Skip to main content

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The 65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon has announced the elite field for its 65th running on Feb. 7.  Coming just before the second and third selection races for Japan's Olympic marathon team it's small up front but features a solid mid-pack of relatively young runners including some good first-timers.

Evans Ruto (Kenya) leads the internationals with a 2:08:55 at last year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, with competition from sub-2:10 men Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) and Anthony Maritim (Kenya).  Japan-based Ethiopian Melaku Abera (Team Kurosaki Harima), the course record holder at Oita's Half Marathon, is scheduled to debut and should be another to watch.

On the home front, Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) is the only Japanese man on the list sub-2:11 recently with a 2:10:36 in Beppu-Oita two years ago.  High-volume marathoner Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) follows close behind with a 2:11:15 in Tokyo in 2013.  Most interesting among the debuting Japanese runners is Hiroto Kanamori (Takushoku Univ.), holding a half marathon PB of only 1:03:14 but having run 1:02:00 for 3rd on the ultra-competitive 21.3 km First Stage at the Hakone Ekiden earlier this month, worth 1:01:25 for the half marathon.

Japan's #1 amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) leads the small women's field with a 2:31:28 best in Tokyo 2013.  Yoshitomi has won her last three marathons, all since the beginning of November, and last weekend pulled off a crazy double with a 2:45:22 course record win at the Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon on Sunday followed by a 1:17:27 win the next day at Monday's Imari Half Marathon.  Yoshitomi's competition comes from Mayumi Uchiyama (Yamanashi Gauin Univ.), 2:39:54 in Tokyo last year, and Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita), 2:41:56 in Beppu-Oita two years ago.

65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
Elite Field Highlights
Oita, 2/7/16
click here for complete field listing
times listed are 2013-15 bests except where noted

Men
Evans Ruto (Kenya) - 2:08:55 (Gold Coast 2015)
Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Nice-Cannes 2014)
Anthony Maritim (Kenya) - 2:09:39 (Linz 2015)
Kenichi Shiraishi (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:10:36 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Kiflom Sium (Eritrea) - 2:11:39 (Prague 2013)
Ihor Olefirenko (Ukraine) - 2:12:04 (Bila Tserkva 2015)
Tatsunari Hirayama (Japan/Yasukawa Denki) - 2:12:38 (Nobeoka 2013)
Keita Akiba (Japan/Komori Corp.) - 2:13:12 (Biwako 2014)
Son Myeong Jun (South Korea) - 2:13:30 (Seoul 2015)
Kim Young Jin (South Korea) - 2:13:49 (Seoul 2013)
Kenta Chiba (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:14:00 (Nobeoka 2015)
Shogo Kanezane (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:22 (Nobeoka 2015)
Yudai Yamakawa (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:14:28 (Nobeoka 2014)
Naoya Hashimoto (Japan/Chudenko) - 2:14:36 (Beppu-Oita 2013)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:14:37 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Yuji Iwata (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 2:14:46 (Nobeoka 2014)
Sho Matsueda (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 2:14:50 (Nobeoka 2015)

Debut
Melaku Abera (Ethiopia/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:02:47 (Oita City Half 2015)
Salah Bounasr (Morocco) - 1:03:01 (Casablanca Half 2011)
Hiroto Kanamori (Japan/Takushoku Univ.) - 1:03:14 (Ageo City Half 2014)
Yuta Takahashi (Japan/DeNA) - 1:03:23 (Hakodate Half 2006)
Keisuke Kusaka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:03:44 (Ageo City Half 2012)
Yuki Munakata (Japan/Kanebo) - 1:03:58 (Ageo City Half 2009)

Women
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/First Dream AC) - 2:31:28 (Tokyo 2013)
Mayumi Uchiyama (Japan/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 2:39:54 (Tokyo 2015)
Haruka Yamaguchi (Japan/AC Kita) - 2:41:56 (Beppu-Oita 2014)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

Yamazaki, Ndirangu, Kamulu and Shitara Top Weekend Road Racing Action

Snow and cold impacted road races across Japan over the weekend, but at the top level almost every event went off as planned. In his marathon debut, Shota Yamazaki (Yakult) downed two-time defending champ Ryoichi Matsuo and debuting training partner Takumi Honda of the locally-based New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team to take the top spot at the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon in a three-way sprint finish.

Shaking off first-timer Keisuke Tanaka (Fujitsu) late in the race, Yamazaki did all the work in the lead trio with the Asahi Kasei duo hanging off both of his shoulders. Hitting a bridge with 750 m to go Honda surged into the lead with Matsuo following. Yamazaki fell back, looking behind him with 500 m to go and seeming to have settled for 3rd. At 400 m to go Matsuo went to the front and looked to be on track to become only the second man to win Nobeoka three times, but as the pair rounded the final corner Yamazaki came back with a kick that left both his riv…

In Memory of Ken Young

I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Young, founder of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. If you're not familiar with Ken or the ARRS, Amby Burfoot's 2016 piece on him in Runners World, The Endless Toil of the Big Data Guy, says everything you need to know. Back in the early days of JRN, Ken was one of several industry people to contact me after I published JRN's first hit article, 397 Under 70 Minutes: The 20th Ageo City Half Marathon. He wanted verification of the results and, seemingly having missed Ageo before, asked me to research its history and past results.

That soon led to me transliterating results from Japanese road, track and cross-country races for him on a weekly basis, results otherwise unavailable to the outside world except for some already covered by Japanese contributors Ken Nakamura and Shigenobu Ota. For the last 10 years I've spent about 10 hours on average every Sunday night and Monday morning, sometimes Tuesday, someti…