Skip to main content

Defending Champs Matsuo and Sato Top Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Entry List



The second of Japan's four big February-March elite men's marathons, the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon has released its entry list for this year's 56th running on Feb. 11. Traditionally a developmental event for first-timers and early-career marathoners, Nobeoka has been the place where some of Japan's best, most notably Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) have gotten their start.

This year Ryoichi Matsuo of the locally-based national champion Asahi Kasei team will try to become only the second man in Nobeoka history to win it three years in a row. His main challenge will probably come from Masahiro Kawaguchi (Yakult), at 2:13:27 the only man in the field with a faster recent time than Matsuo's winning time of 2:13:36 from Noboeka last year.

But given Nobeoka's nature any of the relatively inexperienced marathoners in the field, particularly Shota Miyagami (Kyudenko), could get it right this time and break through to Matsuo's level or beyond. Among the debuting men, the Koichi Morishita-coached Shoya Okuno (Toyota Kyushu), former Waseda University star Shuhei Yamamoto (Toyota) and relative unknowns Yusei Tsutsumi (JFE Steel) and Nobuyuki Matsumoto (Aisan Kogyo) deserve attention as potential competitors up front.

In just its fourth year with a women's field, last year's winner Noriko Sato (First Dream AC) returns as the favorite and the chance to score Nobeoka's first back-to-back women's title. The Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon will be broadcast live regionally in Kyushu and nationally on delay starting at 11:00 p.m. on the 11th on BS Fuji.

56th Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field

Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 2/11/18
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Masahiro Kawaguchi (Yakult) - 2:13:27 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Ryoichi Matsuo (Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:36 (Nobeoka 2017)
Sora Tsukada (SG Holdings) - 2:15:16 (Osaka 2016)
Shigeki Tsuji (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:15:19 (Gold Coast 2015)
Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 2:18:02 (Kagoshima 2017)
Hiroki Kai (Raffine) - 2:18:17 (Tokyo 2017)
Yuya Taguchi (Toyota Boshoku) - 2:19:41 (Biwako 2015)
Masao Kizu (DeNA) - 2:20:00 (Shizuoka 2017)
Yu Chiba (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 2:20:48 (Hokkaido 2015)
Shun Imamura (Press Kogyo) - 2:22:37 (Hakodate 2017)
Shota Miyagami (Kyudenko) - 2:25:16 (Nobeoka 2017)

Debut
Takumi Honda (Asahi Kasei) - 1:30:23 (Kumanichi 30 km 2014)
Shoya Okuno (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:31:49 (Kumanichi 30 km 2017)
Keisuke Tanaka (Fujitsu) - 1:32:42 (Kumanichi 30 km 2017)
Shuhei Yamamoto (Toyota) - 1:34:46 (Kumanichi 30 km 2017)
Yusei Tsutsumi (JFE Steel) - 1:02:38 (Nat'l Univ Half 2015)
Nobuyuki Matsumoto (Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:52 (Nat'l Corp Half 2015)
Hikaru Tominaga (Mazda) - 1:03:34 (Marugame Half 2015)
Shota Yamazaki (Yakult) - 1:03:48 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2017)
Kazuki Nakajima (Asahi Kasei) - 1:04:05 (Tamana 2017)
Daiki Taguchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:04:51 (Marugame Half 2017)

Women
Noriko Sato (FIrst Dream AC) - 2:48:51 (Hofu 2016)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…