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Keny and Maruyama Lead Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Field

by Brett Larner

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have announced their elite field for their 66th running on Feb. 5. Kenyan Felix Keny fronts the field, a former 2:07 man with a best recent time of 2:09:04 in Hamburg three years ago.  Likewise, #2-ranked international Dereje Debele of Ethiopia has run 2:07 in years past, but in the last three years hasn't broken 2:10 with his 2:10:31 at the 2015 Mumbai Marathon his best recent credential.  American Jeffrey Eggleston completes the front of the overseas contingent with a 2:10:52 runner-up finish at the 2014 Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Beppu-Oita Mainichi factors into the complicated selection process for the 2017 London World Championships men's marathon team with a slot potentially available to a Japanese winner.  The best chance of seeing that happen comes from the talented Fumihiro Maruyama of the 2017 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei team, Maruyama having debuted in style in 2:09:39 at last year's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon with an overly aggressive surge near 30 km.  If he learned from that mistake and is near the same fitness he may become the first Japanese man to win Beppu-Oita since Yuki Kawauchi in 2013.

The runner-up in that race, Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki), is one of the best Japanese marathoners of the modern era but has been in decline since finishing 5th at the 2013 Moscow World Championships.  A comeback run would make him a definite contender.  Likewise for Maruyama's sub-2:10 teammate Tomoya Adachi (Asahi Kasei), a local who won Beppu-Oita in 2008 in his marathon debut.  Despite only having a 2:12:48 best, Ryo Kiname (MHPS) is a solid threat after winning August's Hokkaido Marathon.

Potential darkhorses include the independent Aritaka Kajiwara, who trains with three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University, debuting New Year Ekiden Third Stage winner Minato Oishi (Toyota) and his teammate Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota), and the Koichi Morishita-coached Kento Otsu (Team Toyota Kyushu), running his second marathon after a failed debut in Hokkaido last year.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon will be broadcast live by TBS on Feb. 5 starting at 11:50 a.m. Japan time.  Follow @JRNLive for coverage and live streaming details.

66th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon 
Elite Field Highlights
Oita, 2/5/17
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Felix Keny (Kenya) - 2:09:04 (Hamburg 2014)
Fumihiro Maruyama (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:39 (Lake Biwa 2016)
Tomoya Adachi (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:59 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Dereje Debele (Ethiopia) - 2:10:31 (Mumbai 2015)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kadota) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) - 2:10:52 (Gold Coast 2014)
Yoshiki Otsuka (Japan/Aichi Seiko) - 2:11:40 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Kohei Ogino (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:11:42 (Nagano 2015)
Kentaro Nakamoto (Japan/Yasukawa Denki) - 2:11:58 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:12:04 (Nagano 2015)
Kazuya Ishida (Japan/Nishitetsu) - 2:12:25 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Ryo Kiname (Japan/MHPS) - 2:12:48 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Keita Akiba (Japan/Komori Corp.) - 2:13:12 (Lake Biwa 2014)
Solonei Da Silva (Brazil) - 2:13:15 (Milan 2015)
Yusei Nakao (Japan/Smiley Angel AC) - 2:13:23 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Shigeki Tsuji (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:13:41 (Lake Biwa 2014)
Kenta Chiba (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:14:00 (Nobeoka 2015)
Keisuke Kusaka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:14:11 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Shogo Kanezane (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:15 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:14:20 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Aritaka Kajiwara (Japan/Atsugi T&F Assoc.) - 2:14:27 (Fukuoka Int'l 2016)
Bunta Kuroki (Japan/Yasukawa Denki)- 2:14:27 (Warsaw 2014)
Yuji Iwata (Japan/MHPS) - 2:14:46 (Nobeoka 2014)
Khalil Lemiciyeh (Morocco) - 2:14:56 (Casablanca 2016)
Kaito Koitabashi (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 2:15:03 (Hokkaido 2016)
Takafumi Kikuchi (Japan/SG Holdings) - 2:15:07 (Hokkaido 2016)
Saeki Makino (Japan/DNPL) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)
Paul Pollock (Ireland) - 2:15:38 (Berlin 2015)
Takuya Suzuki (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 2:15:40 (Beppu-Oita 2014)

Debut / Do-Over
Kento Otsu (Japan/Toyota Kyushu) - 1:02:09 (Marugame Half 2016)
Minato Oishi (Japan/Toyota) - 1:02:32 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2016)
Tsubasa Hayakawa (Japan/Toyota) - 1:02:34 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2016)

© 2017 Brett Larner
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The Kawauchi Counter

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Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
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Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
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Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


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