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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

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&#…