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'Summary of Post-Race Press Conference at Tokyo Marathon'

Excellent quotes from 2011 Tokyo Marathon winners Hailu Mekonnen and Tatiana Aryasova along with top Japanese finishers Yuki Kawauchi and Noriko Higuchi, thanks to Ken Nakamura:

http://www.all-athletics.com/en-us/2011-02-28/summary-post-race-press-conference-tokyo-marathon

This translated article also has some good quotes from Kawauchi and one priceless piece of info about his World Championships plans:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/sports/news/20110228p2a00m0na016000c.html

"The Rocky of the Marathon World" - Saitama Governor Praises Kawauchi (updated)

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20110228-OYT1T00190.htm?from=y10
http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2011/02/28/0003832907.shtml
http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/saitama/TKY201102270461.html
"Amateur Kawauchi 3rd" by Daisuke Yamaguchi, Nikkei Newspaper 2/28/11

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Update: Reader vilagoiberia sent me a link to this video of the last 6.5 km of Kawauchi's run.



Kawauchi with his bronze medal, after regaining consciousness. Click photo to enlarge.

He did it, he's on the national team. At the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi, 23, an administrative worker at Saitama Prefectural Kasukabe High School, ran 2:08:37 to finish as the top Japanese man and 3rd overall. In so doing he secured a place on the Japanese national team for this summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea, earning joyful respect and praise from those connected to him.

Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government in April, 2009, taking a job as an adminis…

Japanese Federation and Corporate League Feel Stinging Impact of Kawauchi's Run

http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2011/02/28/0003832911.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

Saitama-based amateur runner Yuki Kawauchi, 23, finished 3rd at the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon in 2:08:37. The top Japanese finisher, he earned a guaranteed spot on the national team for August's World Championships marathon. As an ordinary amateur runner not belonging to a jitsugyodan corporate team, Kawauchi's titanic run has had a profound impact on Rikuren, the Japanese federation.

Rikuren director Keisuke Sawaki commented, "I think it is quite a major shock to all the established teams to see the limelight shining on a unique runner like Kawauchi."

Rikuren Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee executive Toshio Kiuchi agreed that Kawauchi's result was a sharp sting to the corporate team system, saying, "This shows that our elite runners have to toughen up and get to work. Back in the day everyone had the kind of hunger Kawauchi showed today."

Team Chugoku Denryoku…

Mekonnen Wins Tokyo Marathon, Amateur Kawauchi 3rd in 2:08:37 (updated)

by Brett Larner

Update: Reader vilagoiberia just sent me a link to this video of the last 6.5 km of Kawauchi's run.



Dreams come true - Yuki Kawauchi

Losing its biggest stories one by one with the withdrawal of world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia), defending champion Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda), debuting Kenyan star Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and debuting former university Hakone Ekiden star Hideaki Date (Team Chugoku Denryoku), in its fifth edition the Tokyo Marathon got something else entirely.

With the day dawning with ideal conditions, 7 degrees, light partial cloud cover and gentle winds, everyone knew the race would be fast. 19 year old pacer Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B), who ran a course record 27:52 a day earlier in the senior men's 10k at the Fukuoka International XC Meet, took the race out slightly ahead of schedule, splitting 14:56 for the downhill first 5 km and 14:59 for the next. 15 km went by in 44:49, 20 km in 59:53 and halfway in 1…

Karoki, Niiya, Suga Win Again at Fukuoka Int'l XC

by Brett Larner

The winners of three of the four main races at the Feb. 13 Chiba International Cross Country Meet repeated two weeks later at the 25th Fukuoka International Cross Country Meet of Feb. 27 with dominant performances under sunny skies. The final of the domestic selection races for next month's World Cross Country Championships in Spain, Fukuoka settled the list of contenders for the Japanese Worlds team.

In the senior men's 10 km, Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) was in another league from the rest of the field, running a sensational course record 27:52 to win by 58 seconds over countryman Nicholas Makau (Kenya/Team Yachiyo Kogyo). Karoki became the first runner to clear 28 minutes on the Fukuoka course, clearing the old record by 26 seconds. Makau finished in the lead spot among a tight-knit pack of four followers, outkicking Jakob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) for 2nd in 28:50. Tokai University sophomore Akinobu Murasawa, the top non-African at last year's…

Christchurch Training Camp Marathon Women Comment on Their Experience of Earthquake

http://mainichi.jp/enta/sports/general/news/20110225k0000e040034000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

All nine athletes and six support staff from the federation-sponsored women's long distance training camp in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of this week's major earthquake returned safely to Japan the morning of Feb. 25. Four of the athletes and five of the staff members arrived at Tokyo's Narita International Airport, with the remaining camp members flying in to Osaka's Kansai International Airport. The four athletes arriving in Tokyo shared comments on their experiences with members of the media.

Multiple national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) said, "I've never felt an earthquake that big before. It was too much to put into words."

Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), winner of last month's Osaka International Women's Marathon, was blunt, saying only, "It was terrifying. We were lucky, period."

Azusa Nojiri (Team D…

'Fukuoka Cross Country - Preview' - Watch Online

The 25th Fukuoka International Cross Country Meet takes place this Saturday, Feb. 26.

Click here for the IAAF's preview of the event, Japan's final selection event for next month's World Cross Country Championships.

Click here for entry lists - scroll to bottom of page. Waseda University's Yo Yazawa reports that his teammate Suguru Osako, the Asian junior half marathon area record holder, is also scheduled to run in Fukuoka.

The races will be broadcast on TBS from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Japan time on the 26th. Overseas viewers should be able to watch online via Keyhole TV. Click here for more information.

Haile Gebrselassie Out Of Tokyo Marathon

http://www.asahi.com/sports/update/0224/TKY201102240455.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 24 the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that men's marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia has withdrawn from the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon after falling during training in Ethiopia and injuring both knees. Gebrselassie's agent informed race organizers of the development on the evening of Feb. 23.

In October Gebrselassie committed to running the Tokyo Marathon, but just weeks later he announced his retirement following a DNF at November's New York City Marathon. He later reversed his decision to retire.

Tokyo Marathon Men's Preview - Turning to the New (updated)

by Brett Larner

Update 2/26: Hideaki Date (Team Chugoku Denryoku) is also out. Quite a shame.

Update 2/25: Along with Gebrselassie, defending champion Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) is out of Tokyo after coming down with a fever. 2007 Tokyo runner-up Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei) is injured and will also DNS.

It's Tokyo Marathon week. This is the second of JRN's two-part preview of this year's fifth edition, to be held this Sunday, Feb. 27. Click here for part one, our women's preview, and look for additional articles and info as the week goes along. This year's race will be broadcast live on Fuji TV beginning at 9 a.m. Japan time. Overseas viewers should be able to watch online via Keyhole TV. Some viewers experienced trouble with Keyhole for last week's Yokohama International Women's Marathon but it appears to be working fine as of this writing, so make sure you have downloaded the current version of the player to increase your chances. In any case, JRN …

Christchurch Marathon Camp Athletes Due Back in Japan on Friday

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20110223-OYT1T00809.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 23 Rikuren announced that the nine athletes and six support staff members training in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the major Feb. 22 earthquake will leave New Zealand the evening of Feb. 24 and arrive back in Japan the morning of Feb. 25.

Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya), Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) and five staff members will fly to Sydney before transferring to a Narita-bound flight. The other five athletes and remaining staff member will fly to Auckland and continue on to Kansai International Airport.

The Rikuren-sponsored training camp was scheduled to run from Feb. 7 through the 27th, but to ensure the safety of all participants in the wake of the earthquake the decision was made to cut it short. The extensive damage to the roads and surrounding area make running outside impossible, and the hotel to which the camp …

Shibui Returns - Tokyo Marathon Women's Preview

by Brett Larner

It's Tokyo Marathon week. This is the first of JRN's two-part preview of this year's fifth edition, to be held this Sunday, Feb. 27. Click here for part two, our men's preview. Look for additional articles and info as the week goes along. This year's race will be broadcast live on Fuji TV beginning at 9 a.m. Japan time. Overseas viewers should be able to watch online via Keyhole TV. Some viewers experienced trouble with Keyhole for last week's Yokohama International Women's Marathon but it appears to be working fine as of this writing, so make sure you have downloaded the current version of the player to increase your chances. In any case, JRN will be doing live race commentary via Twitter. Click here to follow.

The Tokyo Marathon's elite women's race occupies a peculiar position in its third edition, with world-class prize money at stake and quality overseas competition but excluded from the selection races for this year's World C…

Okamoto and Date Look to Carry on Team Chugoku Denryoku Legacy at Tokyo Marathon

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp201102220241.html

translated by Brett Larner

Making a bid for places on the national team for this summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea, two members of Team Chugoku Denryoku, Naoki Okamoto and Hideaki Date, will be on the starting line of this Sunday's Tokyo Marathon. For Okamoto, 26, it will be his second marathon. The 25 year old Date will be making his debut. Since 2001 every World Championships and Olympics men's marathon team has featured members of the Chugoku Denryoku team, and these two young athletes are now charged with carrying on the team's legacy.

"It wasn't sweet." That is how Okamoto looks back on his debut at last year's Tokyo Marathon, where he finished 23rd in 2:23:06. Coming to the race with problems with his right Achilles, Okamoto was in questionable condition to run a marathon and, combined with the freezing cold rain at last year's Tokyo, fell off the lead pack just before 30 km. He …

Akaba Reports All Members of Japanese Women's Christchurch Marathon Training Camp Safe and Unharmed

http://ameblo.jp/redwing36/

translated by Brett Larner and Mika Tokairin

Shuhei Akaba, coach and husband of 2011 Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Yukiko Akaba, is in Christchurch, New Zealand with Akaba and eight other top Japanese women distance runners on a Rikuren-sponsored training camp. He just posted the following report on today's earthquake a few minutes ago on his blog. Runners at the camp include Akaba, Kayoko Fukushi, Mai Ito, Yuko Machida, Yoko Miyauchi, Yurika Nakamura, Azusa Nojiri, Risa Shigetomo and Kaori Urata.

Today there was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake here in Christchurch, New Zealand. It hit after lunch just as we were getting ready for afternoon practice. The shaking was so strong that we couldn't stand up in our rooms, and the ground outside was like a liquid. There was a big crack in the road surface just outside our hotel, too. In the hotel rooms the dishes and glass were all broken, and the electricity and water stopped. The main roads are …

WC Silver Medalist Yoshimi Ozaki 2:23:56 Yokohama Win

by Brett Larner
photos by Mika Tokairin


Running in near-perfect conditions on a flatter new course, 2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) ran a race record 2:23:56 to win the 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon and become the first Japanese woman to secure a guaranteed spot on the team for this summer's World Championships. Ozaki said before the race that her goal was only to win, not to run a fast time, but her mark was the fastest by a Japanese woman in over 2 years and close to her PB.

Top two Nakazato and Ozaki.

Pacemaker Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) took the race out faster than planned with a 3:19 first km, but things soon settled down to 16:59 for the first 5 km. Despite being right on target pace the pack began to fracture, with debutante Yuka Izumi (Team Tenmaya) then 2:29 women MayumiFujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) and Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) losing touch. The pack continued to splinter as the pace accelerat…

Jason Lehmkuhle Wins Ome 30 km Road Race - First American Win Since 1983

by Brett Larner

American Jason Lehmkuhle in a sprint finish against Toyoyuki Abe meters before winning the 2011 Ome 30 km.

Jason Lehmkuhle won a tight sprint finish over Team NTT Nishi Nihon's Toyoyuki Abe at the 2011 Ome 30 km Road Race to become the first American to win the prestigious race since Greg Meyer's 1983 victory. Lehmkuhle was aggressive throughout the race, leading the field of over 15000 through the early kilometers and remaining at the head of the pack over the difficult ups and downs through the middle 20 km.

The pack, initially nine-strong, whittled down to a core of five by halfway. With roughly 5 km to go Lehmkuhle surged, first dropping eventual 4th-placer Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), then frequent leader Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta). Local boy Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) was the next to fall, leaving only Abe at Lehmkuhle's side. The pair rounded the final righthand corner together with Lehmkuhle on the inside, and in the last sprint to …

Sendai to Expand International Half Marathon to Field of 10000

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2011/02/20110218t11036.htm

translated by Brett Larner

In an effort to make the elite Sendai International Half Marathon into one of the leading races in the country, Sendai municipal officials have announced that in 2012 they will expand the event's scope to include amateur hobby runners while maintaining the overall high level of the existing competition by combining the Sendai International Half Marathon and local Sendai Road Race events. Organizers plan to set a field limit of 10000 for the new race.

The Sendai International Half Marathon office opened Dec. 5. Along with the exisiting federation-registered and wheelchair divisions, a new amateur division will be added along with a children's event to introduce them to running long distances. The new course will be different from the current ones, beginning and ending at the Miyaginoku Municipal Track and Field Grounds and passing by many of Sendai's popular sightseeing spots. With a boom of rac…

Yokohama International Women's Marathon Preview - Watch Online

by Brett Larner

The second running of the elite Yokohama International Women's Marathon takes place this Sunday, Feb. 20. Intended as a continuation of the legacy of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon, which fell under the wheels of the mixed elite and mass-participation Tokyo Marathon in 2008. Conceived of as a speed race with a spectator-friendly circuit course designed to help athletes qualify and prepare for world-level championship marathons held on similar loops, Yokohama has struggled to get off the ground thus far. It was bumped from its original Nov. 23 date last year by the APEC conference held in Yokohama, its hillier-than-promised course changed from a three-circuit loop through downtown Yokohama to a two-circuit loop this year with much of the race taking place on an out-and-back along the industrial waterfront south of the city, and relatively weak fields compared to those pulled in by Tokyo. This year will see two Yokohamas as it is scheduled to return to i…

48 Years Ago Today Terasawa Set Marathon World Record at Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

http://news.searchina.ne.jp/disp.cgi?y=2011&d=0217&f=national_0217_030.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 17, 1963, Toru Terasawa set a marathon world record of 2:15:15.8 at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Terasawa's time eclipsed the previous record set at the Rome Olympics by Abebe Bikila by 4 seconds. The following year Terasawa ran the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics along with Kokichi Tsuburaya and Kenji Kimihara but despite having the best PB in the field finished only 15th.

Reiko Tosa Out of Tokyo Marathon Comeback With Injury

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20110216-OYT1T00858.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 16, double World Championships marathon medalist and two-time Olympian Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) announced that she has withdrawn from her planned comeback run at the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon due to an injury to her right leg. According to Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo head coach Shigeharu Watanabe, Tosa has been experiencing discomfort since her return to racing at the Jan. 30 Osaka Half Marathon. Tosa gave birth to her first child, a daughter, last April. The Tokyo Marathon was to be her return to the full marathon distance after an absence of two years.

World's First Two-Legged Robot-Only Marathon Set for Feb. 24 (updated with video)

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/science/news/110216/scn11021612430002-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Click photo for a slideshow of the robot marathoners in action.

The world's first full marathon exclusively for two-legged robots is scheduled to begin Feb. 24 in Osaka. Aiming both to raise the science behind bipedal robotics to the point that one is capable of completing 42.195 km and to help generate popular support for October's first running of the Osaka Marathon, the Osaka Metropolitan Government-sponsored race unveiled its upcoming participants at a special event at Osaka's Asia Pacific Trade Center on Feb. 16. Five teams from local companies and universities have submitted robots to the competition.



The Robot Marathon will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 24. Robots must cover 422 laps of a 100 m loop course inside the Trade Center within a time limit of four days and, apart from time off for battery changes and on-the-fly maintenance, will run nonstop. In a special demonstratio…

2:04 Man Wilson Kipsang & Deriba Merga Headline Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon announced their elite field today for this year's 66th running on Mar. 6, and they have done an outstanding job of assembling a world-class overseas field. All six foreign elites hold sub-2:09 PBs, four set last year and none older than 2008. Wearing bib #1 will be Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who ran a stunning 2:04:57 to win last fall's Frankfurt Marathon. With the trend in Japan moving away from small, elite-only marathons and toward the big city marathon format there is no doubt that Biwako, as the race is universally called within in Japan, is bringing Kipsang in hopes of a 2:04 clocking to stay competitive in the arms race with Fukuoka, with a 2:05:17 course record courtesy of Beijing Olympics and Berlin WC bronze medalist Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia), and Tokyo, which has called upon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) to summon up a course-record run later this month. Kipsang should have a sparr…

Yoshimoto Leads Bukkyo Univ. to Chugoku Women's Ekiden CR

by Brett Larner

2010 National University Women's Ekiden champions Bukkyo University rounded out their season by knocking nearly a minute and a half off course record at the five-stage, half marathon-distance 25th anniversary Chugoku Women's Ekiden, Feb. 13 in Hiroshima. 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto led Bukkyo off with a stage record of 18:58 for the 5.83 km First Stage, and Bukkyo runners took stage best on three of the four remaining legs including an anchor stage record by Shiho Takechi. Only the professional Team Deodeo's Fourth Stage runner Ruriko Kubo broke Bukkyo's domination, running a stage record 7:33 for the 2.4 km Fourth Stage, but even there Bukkyo's Sairi Maeda took second-best. Deodeo took 2nd in 1:09:29, only four seconds off the course record, but Bukkyo was so strong that they were nearly a minute and a half ahead in 1:08:08. Bukkyo's perennial rivals Ritsumeikan University were a distant 3rd in 1:10:11.

2011 Chugoku…

Niiya by 40 Seconds and Sub-26, Karoki Sub-34 CR Win Over Mathathi at Chiba Int'l XC Meet

by Brett Larner

After two days of snow and rain the day dawned with perfect weather conditions for the 2011 Chiba International XC Meet, Feb. 13 in Chiba. For domestic Japanese runner spots on the Japanese national team for next month's World XC Championships in Spain were at stake. The times were accordingly fast on the hilly and muddier than optimal Chiba course.

One of the two big runs of the day came from 2007 Tokyo Marathon women's winner Hitomi Niiya (Team Toyota Jidoshoki). In Chiba's first edition since 2003 as an 8000 m race for senior women rather than 6000 m Niiya blew the field apart, running 25:53 to win by a margin of 40 seconds over Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.), who won the first stage at last month's National Women's Interprefectural Ekiden. Nanae Kuwashiro (Team Sysmex), a teammate of marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi, was 3rd in 26:41. Niiya's time was the second-best ever run at Chiba, just 10 seconds off Australian Benita John…

Iwamoto, Hashimoto Win Karatsu 10-Miler (updated)

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201102/CN2011021301000297.html
http://www.saga-s.co.jp/news/saga.0.1825468.article.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

At the 51st Karatsu 10 Mile Road Race, Feb. 13 in Karatsu, Saga, Yuki Iwamoto (Team Mazda) ran 47:20 to take his first win at the race. Known as the "God of the Mountain" during his Hakone Ekiden days at Juntendo University, Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) was 3rd, while 2004 Athens Olympics 10000 m runner and 2008 Karatsu winner Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei) finished only 26th.

In the women's 10 km, Fumiko Hashimoto (Team Shimamura) won in 33:18, while Athens Olympics marathon 7th placer Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) finished 18th. Akira Iwasaki (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) won the high school boys' 10 km in a PB of 30:04, while Sayaka Nishimura (Kawatana H.S.) won the high school girls' 5 km in 17:18.

2011 Karatsu 10-Mile Road Race
click here for complete results
Men's 10 Miles
1. Yuki Iwamoto (Team Mazda) - 47:20
2. Yuki Oshikaw…

Takeuchi Wins Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon

by Brett Larner

Despite heavy snow throughout much of western Japan and a nearby volcanic eruption which has continued through recent weeks, times were quick at the 49th Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with four of the top ten recording PBs and the remaining six marking their debuts. Winner Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu), a former teammate of Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya) and coached by Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita, clocked a ten-minute PB to win in 2:12:44, putting him inside the five fastest winning times in Nobeoka. Runner-up Takumi Owada (Team Hitachi Cable) broke his own PB by nine minutes to finish 40 seconds back from Takeuchi in 2:13:24. Takuro Yamashita (Team Fujitsu), instrumental in Asia University's 2006 Hakone Ekiden win, took four minutes off his PB to round out the top three in 2:13:33.

Little changed for the first part of the race as pacer Yoshikazu Kawazoe (Team Asahi Kasei) took a large pack throug…