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Kengo Suzuki 2:04:56 National Record to Win Final Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

Set to be absorbed into the mass-participation Osaka Marathon as its elite men's field next year the same way the old Tokyo International Marathon was swallowed whole by the Tokyo Marathon, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon wrapped its 76 years as a freestanding event with a bang, a big one, Sunday in Otsu.  Everything was on. The conditions were good, light clouds, 7˚C, 57% humidity and light breezes at the start. The field was good, 24 men having run sub-2:10 in the last three years and 52 sub-2:12. The pacing was good, the lead trio of pacers hitting almost every split within a couple of seconds of the target 2:58/km and the second group pacers even closer to the 3:00/km target. The shoes were good, across brands. 30 or so people went out on pace to go under the 2:05:29 national record in the first group, with what looked like about a hundred on mid-2:06 pace in the second group. Everything went smoothly and steadily, nature taking its course and whittling down both groups until
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Hagitani and Miura Win Senior Titles at National XC Championships

  20-year-old Kaede Hagitani  (Edion) and the just-turned-19 Ryuji Miura (Juntendo Univ.) took the senior titles at the 2021 National Cross-Country Championships Saturday in Fukuoka. Hagitani ran away with it, outclassing a tight chase trio to win the Senior Women's 8 km by 26 seconds in 25:54. High schooler Miku Sakai  (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) was an impressive 2nd in 26:20.  Like Sakai opting for the senior race, Miura, the U20 national record holder for 3000 m steeplechase and half marathon, had a tougher race on his hands in the Senior Men's 10 km, just getting two-time 5000 m national champion Hiroki Matsueda  (Fujitsu) at the line for the win in 29:10 with the next four finishers, including past national champ Kazuki Tamura  (Sumitomo Denko), all within 10 seconds. 36-year-old Hakone Ekiden legend and 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai  (Toyota Kyushu) showed there's still life in his legs, a surprising 11th in 29:30. The junior races were both blowouts at the same

Weekend Preview - National XC Championships and Lake Biwa

Two big events happen this weekend in western Japan. Saturday in Fukuoka are the National Cross-Country Championships . The list of withdrawals is pretty long, but the four races on the schedule are still set to pull in good talent, especially in the senior races where wins can score people without the qualifying standard places in the National Track and Field Championships 10000 m. Click the race distance for entry lists: Senior Men's 10 km , Senior Women's 8 km , U20 men's 8 km , U20 women's 6 km . TBS will be broadcasting the senior races on delay starting at 3:30 p.m. Japan time. Sunday is the final edition of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon before it moves back to Osaka next year. The entry list  is super deep, with 25 men who've run under 2:10 in the last 3 years and 53 sub-2:12, and at this point the only major withdrawal looks to be Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura . Expect Lake Biwa to go out with a bang. NHK will broadcast the entire race

Locals Reflect on the End of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

For half a century, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon has been held along the shores of Lake Biwa in Otsu, Shiga. Locals have long given it their full support, turning out as volunteers and to cheer. We talked to them about their memories of the historic race ahead of its final running before moving back to its original home in Osaka. Kikuji Kawamura , 85, a former Otsu municipal employee who has been a part of the race's operational team for decades, is known locally as a living encyclopedia of every aspect of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. In 1965, the year after the Tokyo Olympics, a friend asked him to help accurately measure the course's 42.195 km distance. The winner that year for the second time was two-time Olympic marathon gold medalist and famed barefoot runner Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia. Kawamura has vivid recollections of talking to Bikila there. "Before the race Abebe was warming up in the stadium and I noticed how skinny his legs were," Kawamura says. &q

Olympic Trials Winner Nakamura a DNS for Lake Biwa

After experiencing mild pain in the outer ankle of his left foot and being diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis, Tokyo Olympics men's marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura  (Fujitsu) has made the decision to withdraw from the Feb. 28 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon . Nakamura will take a few days off to rest and plans to resume light jogging next week. However, in combination with not meeting his performance goals at an intensive training camp last month, he has decided to err on the side of caution and withdraw. Comments from Nakamura: Lake Biwa was going to be my first race since the New Year Ekiden and my first marathon in a long time, so I'd been looking forward to it. The pain has already faded and doesn't look like it will get in the way of training, but after looking carefully at the situation we decided not to risk more serious injury and to withdraw in favor of being ready for the Tokyo Olympics.  I apologize to everyone who had been expecting to see me run. My first pri

Nagoya Women's Marathon Elite Field

The Mar. 14 Nagoya Women's Marathon announced this year's field yesterday, the same day that vaccinations officially began in Japan. It's another domestic-only race, but it has a great potential trio up front and looks to be going ahead with a mass-participation race. Up front are last year's Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Mizuki Matsuda , 25 km national record co-holder Sayaka Sato , and Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Ayuko Suzuki . Suzuki is only 9th by recent time, but with a half marathon best of 1:07:55 and this being her first shot at a fast marathon she's definitely got the potential to stay with Matsuda and Sato. Reia Iwade  and Rei Ohara  have both run 2:23 but neither has been near that level in the last few years, Iwade in particular having dropped out of Osaka last month and only running 1:13:10 last weekend at the National Corporate Half. Mao Uesugi , Haruka Yamaguchi  and Mirai Waku  all ran Osaka too, so whether they start and h