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Yoshimatsu Wins 7th Hofu Marathon Title, Kawauchi Over Bat-Ochir

2018 Geneva Marathon runner-up Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) became the winningest champion in the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon's 49-year history Sunday, soloing a 2:38:58 to win Hofu for the 7th time. Running in cold and rainy conditions just three weeks after finishing 5th at the Osaka Marathon in 2:37:01, Yoshimatsu set off at mid-2:36 pace before slowing. Crossing halfway in 1:19:18 she turned the pace back around toward 2:37 territory before slowing again past 35 km to just squeeze under 2:39.

The fourth-fastest of her Hofu wins, Yoshimatsu beat her first winning time from way back in 2006 by 20 seconds and runner-up Chika Tawara (Team RxL) by almost 5 minutes. "I'm disappointed with my time," she told JRN post-race. "Other amateur women are running 2:34ish so it's hard to be satisfied with this. Maybe that's just being greedy." After the Osaka-Hofu double she will wrap her season in 3 weeks at China's Xiamen Marathon.

The men's race ran steadily near 2:09-flat pace until the departure of the pacers at 25 km, when it abruptly slowed by over 7 seconds per km. Two weeks after setting a Mongolian national record at the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler, three-time Hofu winner Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (NTN) made a few injections of pace as the lead group shrank down to a core group of five, but in the end he couldn't match the closing speed of fellow three-time winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).

Kawauchi closed from 40 km to the finish in 6:30 to win in 2:11:29, his best time of the year and making him the first man to win Hofu four times. Bat-Ochir was next in 2:12:12, his fastest time since 2015, just holding off Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) who was 3rd in a PB of 2:12:17. South Korean Jong-Sub Shim was 6th in 2:14:05, fading late in the race to just miss setting the fastest mark of the year by a South Korean man.


49th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon

Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/16/18
complete results

Women
1. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) -2:38:58
2. Chika Tawara (Team RxL) - 2:43:49
3. Chihiro Aibara (Nidaime Kiyomi Shokudo) - 2:48:09
4. Masa Shimizu (Amagasaki T&F Assoc.) - 2:48:18
5. Ai Ogo (Himeji T&F Assoc.) - 2:50:43

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:11:29
2. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:12:12
3. Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Kenya/Sunbelx) - 2:12:17 - PB
4. Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) - 2:12:28 - PB
5. Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:13:42
6. Jong-Sub Shim (South Korea) - 2:14:05
7. Kohei Oshita (Hiroshima Keizai Univ.) - 2:15:09 - PB
8. Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanjo City Hall) - 2:20:17
9. Masashi Hashimoto (Takeda Yakuhin) - 2:20:35
10. Tomonori Sakamoto (Kanagawa T&F Assoc.) - 2:21:01

photo © 2018 M.Kawaguchi, all rights reserved
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Comments

Yokohama said…
Yohsitomi, Sawahada, Yoshimatsu? They just keep it going. I think more sub-elite women or whatever you want to call seem more prevalent than the men in this category? I see a Chihiro.... What has C.T., been up to lately?
Brett Larner said…
Chihiro has been supporting her daughter Nozomi the last few years. Nozomi won the 3000m gold medal at World Juniors this year.

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