Skip to main content

Takaoka Wins Himejijo 10 Miler (updated)

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Japanese men's national marathon record holder Toshinari Takaoka (Team Kanebo) won the Himejijo 10 Mile Road Race in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture on Feb. 11, running a time of 47:40. Takaoka accelerated with 1.5 km to go, passing Takashi Toyota (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko) with 1 km left to take the lead for good. Kenji Noguchi (Team Shikoku Denryoku) took 2nd in 47:44, with Toyota 1 second back in 3rd. The 6th place finisher in last summer's Osaka World Championships marathon, Satoshi Osaki (Team NTT Nishi Nihon), was 4th in 47:46.

"It's been a long time since I won something," Takaoka smiled after the race. He was scheduled to run last weekend's Ome Marathon 30 km road race until the race was cancelled due to heavy snow, but was able to negotiate a last-minute entry for Himejijo. At last December's Fukuoka International Marathon Takaoka finished a disappointing 10th and did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics. "This win has brought my confidence back," a happy Takaoka commented during his victory interview. "I can go back to practicing confidently and then go on to my next marathon. Beijing is impossible. 4 years from now will also be impossible. But I still want to taste both the difficulty and the attraction of the marathon." In the fast-approaching spring, Takaoka will run an overseas marathon free of pressure and free to do as he pleases.

Kotaro Fujioka (Josuikan H.S., Hiroshima) won the high school boys' division in 51:38. The remaining 3 divisions, each 5 km in length, all saw strong performances. Yayoi Nishiyama (Team Wacoal, Suma Gakuen H.S.) won the 15+ women's class in 16:18, while Yoshitaka Ogawa (Tatsuno Nishi J.H.S.) won the junior high school boys' category in 15:24 and Risa Yokoe (Inami Kita J.H.S.) won the junior high schools girls' division in 16:55.

Himejijo 10 Mile Road Race Results
1. Toshinari Takaoka (Team Kanebo): 47:40
2. Kenji Noguchi (Team Shikoku Denryoku): 47:44
3. Takashi Toyota (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko): 47:45
4. Satoshi Osaki (Team NTT Nishi Nihon): 47:46
5. Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokusho Seiko): 47:48
6. J. Young (U.K.): 47:49
7. Toshiya Katayama (Team NTT Nishi Nihon): 47:54
8. Shuichi Fujii (Team Nissin Shokuhin): 47:58
9. Sohei Wada (Team Shikoku Denryoku): 48:01
10. Toshihiro Iwasa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku): 48:01

Translator's note: Could Takaoka be running Boston or London? Having selected the hilly Ome 30 km as his tuneup race, it looks possible that Takaoka may be considering Boston. It would certainly make for a memorable race to see the aging national record holder turn up and have one more good run.


Most-Read This Week

Yugeta Betters Own 60+ World Record

Women's 60+ marathon world record holder Mariko Yugeta , 62, bettered her 2:52:13 record Saturday at Tokyo's Itabashi Trial Marathon . Part of the Trial Marathon Series, a nationwide series of professionally-operated uncertified micro-races that has popped up during the coronavirus pandemic, the Itabashi Trial Marathon covered almost 17 laps of a flat 2.5 km course along the Arakawa River on Tokyo's northern border.  Yugeta went out at just under 4:00/km, going through halfway in 1:24:04 and making it to 30 km in 2:00:08 before her pace started to slip. Ultimately she ran 2:52:01, 1st among the 21 female finishers and 14th overall . "That's it for marathons for this season," she told JRN post-race. "I didn't make it to sub-2:50, but I'll be training hard to go for it at the Tokyo Marathon this fall." text and photo © 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

25-Year-Old Kyohei Hosoya Targeting Paris Olympics Marathon

It's a fast new world in Japanese men's marathoning, and one of its exciting new stars comes to it straight out of Kyushu. His name is Kyohei Hosoya  (25, Kurosaki Harima). In just his second marathon he ran 2:06:35 for 3rd at February's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon , ranking him at all-time Japanese #6. In college he was mostly sidelined with injury, but since joining the corporate leagues his abilities have come into full flower. Now, with the 2024 Paris Olympics in his sights, he's poised to make another great leap forward. When the race in Lake Biwa began Hosoya was just an unknown 25-year-old, but when he hit the finish line he'd inked his name on the list of top candidates for the Paris Olympics. What once was just a dream is now a realistic goal. "I'd had some vague hopes before about representing Japan," he said, "but now that feeling is burning bright."  Someone who has been involved with Hosoya's athletic career had often told hi

Sato Breaks 1500 m U18 National Record - Weekend Track Roundup

It was a busy weekend on the track across Japan. At Saturday's Kanaguri Memorial Meet  in Kumamoto, the biggest news came in the men's 1500 m where 17-year-old Keita Sato (Rakunan H.S.) ran 3:40.36, a new U18 national record, the 2nd-fastest ever by a Japanese high schooler, and 3rd-fastest-ever U20 mark. Sato took 4th after leading the first three laps, with two of the three people who finished ahead of him going under 3:40. Winner Kazuki Kawamura (Toenec) broke into the all-time Japanese top ten at 3:38.83 and Keisuke Morita (Komori Corp.) was 2nd in 3:39.37. Steeplechase specialist Kazuya Shiojiri  (Fujitsu) followed up his 10000 m win last month in Nobeoka with a 5000 m PB at Kanaguri, dropping a Kenyan trio led by Justus Kevasa  (Honda) for the win in 13:22.80. A total of thirteen people broke 13:40 across heats. Joan Kipkemoi  (Kyudenko) led Japan-based Africans to sweep the top five spots in the women's 5000 m in 15:30.45, with Ethiopian Burka Desta  (Denso) taki