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Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 2:08:16 (Berlin 2018) - withdrawn due to injury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

Comments

Andrew Armiger said…
Ooh, looking forward to this!
Cresh said…
Hello,
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.
Thanks
Brett Larner said…
There isn't much available in English, unfortunately.

Most-Read This Week

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

High School 5000 m NR Holder Kosuke Ishida Enters Toyo University

Toyo University 's entrance ceremonies for the 2021-22 academic year took place Apr. 6 in Tokyo. Kosuke Ishida , the 5000 m high school boys' national record holder with a best of 13:34.74, was among the incoming first-years. He will be guided by head coach  Toshiyuki Sakai , 44, who at Toyo previously coached 10000 m national record holder Akira Aizawa , former half marathon and marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara , Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Yuma Hattori , 2:06:45 marathoner Ryu Takaku  and many other top-level talents. Through a statement issued by the university, Ishida said that he is aiming to make to the 5000 m at the 2024 Paris Olympics during his senior year. "This spring I've entered Toyo University," Ishida wrote. "The reason I chose Toyo University is that I want to become a world-class athlete, and I wanted head coach Toshiyuki Sakai to help me get there. My goals while a student at Toyo are to make the 5000 m at the 2024 Olymp

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