Skip to main content

Elite Field for Final Lake Biwa Marathon

As the only game in town for its final running before being swallowed up by the Osaka Marathon's platinum ambitions, the Feb. 28 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon has put together the best field in its history. Times in the last three years don't mean what they used to, but even so Lake Biwa has 2 men sub-2:07, 7 sub-2:08, 13 sub-2:09, 25 sub-2:10, 40 sub-2:11 and 53 sub-2:12, all Japanese but one, Japan-based Kenyan Simon Kariuki (Togami Denki). 

Among them are 2:06 men Ryu Takaku (Yakult) and Hiroto Inoue (Mitsubishi Juko), half marathon national record holder Yusuke Ogura (Yakult), 2019 Fukuoka winner Taku Fujimoto (Toyota), Tokyo Olympics marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu), 100 km world record holder Nao Kazami (Aisan Kogyo) and many, many more. And there are at least another 7 men with half marathon bests under 62 minutes making debuts or trying to finish a marathon for the first time, notably university ekiden star Shunya Kikuchi (Josai Univ.) and 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (JR Higashi Nihon).

Lake Biwa often ends up not being as fast as it looks on paper, but with a field like this and pacers including sub-60 Kenyan James Rungaru (Chuo Hatsujo) and former Komazawa University teammates Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) and Shinobu Kubota (Toyota) it should be on for something good if the weather cooperates. NHK will be broadcasting the whole thing live, nationwide and commercial-free starting at 9:00 a.m. local time on the 28th. Let's hope Lake Biwa wraps its 76 years with a bang

76th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

Otsu, Shiga, 28 Feb. 2021
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Ryu Takaku (Yakult) - 2:06:45 (Tokyo 2020)
Hiroto Inoue (Mitsubishi Juko) - 2:06:54 (Tokyo 2018)
Yusuke Ogura (Yakult) - 207:23 (Tokyo 2020)
Yuta Shimoda (GMO) - 2:07:27 (Tokyo 2020)
Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 2:07:31 (Tokyo 2020)
Simon Kariuki (Kenya/Togami Denki) - 2:07:56 (Tokyo 2020)
Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 2:07:57 (Chicago 2018)
Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 2:08:16 (Berlin 2018) - withdrawn due to injury
Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:08:37 (Tokyo 2020)
Shohei Kurata (GMO) - 2:08:44 (Tokyo 2020)
Taku Fujikawa (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:08:45 (Tokyo 2020)
Yuji Iwata (Mitsubishi Juko) - 2:08:45 (Tokyo 2020)
Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 2:08:52 (Tokyo 2020)
Takuya Fukatsu (Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:06 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Kento Kikutani (Toyota Boshoku) - 2:09:07 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Kohei Futaoka (Chudenko) - 2:09:15 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Shoma Yamamoto (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 2:09:18 (Lake Biwa 2020)
Yuki Kawauchi (Nissei) - 2:09:21 (Lake Biwa 2019)
Shoya Okuno (Toyota Kyushu) - 2:09:28 (Lake Biwa 2020)
Ryo Hashimoto (GMO) - 2:09:29 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Tatsuya Maruyama (Yachiyo Kogyo) - 2:09:36 (Hofu 2020)
Kohei Ogino (Fujitsu) - 2:09:36 (Tokyo 2018)
Kenya Sonota (JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:09:50 (Lake Biwa 2020)
Hidekazu Hijikata (Honda) - 2:09:50 (Tokyo 2020)
Koji Kobayashi (Subaru) - 2:09:55 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 2:10:01 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Koki Yoshioka (Chuo Hatsujo) - 2:10:13 (Lake Biwa 2020)
Asuka Tanaka (Hiramatsu Byoin) - 2:10:13 (Tokyo 2018)
Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) - 2:10:15 (Gold Coast 2018)
Daichi Kamino (Cell Source) - 2:10:18 (Tokyo 2018)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Kurosaki Harima) - 2:10:19 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:10:19 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Kensuke Horio (Toyota) - 2:10:21 (Tokyo 2019)
Kengo Suzuki (Fujitsu) - 2:10:21 (Tokyo 2018)
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Konica Minolta) - 2:10:33 (Lake Biwa 2019)
Yoshihiro Nishizawa (Komori Corp.) - 2:10:37 (Hofu 2020)
Takuma Shibata (Komori Corp.) - 2:10:48 (Hofu 2020)
Shoya Osaki (Chudenko) - 2:10:48 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Daiji Kawai (Toenec) - 2:10:50 (Lake Biwa 2019)
Taiga Ito (Suzuki) - 2:10:59 (Fukuoka Int'l 2019)
Yusei Tsutsumi (JFE Steel) - 2:11:07 (Tokyo 2020)
Kazuya Azegami (Toyota) - 2:11:15 (Hofu 2020)
Yuichi Okutani (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:11:16 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Toshinori Watanabe (GMO) - 2:11:17 (Katsuta 2020)
Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:19 (Tokyo 2020)
Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:11:20 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Yoshiyuki Hara (Gotemba Takigahara SDF Base) - 2:11:21 (Hofu 2020)
Takuma Kumagai (Sumitomo Denko) - 2:11:23 (Fukuoka Int'l 2020)
Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:11:24 (Beppu-Oita 2019)
Kazuki Takeshita (SDF Academy) - 2:11:36 (Tokyo 2020)
Madoka Tanihara (Osaka Police) - 2:11:39 (Lake Biwa 2020)
Yuki Takamiya (Yakult) - 2:11:48 (Tokyo 2020)
Yuki Nakamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 2:11:58 (Beppu-Oita 2020)
Keita Shitara (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:12:13 (Tokyo 2020)
Nao Kazami (Aisan Kogyo) - 2:13:13 (Tokyo 2020)

Debut / First Finish
Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) - 1:00:31 (Marugame Half 2018)
Ryota Sato (Tokyo Police) - 1:01:01 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Shunya Kikuchi (Josai Univ.) - 1:01:45 (Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai Half 2020)
Daisuke Doi (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:01:50 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Kei Katanishi (JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:01:50 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2018)
Kazuki Uemura (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:01:51 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Shoya Kurokawa (JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:01:55 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee


Andrew Armiger said…
Ooh, looking forward to this!
Cresh said…
I'm collecting information about old marathon training in 1920s & 1930s.Actually i looking for information about Japanese training from this period. I know, they propably just walking a lot, like everyone else then, but maybe you don't have any articles / books about this theme? unfortunately I don't know Japanese and I couldn't find anything in English.
Brett Larner said…
There isn't much available in English, unfortunately.

Most-Read This Week

Oct. 17 Tokyo Marathon Set to Cancel Due to Extension of State of Emergency

With the government set to extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of the country, as of Sept. 6 it is all but certain that the Oct. 17 Tokyo Marathon will be canceled.  The published guidelines for the 2021 race state, "In the event that a state of emergency has been issued one month prior to the event as part of the government's efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, or if the local government has issued a request not to hold the race, the Tokyo Marathon will be canceled." The current state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Sept. 12, but as it is expected to be extended 2~3 weeks it will still be in force on the 17th. This makes the chances that the Tokyo Marathon will go ahead virtually non-existent. The event's organizers, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, plan to hold a board meeting in mid-September to make a final decision. The 2021 Tokyo Marathon was originally scheduled for Mar. 7, but in October last year in light of pandemic conditions the

Tokyo-Area Qualifier for National University Women's Ekiden Canceled

a press release from the event organizers, the KGRR As the weather shifts to the pleasantness of early autumn we send you our warmest greetings, and we thank you all for your continued support of the KGRR's activities. After careful discussion with the host city of Inzai, Chiba, we have made the decision to cancel the 27th Kanto Region University Women's Ekiden.  As this race serves to select the greater Tokyo area's representative teams at October's 39th National University Women's Ekiden, we will instead hold a selection event as per the details below, without spectators and following all the COVID-19 protocols outlined in the JAAF's "Guidance for Resuming Athletics Competition." Please be aware that depending on the status of the pandemic this event may also be canceled. We ask for your understanding and cooperation with this decision. Kanto Region Selection Event for 39th National University Women's Ekiden Date:  Saturday, Sept. 29, 2021 Locat

Kikutani 4th in Vienna

Kento Kikutani  (Toyota Boshoku) added a bit of drama to the Vienna City Marathon even before the disqualification of its original winner. 9th at February's record-breaking Lake Biwa Marathon in a PB of 2:07:26, Kikutani was the only one of the four Japanese men in Vienna to go with the lead pack. He stayed with them well into the second half before dropping off, but as the lead quartet slowed to set up for the last kick he came back, just making contact with the back of the group before the move came. Kikutani went into fourth, but with less than 2 km to go he suddenly stopped, walked, and then appeared to stretch out a cramp of other issue.  He dropped back to 5th by the time he made it across the line in 2:10:37, still good enough for the fastest time by a Japanese man overseas since Kenta Murayama 's 2:08:56 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon. It was a promising start to the post-Tokyo 2020 continuum. When initial winner Derara Hurisa  (Ethiopia) was disqualified for wearing non