Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Top Ten Japanese Men of 2012

by Brett Larner

Japanese men are back on track. 2012 saw all-time Japanese top ten performances over 10000 m, half-marathon and the marathon, and overall depth at those distances has almost never been better.  Just two years ago there was only one sub-2:10 marathon by a Japanese man, but in 2012 there ten, including a 2:07 and four 2:08's.  Apart from Japan only Kenya and Ethiopia have ever had ten or more in one year.  University men continued to reach unprecedented heights, with course records at all three major university ekidens and collegiates making the 2012 top ten lists for 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and even the marathon.

Quality over 5000 m and shorter is still an issue and there is still a long way to go at the longer distances, as well as a major problem with Japanese men's ability to show up at major international competitions and compete.  Apart from London Olympics marathon 6th-placer Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) the entire Japanese men's teams at both the Olympics and the World Half-Marathon Championships were pitiful, running far below potential.  But despite these issues there is no question that in terms of momentum and positivity Japanese men are headed in the right direction.  Using a scoring system that takes into account quality, range and performance relative to other Japanese athletes, JRN ranked the year's top ten individual Japanese men along with two honorable mentions.

Video of Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m courtesy of naoki620.

1. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 283.8 pts.

5000 m: 13:25.54 - 3rd, KBC Nacht, 7/7/12 - #1 Japanese, 2012
10000 m: 27:50.50 - 3rd, Hyogo Relay Carnival, 4/21/12 - #2 Japanese, 2012
half-marathon: 1:01:44 - 9th, Marugame, 2/5/11 - #8 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 4th Stage, 22.0 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 1:05:32 - 23rd
Tokyo Marathon, Tokyo, 2/26/12 - 2:16:39 - 30th
Setagaya Time Trials 3000 m A-heat, Tokyo, 4/8/12 - 8:06.33 - 1st
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:42.88 - 12th
Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heat 37, Kanagawa, 9/23/12 - 13:42.45 - 3rd
East Japan Corporate Ekiden 5th Stage, 7.4 km, Saitama, 11/3/12 - 21:48 - 1st

An outsider choice for top Japanese man of the year, relative unknown Shimizu quietly got it done through the spring and summer.  In a parallel to 2012's top Japanese woman Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), Shimizu had a bad marathon early in the year but returned to set the year-leading Japanese 5000 m mark over the summer.  In between, his 27:50.50 at the Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, where he beat top ten-ranked men Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei), Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) and Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo), was the top Japanese men's time for over 5 months and ended up the #2 time of the year.  Together with his 5000 m and 10000 m performances Shimizu's 1:01:44 half-marathon, part of the Miracle in Marugame, was enough to secure him the top spot in JRN's rankings on the strength of his range. Unfortunately he was off when he needed most to be on, finishing only 12th in the National Championships 10000 m and missing the London Olympics, but with good runs behind him in the fall he should be ready to be a bigger name at next week's New Year Ekiden and on into 2013.  With coaching from national record holder Toshinari Takaoka at Kanebo Shimizu should evolve into one of the country's top-ranked marathoners.

2. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 255 pts.

10000 m: 27:41.57 - 4th, National Corporate Championships, 9/21/12 - #1 Japanese, 2012, #6 Japanese all-time
half-marathon: 1:00:53 - 1st, National Corporate Championships, 3/18/12 - #1 Japanese, 2012, #3 Japanese all-time

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 3rd Stage, 13.6 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 37:52 - 1st - CR
National Interprefectural Men's Ekiden 7th Stage, 13.0 km, Hiroshima, 1/22/12 - 37:35 - 2nd
Meigi Ekiden 6th Stage, 11.8 km, Gifu, 2/5/12 - 33:48 - 1st - CR
Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, Kobe, 4/21/12 - 28:07.45 - 4th
Chugoku Corporate Track and Field Championships 5000 m, Hiroshima, 5/13/12 - 13:43.97 - 1st - MR
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:20.76 - 3rd
World Half-Marathon Championships, Kavarna, 10/6/12 - 1:08:33 - 58th

One of the big surprises of 2011, Miyawaki ran big in 2012 as well.  Only 20, he outran 2011's #1 man Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) for a stage record win at the New Year Ekiden, beat him again at the National Men's Ekiden three weeks later, and then beat Ugachi's half-marathon PB by 5 seconds.  In his half-marathon debut Miyawaki won the National Corporate Half-Marathon Championships in 1:00:53, the third-best ever by a Japanese man on a record-legal course and the leading time of 2012 by a Japanese man. Late spring and summer proved tougher, and he missed making the London Olympics team when he was 3rd at June's National Championships.  At September's National Corporate Track and Field Championships a month after turning 21 he enigmatically tied his 10-month-old PB of 27:41.57, already the all-time #6 Japanese mark, but two weeks later he was a bust at the World Half-Marathon Championships where he ran only 1:08:33. Since then he has been absent from major competition, sitting out November's New Year Ekiden regional qualifier.  He is on Toyota's roster for the New Year Ekiden and hopefully will be back and among the best.  Japan has had no shortage of guys show up unexpectedly for one or two hot seasons early in their careers and then never live up to them again.  Nobody wants to see Miyawaki added to that list.

3. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 184.2 pts.

5000 m: 13:33.34 - 7th, Kanaguri Memorial Meet, 4/7/12 - #5 Japanese, 2012
10000 m: 28:06.28 - 8th, National Corporate Championships, 9/21/12 - #9 Japanese, 2012
half-marathon: 1:01:25 - 1st - CR, Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half-Marathon, 3/4/12 - #3 Japanese, 2012, #10 Japanese all-time

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 1st Stage, 12.3 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 36:07 - 10th
Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, Kobe, 4/21/12 - 28:10.09 - 5th
Golden Games in Nobeoka 10000 m, Nobeoka, 5/12/12 - 28:18.24 - 6th
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:56.70 - 17th
Grand Tour Kyushu Day Six 3rd Stage, 16.5 km, Kyushu, 11/2/12 - 49:31 - 1st
Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden 7th Stage, 14.2 km, Kitakyushu, 11/23/12 - 40:58 - 1st - CR

Part of a powerful quartet while at Komazawa University along with Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu), Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta), Fukatsu has done well in his first two pro seasons.  2012 was more inconsistent than his debut season, but he was strong in the spring with an all-time Japanese top ten 1:01:25 course record solo win at March's Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon and a solid 5000 m at April's Kanaguri Memorial Meet.  Peaking for the National Championships proved a problem, and it wasn't until September that Fukatsu returned to close to full fitness.  A course record on the anchor stage of November's Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden showed that he is back to his best, and if he can carry that through to New Year's Day he should be a favorite for the win on whichever stage he runs.  Having competition to run against would give him a shot at sub-61 if he were to run Marugame in February.

4. Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 183.75 pts.

half-marathon: 1:01:34 - 6th, Marugame, 2/5/12 - #5 Japanese, 2012
marathon: 2:07:48 - 2nd, Tokyo, 2/26/12 - #1 Japanese, 2012, #7 Japanese all-time

Other major performances:
Sendai International Half-Marathon, Sendai, 5/13/12 - 1:03:32 - 2nd
Gifu Seiryu Half-Marathon, Gifu, 5/20/12 - 1:03:05 - 6th
Bupa London 10000 Road Race, London, 5/27/12 - 29:24 - 2nd
Hokuren Distance Challenge Shibetsu Meet 10000 m B-heat, Shibetsu, 6/23/12 - 29:08.00 - 1st
Hokuren Distance Challenge Shibetsu Meet 10000 m A-heat, Shibetsu, 6/23/12 - 29:00.98 - 5th
Sapporo International Half-Marathon, Sapporo, 7/1/12 - 1:02:48 - 6th
Aegeriseelauf 14.138 km, Switzerland, 7/21/12 - 41:42 - 2nd
London Olympics Marathon, London, 8/12/12 - 2:19:11 - 45th
Fukuoka International Marathon, Fukuoka, 12/2/12 - 2:09:31 - 4th

The wildly inconsistent and unpredictable Fujiwara, JRN's 2010 Japanese man of the year, returned from a terrible 2011 with an unexpected half-marathon PB in Marugame.  Three weeks later he delivered the biggest run of his career, an all-time Japanese 7th-best 2:07:48 for 2nd at the Tokyo Marathon to guarantee a London Olympics berth.  With Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) a dud in the same race Fujiwara took over as the public face of Japanese marathoning for the year, breaking new ground in sponsorship deals and media exposure while running well in his spring and summer Olympic prep races.  Regrettably, the wrong Fujiwara showed up in London.  After a clear-eyed self-analysis of his failure he took a few months out of the public eye before unexpectedly announcing that he was running Fukuoka on only a month's training in order to go head-to-head with Kawauchi. Undertrained for what was ultimately a meaningless race appearance he of course ran well, clocking 2:09:31 to give Japan its tenth sub-2:10 performance of the year and to become only the fifth Japanese man to break 2:10 five times in his career.  Now he is talking about a national record at February's Tokyo Marathon.  2008, 2010 and 2012 were all good years for Fujiwara, while 2009 and 2011 were not.  Let's hope 13 turns out to be his lucky number.

5. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 136.875 pts.

5000 m: 13:33.84 - 1st, Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet, 7/7/12 - #6 Japanese, 2012
10000 m: 27:56.94 - 2nd, Golden Games in Nobeoka, 5/12/12 - #6 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
Hakone Ekiden 1st Stage, 21.4 km, Tokyo, 1/2/12 - 1:02:03 - 1st
Chiba International Cross-Country Meet 12000 m, Chiba, 2/12/12 - 35:44 - 4th
Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet 10000 m, Fukuoka, 2/24/12 - 30:27 - 1st
Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, Kobe, 4/21/12 - 28:26.94 - 8th - PB
Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships 5000 m, Tokyo, 5/20/12 - 13:47.44 - 1st
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:18.53 - 2nd
Izumo Ekiden 1st Stage, 8.0 km, Izumo, 10/8/12 - 23:57 - 10th
National University Ekiden Championships 2nd Stage, 13.2 km, Nagoya, 11/4/12 - 37:25 - 2nd
International Chiba Ekiden 1st Stage, 5.0 km, Chiba, 11/23/12 - 13:31 - 2nd

By now Osako's name will be familiar to overseas readers with news of his impending addition to the Nike Oregon Project spreading over the last few days.  The 2011 national university 1500 m champion, 2011 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and Asian junior half-marathon record holder, Osako started off 2012 with a frontrunning win on the Hakone Ekiden's First Stage where he ran the equivalent of 1:01:10.  He outkicked his fellow Saku Chosei H.S. grad Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) for the win by a hair at the Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet and followed up with a 27:56.94 PB at the Golden Games in Nobeoka 10000 m, 0.13 seconds better than Sato's time at the Cardinal Invitational a week later.  At the National Championships it came down again to the two of them locked in a sprint finish.  With both holding Olympic B-standard marks only one could go on to London, at sadly for Osako it was Sato who pulled ahead by a margin of only 0.38 seconds. Following this disappointment Osako headed to Europe for some late-summer meets, but while there news came that his post-graduation corporate team S&B was to disband.  The stress led to a string of poor performances, but by November Osako was back to near normal.  He is promising a stage record in Hakone, and after that it's off to Oregon.  Will the magic rub off on him?  Osako's next few years should be interesting.

6. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 117 pts.

5000 m: 13:28.79 - 2nd, Sollentuna, 7/5/12 - #3 Japanese, 2012
10000 m: 27:57.07 - 16th, Payton Jordan Cardival Invitational, 4/29/12 - #7 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 4th Stage, 22.0 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 1:02:51 - 1st - CR
Chiba International Cross-Country Meet 12000 m, Chiba, 2/12/12 - 36:05 - 6th
Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet 10000 m, Fukuoka, 2/24/12 - 30:27 - 2nd
Shizuoka Sunpu Half-Marathon, Shizuoka, 3/4/12 - 1:06:47 - 5th
Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heat 23, Yokohama, 5/27/12 - 13:43.01 - 1st
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:18.15 - 1st
London Olympics 10000 m, London, 8/4/12 - 28:44.06 - 22nd
London Olympics 5000 m Heat One, London, 8/8/12 - 13:38.22 - 12th
National Corporate Track and Field Championships 5000 m, Fukuoka, 9/22/12 - 13:38.51 - 4th
East Japan Corporate Ekiden 4th Stage, 9.9 km, Saitama, 11/3/12 - 29:58 - 4th

Sato has long been a monster.  13:31.72 and 28:07.39 at age 18.  13:23.57 at age 19.  Stage records three out of his four Hakone Ekiden runs.  Seconds off the national records for 3000 m and 10000 m.  A 1:02:51 course record for 22.0 km, equivalent to a half-marathon national record, at last January's New Year Ekiden.  But despite all of this potential something has been missing.  No national records.  No Olympic A-standard either, barely squeezing into the London team on B-standard marks after sitting on Osako in the 10000 m and outkicking him by 0.38 seconds.  No turning it up to eleven.  Come on already, if the track isn't happening for whatever reason then run a serious half-marathon and get the national record.  It's just waiting there.  Sato has been somewhat flat this fall, only 4th on his East Japan Corporate stage, but with a planned marathon debut early in 2013 this could be due to higher mileage.  A half-marathon national record would be nice before he makes a serious move to the marathon, but maybe that'll come in Marugame in February.

7. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 105.3 pts.

5000 m: 13:28.70 - 2nd, Kanaguri Memorial Meet, 4/7/12 - #2 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
National Interprefectural Men's Ekiden 7th Stage, 13.0 km, Hiroshima, 1/22/12 - 37:32 - 1st
Golden Games in Nobeoka 10000 m, Nobeoka, 5/12/12 - 28:40.43 - 10th
National Track and Field Championships 5000 m, Osaka, 6/8/12 - 13:47.54 - 2nd

Along with Sato, Takezawa has been emblematic of the problems at the very top end of the Japanese system, running 13:22.36 at age 19 and 13:19.00 at age 20 with half-marathon national record-quality performances at the Hakone Ekiden and making the Beijing Olympics late in his collegiate career, but chronically injured and languishing on the S&B team since going pro.  As in 2011, Takezawa started the year strong, beating Miyawaki and Ugachi on the anchor stage of the National Men's Ekiden in January but vanishing come summer.  The announcement at the end of August that the S&B team will disband in March means Takezawa will have to look elsewhere to get back on track.  Maybe there is room for him in Oregon with Osako.

8. Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) - 97.2 pts.

marathon: 2:08:24 - 2nd, Fukuoka, 12/2/12 - #2 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 4th Stage, 22.0 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 1:03:43 - 4th
Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Otsu, 3/4/12 - 2:10:05 - 11th
Grand Tour Kyushu Day Two 4th Stage, 14.2 km, Kyushu, 10/29/12 - 42:10 - 1st
Grand Tour Kyushu Day Six 6th Stage, 20.2 km, Kyushu, 11/2/12 - 1:00:31 - 2nd
Kyushu Corporate Men's Ekiden 4th Stage, 12.2 km, Kitakyushu, 11/23/12 - 35:20 - 2nd

A favorite for the London Olympics after finishing 7th at the Daegu World Championships marathon, Horibata struggled in the cold rain at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and missed the cut.  Out with injury until the fall, he came back with a series of strong ekiden performances before delivering a superb run in Fukuoka.  Making a serious effort to meet the Federation's sub-2:08 criterium for the Moscow World Championships team Horibata took control at 30 km with a surge that knocked the great Haile Gebrselassie out of the race.  He couldn't match winner Joseph Gitau's 2:06 pace but still held on for 2nd in 2:08:24, the 2nd-best Japanese time of the year.  Not sub-2:08, but the Federation would be crazy not to send him to Moscow after a performance of that caliber.

9. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 79.625 pts.

5000 m: 13:29.50 - 4th, Kanaguri Memorial Meet, 4/7/12 - #4 Japanese, 2012
10000 m: 27:52.79 - 13th, Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, 4/29/12 - #5 Japanese, 2012

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 3rd Stage, 13.6 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 37:58 - 2nd
National Interprefectural Men's Ekiden 7th Stage, 13.0 km, Hiroshima, 1/22/12 - 37:47 - 3rd
Kumanichi 30 km Road Race, Kumamoto, 2/19/12 - 1:30:01 - 1st
Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heat 23, Yokohama, 5/27/12 - 13:46.03 - 2nd
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:23.01 - 4th
World Half-Marathon Championships, Kavarna, 10/6/12 - 1:04:49 - 29th
East Japan Corporate Ekiden 2nd Stage, 15.3 km, Saitama, 11/3/12 - 44:35 - 1st
Hachioji Long-Distance Time Trials 10000 m Heat 1, Hachioji, 11/24/12 - 27:55.29 - 4th

JRN's 2011 Japanese man of the year, Ugachi struggled to find the same rhythm this year. Reasonably solid through the spring, he was only 4th at the National Championships 10000 m in June and missed making the London Olympics team despite having the fastest qualifying time.  He blamed a poor showing at the World Half-Marathon Championships on food poisoning and since then has been back to better form with a stage win at the East Japan Corporate Ekiden and a sub-28 clocking at the Hachioji Time Trials in late November.  All he needs now is a stage win at the New Year Ekiden.  Scheduled to be a pacer to 30 km at the Tokyo Marathon, which way will Ugachi go in 2013, toward a national record on the track or on to the roads for the longer end of things?

10. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) - 79.2 pts.

half-marathon: 1:01:15 - 3rd, National Corporate Championships, 3/18/12 - #2 Japanese, 2012, #8 Japanese all-time

Other major performances:
New Year Ekiden 3rd Stage, 13.6 km, Maebashi, 1/1/12 - 41:53 - 36th
Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, Kobe, 4/21/12 - 28:21.47 - 6th
National Track and Field Championships 10000 m, Osaka, 6/9/12 - 28:32.54 - 9th
World Half-Marathon Championships, Kavarna, 10/6/12 - 1:11:31 - 67th

Brilliant in college, Kihara has been wildly off and on, mostly off, as a corporate runner. After a bad start to the year at the New Year Ekiden he popped up unexpectedly with an all-time Japanese #8 half-marathon performance at March's National Corporate Half-Marathon Championships to make the Japanese team for the World Half-Marathon Championships.  He ran well through the spring but missed making the Olympic team on the track, then had a disastrous run at the World Half.  He looks like a potential 2:07 man at least, but having also missed his goal of making a marathon debut in 2012 the clock has to be ticking on Kihara's Kanebo contract.

Honorable mention: Toyo University

10:51:36 course record, Hakone Ekiden, 10 stages, 217.9 km, Tokyo-Hakone, 1/2-3/12

Other major performances:
Hood to Coast Relay, 36 stages, 320 km, Oregon, 8/24-25/12 - 17:14:37 - 1st
Izumo Ekiden, 6 stages, 44.5 km, Izumo, 10/8/12 - 2:11:10 - 2nd
National University Ekiden Championships, 8 stages, 106.8 km, Nagoya-Ise, 11/4/12 - 5:13:32 - 2nd

Toyo came into the 2012 Hakone Ekiden off wins in 2009 and 2010 and a 2nd-place finish under the course record behind Waseda University in 2011, all on the strength of uphill prodigy Ryuji Kashiwabara's record-setting runs of soaring inspiration on the 900 m-climb Fifth Stage.  For Kashiwabara's senior year the rest of the team vowed to give the race to him as a thank you gift, each member going beyond himself to make sure they could win even without the 3-minute advantage Kashiwabara brought them.  And they did. Toyo took an incredible 8 minutes, 15 seconds off Waseda's year-old course record, all ten members of the team averaging under 3 minutes per km for the entire 217.9 km race even with the two mountain stages.  It's hard to describe how shocking it was to watch.  One prominent corporate league coach told JRN that he seriously doubted any pro team in Japan could have beaten Toyo.  Since then the team members have continued to make progress toward being able to set another course record in 2013 without Kashiwabara. Identical twins Keita and Yuta Shitara have led the way, Keita running 1:01:45 at February's Marugame Half and 28:15.90 later in the spring, both Toyo records, and Yuta outkicking Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein at March's NYC Half to run 1:01:48, taking silver at the World University Cross-Country Championships, and breaking Keita's school 10000 m record with a new best of 28:12.82.  Toyo's JV squad had an easy time winning August's Hood to Coast Relay, and in the fall the varsity squad took 2nd behind both Aoyama Gakuin University's course record win at the Izumo Ekiden and Komazawa University's National University Ekiden Championships course record.  Hakone is going to be big.

Fan favorite: Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.)

2:10:29 - 6th, Fukuoka International Marathon, 12/2/12 and 2:10:46 - 1st, Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, 12/16/12
2:11:52 - 1st - CR, Sydney Marathon, 9/16/12 and 3:50.51 - PB, 1st, Nittai Univ. Time Trials 1500 m Heat 12, 9/22/12 and 13:58.62 - PB - 7th, Nittai Univ. Time Trials 5000 m Heat 37, 9/23/12

No need to say much about Kawauchi.  His performances do the talking.  Of his 34 known races this year he had 17 wins.  JRN readers picked his 2:10:29 and 2:10:46 at Fukuoka and Hofu, a world record for the shortest time ever between sub-2:11 marathons, as the Japanese men's performance of the year.  Here are the rest of them.

Kawauchi's 2012 race schedule:
Mari Tanigawa Half-Marathon, Tokyo, 1/8/12 - 1:06:19 - 2nd
Okumusashi Ekiden 6th Stage, 9.283 km, Hanno, 1/29/12 - 27:15 - 1st
Kagawa Marugame International Half-Marathon, Kagawa, 2/5/12 - 1:02:18 - 27th - PB
Tokyo Marathon, Tokyo, 2/26/12 - 2:12:51 - 14th
Saitama Half-Marathon, Saitama, 3/12/12 - 1:04:26 - 1st

Satte Sakura 10-Mile Road Race, Satte, 4/1/12 - 48:07 - 2nd
Yaizu Minato Half-Marathon, Yaizu, 4/8/12 - 1:03:48 - 2nd
Kasumigaura Marathon, Tsuchiura, 4/15/12 - 2:22:38 - 1st
Dusseldorf Marathon, Dusseldorf, 4/29/12 - 2:12:58 - 8th

Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heat 18, Yokohama, 5/6/12 - 14:00.02 - 4th
Sendai International Half-Marathon, Sendai, 5/13/12 - 1:03:49 - 4th
Gifu Seiryu Half-Marathon, Gifu, 5/20/12 - 1:04:13 - 12th
Kurobe Meisui Half-Marathon, Kurobe, 5/27/12 - 1:05:38 - 2nd
Sakuranbo Half-Marathon, Higashine, 6/10/12 - 1:05:34 - 1st
Okinoshima 50 km Ultra, Okinoshima, 6/17/12 - 2:51:45 - 1st - CR
Gold Coast Marathon, Brisbane, 7/1/12 - 2:13:26 - 4th
Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet 5000 m, Abashiri, 7/7/12 - 14:09.37 - 25th

Shibetsu Half-Marathon, Shibetsu, 7/22/12 - 1:05:00 - 1st
Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km Road Race, Kushiro, 7/29/12 - 1:35:02 - 1st
Nihonkai Melon Half-Marathon, Oga, 8/5/12 - 1:06:15 - 1st
Hokkaido Marathon, Sapporo, 8/26/12 - 2:18:38 - 1st
Harunako Ekiden 4th Stage, 5.5 km, Harunako, 9/2/12 - 15:48 - 1st - CR

Sydney Marathon, Sydney, 9/16/12 - 2:11:52 - 1st - CR
Nittai University Time Trials 1500 m Heat 12, Yokohama, 9/22/12 - 3:50.51 - 1st - PB
Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heat 37, Yokohama, 9/23/12 - 13:58.62 - 7th - PB
World Half-Marathon Championships, Kavarna, 10/6/12 - 1:04:04 - 21st
Chiba Aqualine Marathon, Chiba, 10/21/12 - 2:17:48 - 1st
Joshu Ota Subaru Half-Marathon, Ota, 10/28/12 - 1:05:55 - 1st
Hasuda 3 km Road Race, Hasuda, 11/3/12 - 8:44 - 1st
Oshu Maezawa 30 km Road Race, Oshu, 11/4/12 - 1:33:12 - 1st
Ageo City Half-Marathon, Ageo, 11/18/12 - 1:03:02 - 3rd
Fukuoka International Marathon, Fukuoka, 12/2/12 - 2:10:29 - 6th
JBMA Jingu Gaien 10 km Road Race, Tokyo, 12/9/12 - 38:04 - guest appearance
Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, Hofu, 12/16/12 - 2:10:46 - 1st
etc.....

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

2 comments:

TokyoRacer said...

Kawauchi is a beast! Does any other runner in the world run that kind of schedule, with those kind of results? Kenyan road racers in the US run lots of races, but probably not that many, and they run lots of 10Ks. Kawauchi runs lots of Halfs and Marathons. Amazing.

Brett Larner said...

No, I don't think so. A lot of the half-marathons are more or less marathon pace workouts, and it is relatively common for corporate runners to do local marathons as workouts as guest runners, but this kind of relentlessness.....