Thursday, September 18, 2014

Win Big in Japan Running News' Asian Games Marathon Prediction Contest

Representing four billion people, more than half the world's population, the 2014 Asian Games get underway Sept. 19 in Incheon, South Korea, athletics competition running from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.  With 2013 Moscow World Championships marathon 4th-placer Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), veteran Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) and 2:08 men Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) Japan has serious medal prospects in both the Oct. 2 women's marathon and Oct. 3 men's marathon, and you have the chance to show your support and win some quality schwag by predicting how they do in JRN's Asian Games Marathon prediction contest.

To enter, click here to send JRN an email with the subject line 'Asian Games prediction contest.'  Look at the profiles below, to be updated with start lists featuring Japan's main competition, and email your prediction for each Japanese runner's overall finishing place and time including seconds. List 'DNS' for any runner you think will not start. List 'DNF' for any athlete you think will start but not finish. You must fill out both the men's and women's listings to be eligible for the grand prize. Entries must be received by 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2 Japan time to be considered. Late, incomplete or multiple entries will not be accepted, but updated entries to reflect entry and start lists will be accepted up to the cutoff.  Winners of all prizes will be notified by email.



The contest entry with the most accurate combined predictions for both the men's and women's marathons will win the grand prize, a beautiful custom-made 32 cm x 8 cm stainless steel finisher's medal wall display by the U.K.'s The Runner's Wall bearing Yuki Kawauchi's motto "Genjo Daha," "Make a Breakthrough."  See the video above for the back story on Kawauchi's motivational phrase.

The closest predictions in the men's and women's races will receive copies of the second issue of Like the Wind, a new magazine featuring writing, photography and art by runners for runners.  Issue three, including a story on Kawauchi by JRN's Brett Larner, is due out any day.

The 2nd and 3rd-most accurate combined predictions win limited edition Yuki Kawauchi uchiwa hand fans produced by broadcaster TBS, which will offer 80 hours of prime time Asian Games coverage.


Athlete profiles with fastest and slowest times in last two years:



'Kastor, Goucher Want Fast Times in Philly'

http://running.competitor.com/2014/09/news/kastor-goucher-want-fast-times-philly_113966

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Osaka International Women's Marathon Establishes New Development Program

http://daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2014/09/17/0007338574.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

The Osaka International Women's Marathon organizing committee announced on Sept. 17 that it has established a new "Next Heroine" program for the race's next edition on Jan. 25, 2015.  Targeting high-potential university runners and young corporate league women, the "Next" program will differ from Osaka's conventional elite athlete program in providing a training framework for the race itself.

In the past the Osaka International Women's Marathon served as the site for the marathon debuts of 1992 Barcelona Olympics silver medalist and 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medalist Yuko Arimori, 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi, and many other top-level athletes who went on to make Olympics and World Championships teams also started their marathon careers in Osaka.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Köln Marathon and Usti nad Labem Half Marathon - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Following up on a disappointing showing at last weekend's Great North Run and Prague Grand Prix 10 km, Japan's corporate league runners underwhelmed again at Sunday's Köln Marathon and Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.  In a race won by Kenya's Anthony Maritim in 2:10:26 in Köln, 2:09:18 marathoner Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), the twin brother of 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), could do no better than 2:18:41 for 3rd.  2:15:05 man Kenta Iinuma (Team Sagawa Group) fell well below the professional level, running only 2:23:12 for 4th.  Formerly Japan-based Kenyan Julia Mumbi took the women's race in 2:28:00.

Further east, Japanese results at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem mirrored those at the Great North Run, with 1:02 half marathoners Yuya Ito (Team Toyota) and Masamichi Yasuda (Team Aichi Seiko) and their 1:03 counterpart Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) all clocked leisurely 1:05 times nearly 5 minutes behind winner Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) a week after running around the 30:00 level at the Prague Grand Prix 10 km.  As at the Great North Run the Japanese women in the race performed slightly more seriously, 1:10:26 woman Misato Horie (Team Noritz) running 1:12:29 for 5th and Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) making her European debut in 1:14:59 for 8th.

But taken altogether the results of the four races over the last two weekends show evidence of a troubling attitude in the corporate leagues, particularly among the men, that it's enough to just show up at an overseas race, that how you run when you race internationally doesn't matter in the slightest and that races outside Japan are simply for getting experience, doing laundry, and sightseeing.  Consistent amateur-quality performances certainly don't do much for your country's reputation.  Times have changed, but some things are slow to adapt. 

Köln Marathon
Köln, Germany, 9/14/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Anthony Maritim (Kenya) - 2:10:26
2. Marcel Brautigam (Germany) - 2:17:55
3. Yuko Matsumiya (Japan/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:18:41
4. Kenta Iinuma (Japan/Team Sagawa Group) - 2:23:12
5. David Cherop (Uganda) - 2:24:20

Women
1. Julia Mumbi (Kenya) - 2:28:00
2. Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:35:36
3. Simret Restle-Apel (Germany) - 2:50:19

Usti nad Labem Half Marathon
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, 9/14/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) - 1:00:45
2. Azmeraw Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:00:58
3. Gefrey Kusuro (Uganda) - 1:01:04
4. Richard Kiprop Mengich (Kenya) - 1:01:19
5. Festus Talam (Kenya) - 1:01:47
-----
8. Yuya Ito (Japan/Team Toyota) - 1:05:13
9. Masamichi Yasuda (Japan/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:05:27
11. Atsushi Yamazaki (Japan/Team Subaru) - 1:05:44

Women
1. Correti Jepkoech (Kenya) - 1:09:35
2. Helah Kiprop (Kenya) - 1:10:48
3. Esther Chemtai Ndiema (Kenya) - 1:10:51
4. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 1:11:14
5. Misato Horie (Japan/Team Noritz) - 1:12:29
-----
8. Ayaka Inoue (Japan/Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:14:59

Prague Grand Prix 10 km
Prague, Czech Republic, 9/6/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Ronoh (Kenya) - 27:28
2. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 27:32
3. Nicholas Kipchirchir Bor (Kenya) - 27:38
4. Simon Cheprot (Kenya) - 27:41
5. Richard Kiprop Mengich (Kenya) - 27:48
-----
14. Masamichi Yasuda (Japan/Team Aichi Seiko) - 29:44
16. Atsushi Yamazaki (Japan/Team Subaru) - 29:58
17. Yuya Ito (Japan/Team Toyota) - 30:04
18. Yuta Shitara (Japan/Team Honda) - 30:09
19. Shota Hattori (Japan/Team Honda) - 30:20

Women
1. Correti Jepkoech (Kenya) - 31:05
2. Esther Chemtai Ndiema (Kenya) - 31:51
3. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 32:30
4. Helah Kiprop (Kenya) - 32:33
5. Lucy Liavoga (Kenya) - 33:12

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Forced to Do Federation 40 km Run Nine Days After Perth Marathon, Kawauchi Furious as Half of National Team Skips it

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140910-OHT1T50076.html
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140909-OHT1T50166.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Incheon Asian Games men's marathon team member and civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran in a 40 km time trial and biometric measurement run in Shibetsu, Hokkaido on Sept. 9 as part of the Marathon National Team's official training camp.  The Japanese Federation launched the National Team project in April, naming twelve men to the team.  The 40 km run, designed so that Federation officials could measure each member's biometric data before and after a race and examine the changes, was the climax of the National Team's first group training camp which has gone on since late August in Hokkaido. 

On Aug. 31 Kawauchi ran the Perth Marathon in Australia, winning in a course record 2:12:55 before returning to Japan and joining the National Team training camp on Sept. 6.  "The Federation people told me, 'You're damn well going to run this 40 km, whether you just ran Perth or anywhere else!'" he said.  Despite it being only nine days since he ran a full marathon, Kawauchi finished 2nd in the 40 km run in 2:14:52, running with the others in the lead group through 35 km before dropping his 5 km split 1:40~1:50 for the final 5 km.  His fellow Asian Games marathoner Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) ran 2:15:32, saying, "There's less than a month left, so I'd like to use the momentum from this run to pick up the pace."

However, of the twelve members of the National Team, only seven ran.  Kawauchi expected the elite members of the team to be honored to have been chosen and to work hard while coping with the pressure of selection, but he was shocked and disappointed to see nearly half of them skip the 40 km run because they weren't feeling good or had recently run marathons.  "I want to see the media really hit these shameless people hard.  'Is that really good enough?  Is that all you've got?'  'Next year your neck should be on the chopping block,' that sort of thing." Kawauchi said, calling for directly critical articles unusual in the Japanese media and urging greater overall awareness.  "Please, question this, bring the power of the pen into play to prod our athletes into becoming stronger.  If only half can coordinate their training to be ready for an important measurement race like this then there is a major problem.  People like that will have disappeared by next year."

At the 2011 and 2013 World Championships Kawauchi struggled to deal with the pressure of running under the weight of the Rising Sun.  "There was a lot of attention, and the criticism of me was very direct," he said.  "I had problems with depression, but in the end it toughened me mentally.  The pressure of being on the National Team is just a little bit less than that, but I know it will end up being a positive, stimulating experience."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Asian Games Marathoner Hayakawa Hoping to "Bring Back Good News"

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/asia/2014/news/f-sp-tp0-20140911-1365110.html

translated by Brett Larner

Sanitary and housing equipment manufacturer Toto held a sendoff meeting Sept. 11 at its offices in Shiodome, Tokyo for company workers to voice their support for Incheon Asian Games women's marathon team member Eri Hayakawa, 32, and other Toto-sponsored athletes.  Three athletes were feted including members of the Asian Paralympics team.  Hayakawa vowed to supporters that she would go for the gold medal, telling them, "As a national representative I am aware of my responsibility, and I will do my best to produce results that will let me finish with the best kind of smile and bring you all back good news."

The Toto-sponsored athletes competing in the Paralympics are women's wheelchair basketball player Chihiro Kitada, 25, and women's wheelchair tennis player Miho Nijo, 33.  Using language chock full of Kansai slang, Takada made the full house laugh as she said, "I'm totally surprised to see the place packed like this.  Sometimes I get caramels at work too, so Toto is really the best place to work.  I didn't end up here by accident."  Nijo commented, "I've been lucky to have been sponsored by Toto for the last seven years.  I believe I can bring home a medal."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

'International Distance-Running Greats to Challenge Defending Champions at 2014 TCS New York City Marathon'

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) return to New York this November for the TCS New York City Marathon.  Kawauchi appears with support from JRN.

http://www.nyrr.org/media-center/press-releases/international-distance-running-greats-to-challenge-defending-champions-at-2014-tcs-new-york-city-marathon

2014 TCS New York City Marathon Elite Men's Field
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) -  2:03:23
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 2:04:15 (2:03:02a)
Stanley Biwott (Kenya) - 2:04:55
Peter Kirui (Kenya) - 2:06:31
Michael Kipyego (Kenya) - 2:06:48
Micah Kogo (Kenya) - 2:06:56
Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:07:20
Abderrahime Bouramdane (Morocco) - 2:07:33
Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia) - 2:08:00 (2:04:53a)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14
Lusapho April (South Africa) - 2:08:32
Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 2:09:08 (2:08:37a)
Urige Buta (Norway) - 2:09:27
Masato Imai (Japan/Team Toyota Kyushu) - 2:09:30
Ryan Vail (U.S.A.) - 2:10:57
Nick Arciniaga (U.S.A.) - 2:11:30
Josphat Boit (U.S.A.) - 2:13:14 (2:12:52a)
Tim Ritchie (U.S.A.) - 2:14:50
Zac Hine (U.S.A.) - 2:16:40
Stephan Shay (U.S.A.) - 2:16:48
Chris Siemers (U.S.A.) - 2:18:48
Ted Callinan (U.S.A.) - 2:21:22
Alistair Cragg (Ireland) - 2:23:05
Luke Puskedra (U.S.A.) - debut - 1:01:36 (half)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Osako Sets 3000 m National Record in Rieti

by Brett Larner



Already on the edge of national records for 3000 m, 2 miles, 5000 m and 10000 m, Suguru Osako (Team Nissin Shokuhin) stepped up in his last race on the summer European circuit, the 3000 m at Italy's Rieti Meeting 2014.  Partially based in the U.S. since graduating from Waseda University this spring, Osako has been training with the Alberto Salazar-coached Nike Oregon Project.  Before the race NOP assistant coach Pete Julian told JRN, "He's been hitting all the workouts with Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, so he's pretty worn out at this point.  With a couple weeks of rest he'll be stronger but we don't expect much for this race."

Despite the fatigue Osako went with the 2:29.24 opening 1000 m in Rieti, hanging on to the leaders through some ups and downs in the pacing and crossing the line in 7:40.09 to break marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka's 15-year-old 3000 m record by almost two seconds.  Among distances officially recorded by the JAAF it was the first Japanese men's long distance national record since Takayuki Matsumiya and Atsushi Sato set 5000 m and half marathon records in 2007, and with Osako already ranked all-time Japanese #6 for 5000 m and #4 for 10000 m it was an encouraging sign of good things to come in the next couple of years.  In the short term he now returns to Japan to get ready for the Incheon Asian Games 10000 m later this month.

Rieti Meeting 2014
Rieti, Italy, 9/7/2014
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 m
1. Abdelaati Iguider (Morocco) - 7:34.99
2. Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa (Kenya) - 7:35.28
3. Lawi Lalang (Kenya) - 7:36.44
4. Ryan Hill (U.S.A.) - 7:38.64
5. Lopez Lomong (U.S.A.) - 7:39.81
6. Suguru Osako (Japan/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 7:40.09 - NR
7. Imane Merga (Ethiopia) - 7:43.59
8. Cornelius Kangogo (Kenya) - 7:44.17
9. Florian Orth (Germany) - 7:44.65
10. Jesus Espana (Spain) - 7:45.06

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved