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2008 As Seen By JRN Readers

JRN's most-read articles of 2008 by month:

January
First-time winner Mara Yamauchi takes Osaka in 2:25:10 PB, Kayoko Fukushi 19th in debut.Jan. 27

February
Last run for Team Toshiba LSI: the Betsudai Marathon. - Feb. 2
Tokyo Marathon 2007 through foreign runners' eyes. - Feb. 4
Arata Fujiwara: an unknown contender for Beijing. - Feb. 19

March
Koide presecient: Yurika Nakamura wins Nagoya in 2:25:51 debut. - Mar. 9

April
30 hospitalized after honeybee attack at Saga Sakura Half-Marathon. - Apr. 8

May
Mekubo Mogusu sets Olympic A-standard 10000 m meet record at Kanto University track and field championships. - May 20

June
Sapporo International Half-Marathon preview. - June 11

July
Chisato Fukushima selected as first women's 100 m Olympian in 56 years. - July 6

August
Mizuki Noguchi considering dropping out of Olympics after hospitalization for fatigue. - Aug. 9
Chunxiu Zhou's Japanese coach Shinya Takeuchi seeks to make personal compensation to China for WWII. - Aug. 14
A 'good enough' mentality can never win. - Aug. 26

September
Nobuharu Asahara bows out to full house at Super Meet in Kawasaki. - Sept. 24

October
Nihon University's Gitau steals Izumo Ekiden victory from Komazawa.Oct. 14

November
Deeper and deeper goes the greatest half-marathon in the world - Ageo 2008. - Nov. 17

December
Tsegaye Kebede breaks Samuel Wanjiru's course record and Gert Thys' Japan soil record with 2:06:10 win in Fukuoka. - Dec. 7
Samuel Wanjiru shares the secret of training to win. - Dec. 24

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…