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2012 As Seen By JRN Readers

JRN's most-read articles of 2012 by month:

January
Toyo University takes eight minutes off Hakone Ekiden course record in historic win.Jan. 3
Russian Tatyana Aryasova stripped of 2011 Tokyo Marathon title after testing positive for masking agent. - Jan. 24

February
Kisorio wins deepest-ever Marugame International Half-Marathon. - Feb. 5
2012 Tokyo Marathon preview. - Feb. 23
Kipyego, Habtumu win Tokyo Marathon, Fujiwara back with 2:07:48. - Feb. 26
Kawauchi, 14th in 2:12:52: "I do not think I will be picked" for Olympics; shaves head. - Feb. 27
Gebrselassie gives words of support to Kawauchi. - Feb. 28
Fujiwara's high school coach, hometown supporters delighted with Tokyo performance. - Feb. 28

March
Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon preview. - Mar. 2
Takehiro Deki ahead of Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon debut: "That's where my talent is." - Mar. 2
Ndungu wins debut at Lake Biwa, Szost 2:07:39 sets Polish NR, Yamamoto takes probable Olympic spot. - Mar. 4
Nagoya Women's Marathon preview. - Mar. 9
Russian Mayorova wins largest-ever women-only marathon, Ozaki takes top Japanese spot in Nagoya. - Mar. 11
Japan names London Olympics men's and women's marathon teams. - Mar. 12
Toyo in New York - Kento Otsu, Yuta Shitara and Coach Sakai talk pre-NYC Half. - Mar. 16
Comedian Neko tapped for Cambodian Olympic team in marathon; official announcement due in April. - Mar. 26

April
Top three break course record at Yaizu Minato Half-Marathon. - Apr. 8

May
800 m runner Kieng Samorn chosen for Cambodian Olympic team. - May 22

June
Japan announces complete London Olympics athletics team. - June 11

July
From the Hakone Ekiden to the Olympic marathon - a manifesto. - July 25

August
Arata Fujiwara - his Olympic marathon defeat in his own words. - Aug. 22

September
Kawauchi runs double 1500 m and 5000 m PBs, targets 1500 m at 2013 National Championships. - Sept. 23

October
Kawauchi at the World Half: "My goal is 61 minutes."Oct. 2
Japanese women bronze, Kawauchi shames the system again at World Half-Marathon Championships. - Oct. 6
Izumo Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara: "We're not quite there yet but we can see it glittering up ahead now." - Oct. 9
The U.S. team talks after second-straight Izumo Ekiden top eight finish. - Oct. 11

November
Tokyo Marathon officially joins World Marathon Majors. - Nov. 1
2009 Yokohama International Women's Marathon winner Abitova given two-year doping suspension. - Nov. 8
Fujiwara's goal in Fukuoka: "Defeat Kawauchi." - Nov. 10
Hyundai, Adidas-sponsored IAAF gold label Beijing Marathon bans Japanese citizens "for their own safety." - Nov. 10
Strong New York ties in Yokohama and Ageo as Moscow World Championships campaign kicks off. - Nov. 15
2012 NCAA XC and 2012 National University Ekiden Championships top five teams compared. - Nov. 20
International Chiba Ekiden preview. - Nov. 22
Kenya over Japan for second-straight International Chiba Ekiden win. - Nov. 23
'Rupp, Puskedra and Japanese distance running.' - Nov. 27
A bolder Arata Fujiwara talks about the training and psychology behind his return from Olympic breakdown. - Nov. 28
2012 Fukuoka International Marathon preview. - Nov. 30

December
Joseph Gitau takes surprise win in Fukuoka in 2:06:58. - Dec. 2
Fukuoka Marathon post-race comments. - Dec. 3
Collegiate 5000 m and 10000 m national champion Omwamba wins Kumamoto Kosa 10-miler. - Dec. 3
Kawauchi wins Hofu in 2:10:46 two weeks after 2:10:29 in Fukuoka, Hosaka gets age 63 world record. - Dec. 16
How I learned to love the ekiden and why you should too. - Dec. 20
Waseda ace Osako to join Salazar's Nike Oregon Project. - Dec. 26

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Most-Read This Week

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…