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Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 2:08:16 (Berlin 2018) - withdrawn due to injury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

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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.

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