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Paris, Rotterdam and Guam - Weekend Overseas Marathon Results

Rio 10000 m Olympian Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) made a good debut Sunday at the Paris Marathon, finishing 8th in 2:26:13. Takashima started fast, on sub-2:21 pace until just before 30 km before fading. Her time was the 4th-fastest this year by a Japanese woman and best so far this season outside Japan, and it put her well within reach of the two-race sub-2:28:00 average route to qualifying for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials marathon. Kasumi Yoshida (Nitori) was 11th in 2:38:15 and Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) 16th in 2:45:34. Yoshiki Koizumi (Raffine) was the top Japanese man at 24th in 2:20:29.

Things went less smoothly at the Rotterdam Marathon. Running her third marathon in less than four months in a desperate attempt to get her MGC Race qualifying time this season, Hofu Yomiuri Marathon course record holder Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) went through halfway on schedule in 1:13:22 before starting to slow, ultimately finishing in 2:47:25 for 15th. On the men's side Yuki Yagi (Yagi Project) fell early in the race, sustaining an injury that forced him to drop out near 15 km.

Japanese runners took the top spots in both the women's and men's races at the Guam Marathon. High-volume marathoner Tomomi Sawahata (Sawahatters) won the women's race in 2:47:31, the first-ever sub-3 marathon by a woman on Guam soil and her 17th-straight marathon victory. Fuji Mountain Run champion Shun Gorotani (Comody Iida) won the men's race in 2:32:14.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …