn into Chinatown near 35 km his Nike Oregon Project teammate and 2017 Chicago winner Galen Rupp fell off the front group to leave Osako in contention with former NOP member Mo Farah, 2:04 Ethiopian Mosinet Gemerew, former Asahi Kasei runner Kenneth Kipkemoi and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

As in Boston and Fukuoka last year, when the real move came, this time in the form of a surge by Farah and Gemerew, Osako was left behind to battle it out for 3rd. While Farah kicked away for the win by 13 seconds in a European record 2:05:11,…