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High Schooler Nakaya 13:47.22 to Lead Saturday Night Track Fever



Saturday night saw another round of mid-season track time trial meets across the country. Leading the way, Saku Chosei High School's Yuhi Nakaya ran the 5th-fastest time ever by a Japanese high schooler, 13:47.22, to take 4th as the top Japanese man behind Ethiopian duo Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen of the Yachiyo Kogyo corporate team and unattached Kenyan James Bunuka Ndiwa in the Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials men's 5000 m A-heat.

Former World Youth and World Junior Championships medalist William Malel (Honda) won the Heisei Kokusai 10000 m A-heat in 28:24.46, with Komazawa University grad Shun Inoura (Yachiyo Kogyo) 2nd in 28:28.49. Two Japanese men in the A-heat, Toshinori Watanabe (GMO) and Kazuki Muramoto (Sumitomo Denki) doubled after running in earlier heats of 10000 m.

Far to the south, the national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team ran almost its entire team in the 10000 m at the Miyazaki Time Trials meet. 2016 national XC champ Takashi Ichida took 1st in 28:27.54, beating teammates Abraham Kipyatich and Shuho Dairokuno by just over a second.

Nearby in Oita, women's distance races were the focus at the Challenge Games in Oita Ginko Dome meet. Local high schooler Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) set a meet record 15:31.13 in the 5000 m A-heat to beat national champion Japan Post's three big guns, Ayuko Suzuki, Rina Nabeshima and Hanami Sekine. Tabitha Kamau (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) ran 9:07.84 to easily win the 3000 m A-heat.

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Kawauchi Ties Sub-2:20 World Record, Kato Crushes Course Record In Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Wins

Two weeks to the day after running 2:10:53 at the Fukuoka International Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) wrapped his 2017 with a win, running one of the few negative splits of his career to win the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon for the third time in 2:10:03. Women's winner Misako Kato (Kyudenko), a 1:09:49 half marathon, soloed an almost perfectly paced 2:28:12 to take 3 minutes off her PB and 7 1/2 minutes off the course record. Further back, Rio Paralympics T12 marathon silver medalist Misato Michishita broke the own world record in her category with a time of 2:56:14.

Watch a complete replay of the race here.


Pacers Taiga Ito and Melaku Abera, both of whom ran Fukuoka alongside Kawauchi, were tasked with taking the field out in 3:06/km, 2:10:48 pace. Pre-race Kawauchi told JRN, "If they'd run 3:04 I ccoul definitely, 100%, go faster than I did in Fukuoka. In cold and windy conditions things went in his favor in the early going with 5 and 10 km splits of 15:19 …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2017 race results: Jan. 8: Ikinoshima Half Marathon, Nagasaki: 1:06:35 - 1st
Jan. 15: Okukuma Half Marathon, Kumamoto: 1:04:17 - 6th
Jan. 29: Okumusashi Ekiden Third Stage (4.3 km), Saitama: 13:16 - 9th
Feb. 5: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama: 36:59 - 3rd
Feb. 12: Ehime Marathon, Ehime: 2:09:54 - 1st - CR
Feb. 26: Soja Kibiji Half Marathon,  Okayama: 1:04:52 - 2nd
Mar. 5: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto: 1:03:19 - 3rd
Mar. 12: Tanegashima Rocket Half Marathon, Kagoshima: 1:04:43 - 1st - CR
Mar. 19: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama: 1:05:03 - 1st - CR
Mar. 26: Kamisato Machi Kenmu Half Marathon, Saitama: 1:05:33 - 1st - CR
Apr. 2: Daegu International Marathon, South Korea: 2:13:04 - 6th
Apr. 23: Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, Gifu: 1:04:06 - 15th
Apr. 30: Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon, Fukushima: 1:05:31 - 1st - CR
May 7: Prague Marathon, Czech Republic: 2:10:13 - 6th
May 14: Sendai International Half Marathon, Miyagi: 1:03:29 - 11th
May 28:…

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…