After discussion with their race's chief JAAF referee, on Nov. 27 the organizers of the Ageo City Half Marathon handed down a lifetime ban from their event against 36-year-old Australian Matt Inglis Fox for running the Nov. 15 race wearing the bib number of another JAAF-registered runner. The incident came to light after Fox posted on his personal Instagram account that he had run a PB of 1:06:33 and finished 203rd in Ageo with a 10 km split of 31:03, along with photos and video of himself in the race wearing a bib number beginning with 11. Fox did not appear in the results by name or in that time or place, the closest match being a 1:06:54 gross, 1:06:50 net finish time with a 31:21 10 km split for 18th place in the JAAF-registered division and 209th overall by bib number 1129, registered to a non-Japanese Tokyo-resident club runner. The club runner, Harrisson Uk , readily confirmed that he had given his bib to Fox, saying, "I gave my number to Matt. It wasn't me."
photo by Eldoreso , used with permission Japan's last two big marathons of the year both happened Sunday at the Fukuoka International Marathon and Hofu Yomiuri Marathon . Both came down to sprint finishes between a lead pack of four, and both saw past championships back on the top spot on the podium. Fukuoka only lasted through 15 km on the target pace for Japanese favorite Kyohei Hosoya (Kurosaki Harima) to hit the 2:05:50 he needed to replace Suguru Osako (GMO) on the Paris Olympic team. Past 15 it slowed, with a halfway split of 1:03:00 that the lead group held until 30 km. At that point it was a lead group of six, with Hosoya, 2021 Fukuoka winner Michael Githae (Suzuki), 2017 Fukuoka winner Sondre Nordstad Moen (Norway), Chinese duo Shaohui Yang and Peiyou Feng , and two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist Abel Kirui (Kenya). The pace slowed between 30 and 35 km once the pacers stopped, but even so Feng and Kirui lost contact, leaving the other four on track
Given all the breakthrough runs over 10000 m in Japan the last few weeks, enough to take Japan to 30 men sub-28 for the distance this year, it seems a bit odd to have the 10000 m National Championships happening this Sunday in Tokyo's National Stadium. But relative to the timing of ekiden season, the rest of the National Championships in the late spring, and next summer's Paris Olympics, it makes sense. NHKBS is broadcasting it live, with the men's race starting at 16:03 and the women's at 16:43. The 27:00.00 would be a stretch at this point for any of the Japanese men in the race, but one woman, former 5000 m NR holder Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) has actually cleared the 30:40.00 standard before with a 30:39.71 at the 2022 Oregon World Championships. But that was before the qualifying window opened, so she'll have to try to continue to build back from the injuries she suffered last winter if she wants to hit the standard here. Her best this year is 31:35.12 at