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2009 As Seen By JRN Readers

JRN's most-read articles of 2009 by month:

January
Japanese runners to watch in 2009.Jan. 8
Bringing back the classic: Fukushi in Osaka. - Jan. 23

February
Masters runner Yoshihisa Hosaka sets 60+ world record at Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. - Feb. 2

March
Reiko Tosa's "homemade" training for Tokyo finale. - Mar. 18
The man in the wig speaks. - Mar. 25

April
Mimura leaves Asics to start own company. - Apr. 5
A report from Rikuren's New Zealand training camp. - Apr. 11

May
Weekend Japanese track action roundup. - May 18

June
Phuket Marathon helping to rebuild local economy. - June 16

July
From the editor: women's marathoning and the autumn sky. - July 2
Big Mouth scores the big ticket - Ueno in Berlin. - July 28
Life after 2:08 - an interview with Takayuki Nishida. - July 29

August
Osaka Mayor Hashimoto announces Osaka Marathon for 2011. - Aug. 6
Showing women a new way: Yukiko Akaba's challenge. - Aug. 12
Yukiko Akaba talks about her final training for World Championships marathon. - Aug. 14

September
30 runners stung by killer hornets during mountain race near Kyoto. - Sept. 21

October
The Hakone Ekiden Trials from the inside. - Oct. 18
University men's weekend in review: NCAA Pre-Nats vs. Hakone Ekiden Qualifier. - Oct. 19
Training for the Hakone Ekiden with Josai University.Oct. 21
Morinomiyako Ekiden preview - Kojima and Nishihara. - Oct. 22
"No Bridges, No Fun" - Speed, Beauty and Mystery at the Venice Marathon. - Oct. 28

November
Credit where credit is due: American and Japanese men aged 18-22 pt. I.  - Nov. 26

December
Fukuoka time. - Dec. 4
The 2010 Hakone Ekiden preview. - Dec. 30

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

What Value Does Four-Straight Hakone Ekiden Titles Have for Aoyama Gakuin's Athletes and Staff?

An editorial by Nikkan Gendai.

Nothing rings in the New Year like the Hakone Ekiden. With TV viewership ratings around 30% it's one of the most popular sports programs in Japan. The king of that cash cow is Aoyama Gakuin University, winning four-straight Hakone titles since its first victory in 2015. But no matter how well its students perform, every school in Hakone gets the same share of the proceeds, a uniform 2,000,000 yen [~$18,000 USD at current exchange rates].

The AGU team currently includes 44 athletes on its roster. Although athletes can get preferential admission, their tuition is the same as for other students and there are no exemptions or reductions. First year tuition in the Department of Social and Information Studies is around 1,520,000 yen [~$14,000 USD], and with additional fees including dormitory and training camp expenses the burden upon students' parents is considerable.

By comparison, in the United States the NCAA has made its collegiate sports a succes…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…