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Showing posts from March, 2011

"Absolutely Never Give Up"

A couple of days ago the Japanese national soccer team played a charity match against a select team of players from J-League pro teams to raise funds for relief efforts for the disasters in the northeastern part of the country. The national team scored two goals and looked as though they would have a clean sweep. Then, in the second half, 44 year old veteran Kazu Miura , revered for hanging on to a pro career for the love of the sport, came on for the J-League team amidst players his children's age. As the overlayed text says, "Absolutely never give up. All our strength together as one."

Federation Announces Men's World Championships Marathon Team

by Brett Larner On Mar. 31 after a delay following the Mar. 11 disasters, Rikuren, the Japanese athletics federation, announced the lineup for the men's marathon team for August's World Championships in Daegu, Korea. The team is a strong one, inexperienced but fresh, with 2010 Asian Games silver medalist Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) and the 3rd and 4th place finishers from both the 2011 Tokyo Marathon and 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama T&F Assoc.), Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota), Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki). All but Kitaoka hold PBs under 2:10 set this year. No alternate was officially named. Also formally confirmed for the women's team was defending World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) who secured a place by winning the 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon in a course record 2:23:56. The remaining four women will be named following next mont

Kawauchi Joins Federation-Supported Ranks, Noguchi and Shibui Downgraded translated by Brett Larner Rikuren announced its list of athletes receiving special financial support in the 2011-2012 season on Mar. 31. Joining the ranks of the country's federation-supported athletes for the first time, Tokyo Marathon 3rd place finisher and amateur runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama T&F Assoc.) was officially granted B-class support.* Female marathoners Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) and Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and male sprinters Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) and Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) were downgraded from A-class to B-class. Only three athletes were categorized at the highest level, S-class; field athletes Koji Murofushi (Team Mizuno) and Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and marathoner Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei). *Translator's note: B-class athletes receive an annual stipend of 1,500,000 yen, roughly $18,000 USD at current exchange

Sendai Ikuei Grad Kinukawa on Latest Comeback Trail

by Brett Larner Ill or injured for almost the entire three years since her graduation from Sendai Ikuei High School, 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (21, Team Mizuno), got her latest attempt at a comeback to the level that as a high school student made her the next big hope of Japanese women's distance running off the ground on Mar. 30 at the Kokushikan University Time Trials . In a tuneup for next week's Kanaguri Memorial Track and Field Meet Kinukawa ran in a men's 5000 m heat, clocking a solid 15:46.58 . Her best performance since running 31:23.21 to break her own 10000 m junior national record in 2008, the result suggests that Kinukawa may reemerge this season in time to make the World Championships team on the track if she can stay in one piece. (c) 2011 Brett Larner all rights reserved

Sendai International Half Marathon Cancelled Due to Disasters translated by Brett Larner On Mar. 30 the organizers of the 21st Sendai International Half Marathon, scheduled to be held May 8 in Sendai, Miyagi, announced that the race has been cancelled due to the massive earthquake and tsunami which hit the Sendai area on Mar. 11. In explaining the cancellation spokespeople for the organizers cited the difficulty in travel to the area, the limited availability of accomodations for visitors, the involvement of local police and other support personnel in relief operations, and extensive damage to the course from the tsunami. They also expressed a desire to be respectful of the feelings of the tens of thousands of local survivors who have been reduced to a homeless, jobless state by the tsunami. The 33 members of the organizing committee met on Mar. 28 to discuss whether to cancel the race, arriving at an agreement by Mar. 30. At the time of the application deadline on Feb. 28, 1356 runners h

Fukushima Native Kashiwabara Ahead of Senior Year Debut: "Let's Show Everyone What We in the Northeast Are Really Made Of" translated and edited by Brett Larner Determination: Iwaki, Fukushima native Ryuji Kashiwabara. Click here to enlarge photo. Having defined the last three years of Japanese university men's distance running with three straight wins on the Hakone Ekiden's legendary uphill Fifth Stage, Toyo University's Ryuji Kashiwabara , 21, will start his senior year off in the 5000 m at the April 9 Kanaguri Memorial Track and Field Meet in Kumamoto with the thought of his native Fukushima Prefecture held close to his heart. His house seriously damaged in the Mar. 11 earthquake and part of his home city of Iwaki falling within the 30 km emergency zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor, the disaster has struck the "Mountain God" especially hard, but in announcing that he will run the Kanaguri Memorial Meet Kashiwabara has vowed to run a race that will help give courage to those still suffering

Kanaguri Memorial Meet Entry Lists Published

by Brett Larner After most of its spring road season was cancelled in the wake of the Mar. 11 disasters to strike its northeastern region, a sign came that Japan's running community has started to get back on its feet in the form of the release of the entry lists for the first major domestic track meet of the season, the Apr. 9 Kanaguri Memorial Meet in Kumamoto on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu. The A-heats of the men's and women's 5000 m promise much of the best action. In the men's 5000 m, along with Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.), Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) and a host of other top Japan-based African talent, two runners will receive special focus. Hakone Ekiden star Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) kicks off his senior year with the stress of his home prefecture Fukushima being the site of Japan's ongoing nuclear troubles. Having run 28:23 for 10000 m last fall as a high school student in earthquake and tsunami-hit Senda

Wanjiru Pulls Out of London Marathon translated by Brett Larner On Mar. 28, Beijing Olympics men's marathon gold medalist and 2009 London Marathon winner Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya) withdrew from this year's London Marathon to be held on Apr. 17. Wanjiru cited an injury to his right knee in announcing his withdrawal. He has not run a major race since winning last October's Chicago Marathon. In his place, three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel (Kenya) was added to this year's London field.

Mizuki Noguchi Donates 500,000 Yen to Disaster Relief translated and edited by Brett Larner 2004 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32, Team Sysmex) has donated 500,000 yen [~$6,125 USD] to disaster relief efforts following the Mar. 11 disasters in northeastern Japan. As a contracted employee of Sysmex, Noguchi's annual salary is quite different from what pro athletes of comparable ability receive, meaning the donation is a considerable one for her. The Sysmex women's distance running team also contributed 1,000,000 yen [~$12,250 USD] as a group. Noguchi's coach Nobuyuki Fujita commented, "We're doing this because she herself said she wanted to do something to help the situation. It hurt her deeply to see the disasters happening on television.*" Noguchi agreed, saying, "There are a lot of people in northeastern Japan in very difficult circumstances right now. Even if it's only a tiny

Slow-Motion Running in Real Time

2008 National Champions Team Toyota Jidoshokki Leave Chiba for Aichi translated by Brett Larner The Toyota Jidoshokki Women's Track and Field Team hereby announces that effective April 1, 2011, it will relocate its training base to Kariya, Aichi. On March 23 the team registered its membership with the central Japan Chubu Corporate Track and Field Association. As a company-sponsored team, the Toyota Jidoshokki team management wished to be closer to the parent company's headquarters and through sports to help make a positive contribution to the company's workers. The women's track and field team has been based in Sakura, Chiba since 2001, but by relocating to the company's headquarters in Kariya, Aichi they hope to help foster a stronger community feeling among the general workforce. In addition, Shigeo Hasegawa , head coach of 2010 National High School Ekiden champions Kojokan H.S., will take over as Toyota Jidoshokki head coach. The team's athletes have left the Sakura

104 Year Old Masters World Record Holder Killed in Tsunami translated and edited by Brett Larner The Iwate Prefectural Masters Track and Field Association announced Mar. 22 that Kamaishi, Iwate resident Takashi Shimokawara , 104, holder of three track and field world records in the 100+ masters' category, was killed by the tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan following the major earthquake on Mar. 11. According to Iwate Prefectural Masters Track and Field Association director Teruo Yaegashi , 71, a neighbor said that he had seen Shimokawara evacuating with his son and daughter-in-law, but his whereabouts afterwards were unknown. His body was later identified among those at a site where rescuers were gathering the bodies of area tsunami victims. Shimokawara was born in 1906. A physical education teacher for elementary and high school students, he became involved with track and field in his 50's. At

London, Boston, Daegu International Named as Women's WC Selection Race Replacements translated and edited by Brett Larner On Mar. 23, Rikuren announced that three overseas races, the April 10 Daegu International Marathon, the April 17 London Marathon, and the April 18 Boston Marathon have been designated as the official replacement selection races for this summer's Daegu World Championships women's marathon team. Due to the earthquake and tsunami disasters in northeastern Japan, both the final domestic selection race, the Nagoya International Women's Marathon, and its replacement, the Nagano Marathon, were cancelled, leading to the necessity of designating overseas events as the selection race. Only women who were entered in Nagoya are elligible for a World Championships team berth. Following the preemptive withdrawal of 2010 Nagoya winner Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC), Beijing Olympian Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) leads eight Japanese women in London. 2011 Osaka International W

Yuri Kano Withdraws From London Marathon translated by Brett Larner 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano 's coach Manabu Kawagoe (Second Wind AC) posted this notice of Kano's withdrawal from the Apr. 17 London Marathon this morning, just hours after the official announcement that the nine domestic elite women originally scheduled to run Nagoya have been added to the London Marathon field following the cancellation of both Nagoya and its domestic replacement as a World Championships selection race, the Nagano Marathon, in the wake of the series of disasters to hit Japan in the last two weeks. The Nagano Marathon World Championships selection race, a replacement for the cancelled Nagoya International Women's Marathon selection race, has now also been cancelled. Yuri Kano has been targeting the World Championships and planned to run the overseas selection race subsequently designated by the Japanese federation Rikuren, but after cons

University Federation Announces New Selection Criteria for World University Games Half Marathon translated by Brett Larner Due to the major earthquake disaster to strike northeastern Japan this year, the selection races for the 2011 World University Games men's and women's half marathon national teams were cancelled*. The following is an amendment to the information for selection published on the Inter-University Athletic Union of Japan website on Jan. 21, 2011 specifying the new selection criteria. The IUAU will consider the following in selection the World University Games team: 1. Those who have already broken the time standards established by the IUAU. 2. Apart from the men's and women's 5000 m and 10000 m, there are no specific selection races. Athletes' performances will be evaluated based on their times and marks. Athletes in the 5000 m and 10000 m must run in the meets specified below. 3. For the half marathon, the top two men and women in the 10000 m at the selection meet specified below will be

Nagano Marathon Joins Cancellation List!/RunningM_Courir translated and edited by Brett Larner The Nagano Marathon has officially cancelled its 2011 running, scheduled for April 17. Due to the major earthquake and tsunami disasters which hit northeastern Japan on March 11, a large number of police, medical and other emergency personnel have left Nagano to take part in relief operations in the affected area. As a result, the race's organizers do not feel they are in a position to offer adequate security and support to runners on the course and thus have no option but to cancel the race. Translator's note: Nagano was to be the replacement for the previously cancelled Nagoya International Women's Marathon as the final selection race for this summer's World Championships Japanese women's marathon team. According to previous announcements it is likely that London will now be used as the selection race. Click here for more on other races to have been cancelled since the March 11 disast

26,000+ Kasumigaura Marathon Cancelled Due to Course Damage translated and edited by Brett Larner The organizers of the Kasumigaura Marathon and 10-Miler, scheduled for April 17 in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, announced on Mar. 22 that this year's race has been cancelled. Officials cited extensive damage to the marathon's course from the recent major earthquake and tsunami which hit northeastern Japan on Mar. 11. With 26,555 entries this year Kasumigaura was set to become Japan's second-largest marathon, following only the Tokyo Marathon. Organizers stated that after deducting necessary expenses they will donate runners' entry fees to relief funds for disaster-stricken areas. Translator's note: Kasumigaura joins a long list of March and April races to be cancelled in the wake of Japan's recent disasters. A decision on whether or not the Nagano Marathon, also scheduled for April 17, will be held is expected later today.

Kano and Okubo Struggle in Nagoya Replacement Races

2011 New York City Half Marathon - Women click here for complete results 1. Caroline Rotich (Kenya) - 1:08:52 2. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:09:00 3. Kara Goucher (U.S.A.) - 1:09:03 ----- 21. Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) - 1:14:59 2011 Los Angeles Marathon - Women click here for complete results 1. Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) - 2:26:34 2. Amy Hastings (U.S.A.) - 2:27:03 3. Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:30:25 ----- 9. Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 2:42:48

World Cross-Country Championships - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner Despite nearly half its team hailing from earthquake and tsunami-hit areas, the Japanese squad was missing only two members of its senior men's team at the 2011 World Cross-Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain. The junior women were the stars of the day, taking a team bronze medal thanks in part to 12th and 13th place finishes from ace Katsuki Suga (Kojokan H.S.) and Tomoka Kimura (Chikuyo Joshi Gakuen H.S.). Hailing from the hard-hit city of Sendai, Natsuki Yoshida (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) was last on the team but still turned in a credible performance all things considered, 34th in 21:00. Her team medal will no doubt be a boost to the spirits of those back in Sendai dealing with the post-tsunami devastation. The senior women's and junior men's teams both placed 7th, the top individual performance on either team being a 26th-place run by women's team leader Hitomi Niiya (Team Toyota Jidoshoki), whose home base of Sakura, Chiba was badly shaken

Tokyo's Namban Rengo International Running Club Raises 600,000 yen in Tohoku Disaster Relief Run JRN associate editor Mika Tokairin was one of the Mar. 19 Tohoku Disaster Fundraiser Run's co-organizers. JRN editor Brett Larner covered the longest distance among the participants, 16 laps of Tokyo's historic Kaigakan running loop in Jingu Gaien.

170,000 Apply for Osaka Marathon's First Running translated by Brett Larner On Mar. 17 the organizers of the first running of the Osaka Marathon , scheduled for Oct. 30, announced that 171,744 people applied for the new race by the Mar. 15 application deadline, 5.7 times the number of available spots. 154,822 people applied for the 28,000 places in the full marathon, while 16,922 people applied for the 2000 places in the 8.8 km challenge run. Among areas affected by last week's earthquake and tsunami disasters, 440 people from Miyagi prefecture, 144 from Iwate, 290 from Fukushima and 977 from Ibaraki applied for the race. Results of the lottery for entries are scheduled to be sent out in mid-April to the email address applicants registered at the time of entry, but organizers expect many people affected by the disasters to be unable to confirm their entries. A spokesperson for the organizers commented, "We are looking at the options for how to de

Three Ways for Runners to Support Japanese Relief Efforts

Along with the first-round efforts from the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other major relief organization, several ways have emerged for runners to help the 370,000 displaced and homeless in Japan's tsunami-stricken northeastern region. As temperatures in the area have fallen below zero their circumstances have drastically worsened. Baseball's Ichiro Suzuki has donated 100 million yen, roughly $1,235,000 USD at current exchange rates, to the Japanese Red Cross, but we can all still do our parts. Please take a moment to do something to help. Two-time World Championships 400 m hurdles bronze medalist Dai Tamesue is fundraising on behalf of Civic Force, an emergency response team operating in the tsunami-affected area. Click here to support his efforts . Marathon Talk has organized Run for Japan, a worldwide effort for people to dedicate one of their runs to supporting Japan via the British Red Cross. Click here to visit their site . Namban Rengo , a Tokyo-based internatio

Fukushima Explained in Animation for Children and Like-Minded Adults

Here is the clearest, most succinct summary of the situation in Fukushima we have come across. Click the widescreen or YouTube options to make sure the subtitles don't get cut off. If you haven't done so already, please click here to donate to ongoing relief efforts through a fund set up by two-time World Championships 400 mH medalist Dai Tamesue . Thank you. Brett & Mika Japan Running News

About World XC - Yuki Sato (updated) translated by Brett Larner This is a post Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) made on his blog on Mar. 15. Because of the recent major earthquake in northeastern Japan I've decided not to run in the World Cross Country Championships in Spain. Japan will be sending a team to the championships but they've left it up to us to decide individually whether or not we run. I just don't feel like I want to, and my legs are not 100%, so taking it all into account I've decided to scrap the idea of going. I wanted to go and run a race that would give the people back home at least a little good news, but in my current condition I don't think that's the kind of race it would end up as. My goal now is to do the work I can to heal my spirit so that in my next race I can give everyone my share of the good news they need. Translator's note: Junior team members Yuma Hattori and Natsumi Yoshida are both students at Sendai Ikuei H.S. in one of the

'Japan Quake: "How Can I Help Japan?"'

JRN regular readers please consider making a donation to one of the organizations below to help with relief efforts. Please also link this story or copy the embeddable code to your own site or blog. Our thanks for all of your support over the last four years. Brett & Mika Japan Running News Update: Click here to donate to 400 m hurdles double World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue 's charity Team Japan.

Japan's Spring Race Season Shutting Down (updated)

by Brett Larner Along with the cancellation of the elite Nagoya International Women's Marathon and National University Men's Half Marathon Championships (Tachikawa Akishima Half Marathon) last weekend and the National Corporate Half Marathon Championships and National University Women's Half Marathon Championships (Matsue Ladies Half Marathon) this coming weekend following the string of disasters to strike northeastern Japan, several major amateur-level races in eastern Japan have also announced they will cancel this spring's editions. One of Japan's largest marathons, the Itabashi City Marathon (known until this year as the Tokyo Arakawa Shimin Marathon) has cancelled its planned Mar. 20 running, along with the Tamako Ekiden the next day. On Mar. 27 the Sakura Asahi Marathon in Chiba Prefecture and the Kumagaya Sakura Half Marathon in Saitama Prefecture have also announced their cancellations. Yet another is Shizuoka's Yaizu Minato Half Marathon , sch

National Corporate Half Marathon and Road 10 km Championships Cancelled Due to Earthquake translated by Mika Tokairin Due to the major earthquake in northeastern Japan, members of Yamaguchi Police Headquarters and the Yamaguchi SDF base will be sent to take part in relief efforts. Therefore, we cannot proprely execute proper safety protocols for road closure during the race. Also considering the massive extent of damage to the afflicted areas in northeastern Japan, we have decided it is unfortunately necessary to cancel the 39th National Jitsugyodan Half Marathon and Road 10 km Championships scheduled for Mar. 20. We understand this was an important target race for all athletes who entered and trained for it, but we ask you to understand the overall situation and request your cooperation. Thank you. We do not plan to reschedule the event, so we ask for your additional understanding in this respect. For any further questions, please contact the race office. Translator's note: The National Jitsugyodan

World Championships Marathon Team Announcement Postponed translated by Brett Larner Rikuren, the Japanese athletics federation, announced on Mar. 14 that its decision on the final lineup for the men's and women's marathon teams for this summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea, will be postponed. The naming of the team was scheduled to take place during Rikuren's general and committee meetings on Mar. 15, but due to the major earthquake in northeastern Japan it was not possible for the meetings to be held.

Video of Explosion at Fukushima Reactor #3

2010 New Year Ekiden Winner Nissin Shokuhin Donates 1,000,000 Cup Noodle Instant Ramen for Disaster Relief translated by Brett Larner If you haven't done so already, please click here to donate to ongoing relief efforts through a fund set up by two-time World Championships 400 mH medalist Dai Tamesue . Thank you. Brett & Mika Japan Running News Nissin Shokuhin Holdings subsidiary Nissin Shokuhin announced on Mar. 13 that in response to the major earthquake disaster in northeastern Japan, it will donate 1,000,000 containers of its "Cup Noodle" brand instant ramen to the relief effort. The company's Tohoku branch in Sendai will serve as the base for Nissin Shokuhin's relief work. Because the Mar. 11 earthquake knocked out water and gas in many stricken areas, the company will also supply seven kitchen cars used to prepare Cup Noodle at sports games and other public events. A company spokesperson commented, "Even in areas hit hard by the earthquake we will be able to provide victims with hot Cup

Nagano Marathon Likely to Serve as Replacement Selection Race for Cancelled Nagoya translated by Mika Tokairin Due to the major earthquake in northeast Japan, on Mar. 12 the organizers of the Nagoya International Women's Marathon, scheduled for Mar. 13, announced the official cancellation of the race. Nagoya was to be the final selection race for the national women's marathon team for this summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea. There was no postponement of the race. In making the decision to cancel the race organizers took into account the continuous aftershocks, the prediction of more extensive damage than initial estimates, and the state of confusion in road traffic. The cancellation is the first in Nagoya's history since it was founded in 1980 as a 20 km women's road race. In response to the cancellation, Rikuren has announced that by the time of its board meeting on Mar. 15 it will select a domestic or overseas race in April to serve as a replacement selection race. Only athlet

Video of Explosion at Fukushima Reactor and Analysis

Recommended read on the situation at the stricken nuclear plants:

Nagoya International Women's Marathon Cancelled Due to Earthquake translated by Brett Larner Due to the major earthquake in northern Japan on Mar. 11, in consideration of the continuous aftershocks and confusion in road traffic and public transportation, we have decided to cancel the 2011 Nagoya International Women's Marathon scheduled for Mar. 13. Translator's note: This was to be the last selection race for Japan's women's marathon team for the World Championships. Four of the domestic women in the Nagoya field were training in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of last month's earthquake there.

National University Men's Half Marathon Championships Cancelled After Earthquake translated by Brett Larner Following the major earthquake in northern Japan on Mar. 11, aftershocks have continued to occur. We can also expect continued disruption to public transportation. The course of the Tachikawa Akishima Half Marathon scheduled for Mar. 13 (the 14th National University Men's Half Marathon Championships and the selection race for the national team for the 26th World University Games) takes place partly on the Tachikawa Self Defense Force base, a designated disaster relief facility, and the neighboring Showa Kinen Park where the course ends is a designated evacuation area. Given the current state of emergency activity we have decided to cancel the race. We will send the race program and planned premium entry goods to all entrants by mail, apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding.

No Official Decision Yet on Whether to Go Ahead With Nagoya Int'l Women's Marathon translated by Brett Larner In response to the major earthquake in northern Japan, one of the federation officials in charge of the Nagoya International Women's Marathon scheduled for Mar. 13 told to the media on Mar. 11, "We haven't come to a definitive decision yet. We will consider whether or not to go through with the race once we examine the situation throughout Japan." A race organizer stated, "We are still watching how the situation unfolds. We are undertaking preparations for the event, but the final decision will depend on the federation's determinations." Nagoya is the final domestic women's selection race for this summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea. Translator's note: Four of the elite Japanese women scheduled to run Nagoya were caught in Christchurch, New Zealand during that recent earthquake.

Major Earthquake and Tsunami Hit Sendai and East Coast of Japan (updated) Update 3/12/11 a.m.: More pics: The train we were stuck on was on the tracks to the right in the last picture in the above sequence immediately below that scene of the people evacuating. Update: Shocking gallery of photos here . The pictures from the tsunami hitting Hitachinaka are of Mika's hometown where her parents still live. Update: Use Keyhole TV to follow live Japanese coverage of the Sendai earthquake, now being called the worst to ever hit Japan, and tsunami. Use password NHK to follow NHK's coverage. Mika and I just got home after walking 15 km across Tokyo after being stuck on a train down by the

Tokyo Marathon 3rd Placer Yuki Kawauchi Gives $72,000 BMW Prize to Mother translated by Brett Larner The top Japanese and 3rd place overall finisher at the 30,000+ runner Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 27 was "Public Servant Runner" Yuki Kawauchi, 24, an administrative assistant in a Saitama high school. Four days before the race was the seventh anniversary of the death of Kawauchi's father Akio, the director of scouting for a major talent agency. On the Tuesday morning after the marathon Kawauchi told his mother Mika, 46, "I have to tell dad about the race, so I'm going out for a jog," before running to his father's grave. "I wish my husband could have seen Yuki now," said Mrs. Kawauchi. "He passed away when things were not going well and never got to see any of the improvement Yuki made in university and afterward. But I can feel that he is reaching down from heaven to give Yuki a supportive push from behind." As the top Japanese man at the Tokyo Mara

Fully Recovered From Serious Accident, Noriko Matsuoka Nervous but Ready for Nagoya International Women's Marathon Debut translated by Brett Larner At the final domestic selection race for the 2011 World Championships women's marathon team, the Mar. 13 Nagoya International Women's Marathon , track ace Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) will take on her marathon debut. "I wouldn't exactly say that I have no chance [to make the World Championships team]," she says. Matsuoka has always kept the hope of making a strong marathon debut hidden away inside, and now at age 31 having risen above hardship and setbacks she is ready to take hold of the opportunity. With no significant injuries since last summer Matsuoka completed the entire training menu she was given and is in a state of excellent preparation. But, she says, "I've practiced and practiced, but for some reason I just can't shake my self-doubt. 42.195 km is a long way. But, I think that when we get down to the day before the race I'll

Daegu Reveals World Championships Marathon Course translated by Brett Larner At a press conference in Nagoya on Mar. 7, organizers of the 2011 World Championships set to take place this August and September in Daegu, South Korea announced the course for the men's and women's marathons. The women's marathon will take place on the first day of competition, Aug. 27, with the men's race set for the the final day, Sept. 4. Both races will begin at 9 a.m. From a start point in the city center the marathon course will cover two circuits of a 15 km loop before finishing on a 12.195 km loop. Organizing committee director Zo He Nyon commented, "The course is very flat, meaning we can look forward to excellent performances." The organizers also announced that the men's 100 m final will take place on the second day of competition, Aug. 28, at 8:45 p.m.

Two Pro Runners Hit By Truck During Half Marathon translated by Brett Larner Tamana city officials announced on Mar. 8 that two corporate runners at this year's 62nd edition of the Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon , held Mar. 6, were hit from behind by a small truck during the race. The city's spokesperson said, "We have been late in issuing reports on the accident to the local athletics federation and media. We deeply apologize." According to city officials, the athletes injured in the accident, both belonging to the Kurosaki Harima corporate team, were team captain Mamoru Iwaida , 28, and Shuzaburo Kubo , 20. Iwaida suffered only minor injuries, but Kubo's left ankle was broken and he will be out of training for at least six weeks as a result. Both runners dropped out of the race after being hit. At the time of the accident the two runners were roughly 16 km from the start running southbound on the prefectural highway when a smal

National Corporate Half Marathon and Road 10 km Championships Entry Lists Released

by Brett Larner The national corporate federation has released the entry lists for this year's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships, to be held Mar. 20 in Yamaguchi, this year with the addition of a women's road 10 km. Notable names include men's half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) who has been out of competition since finishing 3rd at the 2010 Tokyo Marathon, 2011 World Championships team member Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN), 2010 Nagoya Half Marathon winner Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko), 2010 Marugame Half Marathon winner Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu), 2011 Tamana Half Marathon winner Dishon Karukuwa (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo), former university star Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo), sub-28 track ace Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei), and, continuing his comeback from the injuries that knocked him out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon, Satoshi Osaki (Team NTT Nishi Nihon). The women's half marathon features th

Federation Tells World Championships Marathoner Horibata To Go On Diet translated by Brett Larner Having made the 2011 World Championships marathon team by running a PB of 2:09:25 to come in 3rd overall and as the top Japanese finisher at the Mar. 6 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Hiroyuki Horibata (24, Team Asahi Kasei), talked to the media at Osaka Airport on Mar. 7. Following Sunday's race Rikuren director Keisuke Sawaki , 67, told Horibata, "Let's cut things down a bit until the World Championships," directing him to go on a diet. The 189 cm Horibata weighs 72 kg [~6'3", 160 lbs]. When he joined Team Asahi Kasei in 2005 at age 18 he weighed 65 kg, and this weight is still generally listed on his profile at races and in the media. "For some reason it never changes," he said with a grin. His coach Takeshi Soh , 58, commented, "If he was hungrier for glory his world would change completely," slapping the 'heavyweight division runner'

Kano Wins First Omotesando Women's 10 km

by Brett Larner photo by Mika Tokairin In her final tuneup before defending her Nagoya International Women's Marathon title on Mar. 14, Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) won the first running of the Mar. 7 Shibuya Omotesando Women's 10 km in 35:45. A hilly course through the heart of Tokyo's fashion district, the Omotesando race attracted roughly 4000 women. (c) 2011 Brett Larner all rights reserved photo (c) and (p) 2011 Mika Tokairin

Ndereba to Run First Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Half Marathon translated by Brett Larner Organizers of the first running of the Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Half Marathon , scheduled for May 15, announced on Mar. 7 that two-time Olympic marathon medalist and former world record holder Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) will run this year's race. Takahashi is also scheduled to take part. Ndereba commented, "I'm looking forward to running together with all of you."

Kenyans Karukuwa, Waroru Take Course Records at Tamana Half Marathon

by Brett Larner click here for photos of the race With ideal weather across most of the country, Kenyans Dishon Karukuwa (Team Aisan Kogyo) and Titus Waroru (Chinzei Gakuin H.S.) ran through light rain to take down the course records in the men's half marathon and high school boys' 10 km divisions at the 62nd running of the Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon Mar. 6 in Tamana, Kumamoto. Back on the roads after running January's Osaka International Women's Marathon, last year's runner-up Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera), one of the nine Japanese women training in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the recent major earthquake, took the women's 10 km by a wide margin. The 19 year-old Karukuwa ran 1:02:20 to break the standing half marathon course record by 18 seconds. He was the first Kenyan winner in Tamana history and only the third non-Japanese to ever take the title. Runner-up Yukinobu Nakazaki (Team Toyota Kyushu) ran a strong 1:03:09, fast enough to

Wilson Kipsang Wins Lake Biwa With World-Leading 2:06:13 CR - Video Highlights

by Brett Larner Wilson Kipsang wins in a CR 2:06:13. Click here for video highlights courtesy of NHK. Like last weekend's Tokyo Marathon, the 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon , Biwako for short, was blessed with excellent conditions. The final domestic selection race for this summer's World Championships, Biwako played out as largely according to script as Kenyan Wilson Kipsang broke aggressive Ethiopian rival Deriba Merga over the final kilometers to win in a world-leading course-record 2:06:13, while a young Japanese marathoner, 24 year-old Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei), stepped up with a PB of nearly 2 1/2 minutes to crack the 2:09:30 time requirement for a guaranteed spot on the Worlds team, finishing 3rd in 2:09:25. Despite none of them having a PB under 2:11 versus all six invited foreign elites having PBs under 2:09, the top contingent of Japanese athletes brought A-game, taking seven of the top ten spots, four under 2:11, five with PBs, one in a debut, and

Quotes From the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Pre-Race Press Conference translated by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner Wilson Kipsang (Kenya): "It's going to be a tough race but I'll do my best. I'm going for the course record [2:07:34]. 2:05 is my target." Deriba Merga (Ethiopia): "[Kipsang] is definitely strong, but the marathon is not the same every time." Satoshi Yoshii (Team Sumco): "I also have a chance [to run a fast time like Kawauchi at last week's Tokyo Marathon]. I want to take it." Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki): "[Although I only have a 29 minute 10000 m best like Kawauchi,] I do better in big races over longer distances." Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu): "I'm running Biwako, not Tokyo [against Kawauchi]. I don't have to be so tense." Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota): "When I was [at the Berlin World Champs

Federation to Disband Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee translated by Brett Larner Rikuren, the Japanese athletics federation, announced on Mar. 4 that it will disband its Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee at the end of this month . The committee was established following the 2008 Beijing Olympics and tasked with strengthening the state of Japanese marathoning, but with no improvement in results it has been deemed ineffective. From April, long distance and marathoning will be grouped together with the overall track and field strengthening program headed by Susumu Takano in the leadup to the London Olympics. The budget for marathoning and distance running will also be bundled together with the overall track and field budget, allowing greater flexibility in allocating resources. The Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee was headed by director Keisuke Sawaki , but apart from the silver medal won by Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) in the women's marathon a

Happy Birthday Yuki Kawauchi

Click here to enlarge photo. Today is Yuki Kawauchi 's 24th birthday. お誕生日おめでとうございます。

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Preview - Will We See the Kawauchi Effect? Watch Online

by Brett Larner The 66th running of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon , known throughout Japan simply as Biwako, takes place this Sunday, Mar. 6. The final selection race for the Japanese men's marathon team for this summer's World Championships, Biwako's elite field this year highlights the disparity in elite Japan's men's marathoning over the last two years. On the one side is the overseas field of six, without a doubt the best Biwako's organizers have assembled to date. All six have PBs under 2:09, four of them set last year and none older than 2008. Kenyan Wilson Kipsang leads the way with a stellar 2:04:57 mark set at last fall's Frankfurt Marathon. Kipsang is here for one purpose: to do what Ethiopian Olympic medalist Tsegaye Kebede did for the Fukuoka International Marathon in 2009 and give the race a course record on par with the world's best. Kipsang is the heavy favorite, but he faces tough competition from Ethiopia's Deriba Merga , fr