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Articles tagged #Fukuoka Marathon
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The 2020 Fukuoka Marathon has been Cancelled

In the midst of the novel coronavirus crisis both in Japan and abroad and in light of the disease's constantly changing impact and the difficulty of assessing the future situation, the organizers of the 2020 Fukuoka Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 8, have made the decision to cancel this year's race.

We apologize to everyone who had looked forward to the Fukuoka Marathon and to everyone involved with it, but we ask for your understanding.

We hope that the coronavirus crisis comes to an end quickly and that everyone can return to their daily lives, and we ask you all to take care of both your physical and mental health until that day comes.

The Fukuoka Marathon Organizing Committee.

(04/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Callum Hawkins of Great Britain will be targeting a second victory at the 74th Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon on Sunday

Callum Hawkins, who won the race in 2017, joins 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich as a marquee name on the men’s side while Helalia Johannes, the bronze medallist in the marathon at last year’s World Championships, leads the women’s field.

Hawkins, who collapsed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon while leading, finished fourth in the World Championships marathon in both 2017 and 2019.

Briton Charlotte Purdue (1:08:45), Japan’s Mao Ichiyama (1:08:49) and Australian Sinead Diver (1:08:55) have the fastest personal bests in the field. All came in 2019: Purdue’s in the Sanyo Women’s road race in December, Ichiyama’s in Hakodate in July and Diver’s in Marugame in February. Two others - Ellie Pashley and Reia Iwade - also have sub-70 minute credentials.   

Eri Makikawa, the 2014 Marugame winner with a best of 1:10:28, is also back after skipping the race in recent years.

The men’s field is much stronger.

Both Zane Robertson and Kelvin Kiptum have sub-1 hour bests, while Hawkins’ best is exactly 60 minutes. In fact, the 20-year-old Kiptum has cracked 60:00 twice, both last year. That may qualify Kiptum as the favorite on Sunday. Robertson was second in Marugame in 2015.

The race also serves as a qualifying race for the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

Several runners, including Japanese national half marathon record holder Yuta Shitara, are running as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon. Yuki Sato, a four-time national 10,000m champion, and Shuho Dairokuno, 2019 national 10,000m champion, will also be contesting both Marugame and Tokyo Marathon. Although not an invited runner, Shitara’s twin brother Keita will be running also.

Other top Japanese include Yuma Hattori, the 2018 Fukuoka Marathon champion, Taku Fujimoto, second in the 2019 Fukuoka Marathon, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, the second fastest 10,000m runner in Japan and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Callum Hawkins is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him on the GB marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics

Callum is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him for the Tokyo Olympics next summer, repeating the feat of 2016 which saw them both compete for Britain in the marathon in Rio.

It was announced last week that Callum has already been pre-selected for the 2020 Olympics, becoming one of the first GB athletes to secure their seat on the plane to Japan. And he firmly believes his brother is capable of claiming one of the remaining two marathon spots, with things being made slightly easier following the announcement earlier this year from four-time Olympic track medallist Mo Farah that he will concentrate on the 10,000m. This is after his decision in 2017 to retire from the track and concentrate on the road.

The Kilbarchan AAC duo put in impressive showings at Rio 2016, with Callum having a superb run to finish in ninth place, while Derek overcame a build-up severely afflicted by injury to finish just 114th.

The London Marathon in April is the ‘trial race’ for the Olympics, with the British Athletics men’s standard for Japan 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds. This means Derek must set a new personal best if he is to make it to his second Olympics, with his best to date being 2 hours 12 minutes 49 seconds, which he clocked in Frankfurt in October.

“There are slots available now at London and hopefully Derek can make it,” said Callum, who believes his older brother is capable of dipping under the British qualifying time.

“He ran a PB in Frankfurt and I think he had a bit more to come that day.

"So we will see how that goes with him and a couple of other Brits come London. I’d love him to be there. We were both selected for Rio in 2016 but at that time he had a real struggle with injury in the last few months and it was all about just making the start-line.

"It would be a nice achievement for two brothers to make it twice to the Olympics in the marathon."

Callum, fourth in the last two World champs events in London and in Doha, feels the competition in Sapporo will be even harder come next August.

"I’m not in any doubt that the level of competition in Japan will be even tougher than Doha," the 27-year-old said.

"That’s just the way I feel because I’m sure the very fact it is the Olympics will motivate people even more and there will be greater depth to the top 10 or the top 20 or whatever. Making the top 10 again will be really tough and the conditions could be difficult, too, even though they’ve moved it.

"I won’t have any fear, though. I will go out there feeling no pressure and, assuming everything has gone well in the build-up, I will really go for it. With a marathon, it comes down to how you cope and how you feel on the day."

If his current plan for next year remains unchanged, he could be making a trip east even before the main event, with a half marathon in Japan on the radar for family Hawkins.

"I’ve been out to Japan before," Callum recalled.

"I was due to run the Fukuoka Marathon at the end of 2018 but a hamstring injury prevented that, but we went on the trip anyway and got an idea of the place.

"We’re firming up the race-plan at the moment but one of the half marathons could be over in Japan, although not at the Olympic venue."

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey smashed Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:04:16 to finish second behind Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew

Farah’s now-beaten mark of 2:05:11 moved into Ozbilen’s view after he finished second in the Rotterdam Marathon in April in 2:05:27 to become the second fastest European marathon runner in history and Ozbilen credits following the instructions of the venerable Kenyan coach Patrick Sang for taking him below this record.

Ozbilen had to settle for the runner-up spot again but the 33-year-old has taken the European record into new territory, slashing almost one minute off Farah’s mark which was set in the Chicago Marathon last October. There is unlikely to be a riposte from Farah next spring after the Brit announced on Friday he is aiming to contest the 10,000m at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ozbilen was on pace to eclipse Farah’s mark from the gun and the former European cross country champion passed through the halfway mark in 61:58 which put him on course for a sub-2:04 clocking. As the temperatures rose and the leading group splintered, Ozbilen drifted off this schedule slightly but the Turk was never in danger of relinquishing his grip on the record, securing his second podium finish of the season in 2:04:16.

“I’ve been training with the best group in the world - the wonderful Patrick Sang who is coaching Eliud Kipchoge. I was expecting to run well but I was only at 80 percent because I had a problem but today it was my day. Everything went the way I wanted it,” Ozbilen told Alberto Stretti after the race. 

On whether Kipchoge had imparted any advice or words of wisdom ahead of the race, Ozbilen added: “Eliud told me ‘you are capable of winning this race because we have been training together and in every section we have been finishing together.”

In a high calibre race, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen made an excellent comeback after a series of setbacks since running a European record of 2:05:48 to win the Fukuoka Marathon in 2017. In his first completed marathon since that race almost two years ago, Moen finished seventh in 2:06:16 to easily secure the Olympic qualifying standard for 2020.

The theme of Scandinavian success continued as David Nilsson broke the long-standing Swedish record, finishing 16th in 2:10:09 to improve Kjell-Erik Stahl’s mark of 2:10:38 which had stood since the 1983 World Championships. Nilsson recorded near identical halfway splits of 65:05 and 65:04.

(12/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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El Mahjoub Dazza wins the Fukuoka Marathon

It came down to a race between #1-ranked El Mahjoub Dazza (Morocco) and top Japanese man Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) after 30 km, but the Moroccan proved the stronger as he pulled away to win the Fukuoka International Marathon in 2:07:10.

Japanese men had to run under the national record of 2:05:50 to score the last spot on the 2020 Olympic marathon team. Fujimoto, 2:08 man Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) and ambitious 2:12 guy Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) were the only ones to really give it a go, staying up front in the lead pack with most of the internationals, with Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) laying down the law at the head of the pacer group.

A secondary lead group quickly separated off the back of the lead group, with Japan-based Kenyan Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Track Tokyo), 2:09:52 man Jo Fukuda (Nishitetsu), Keita Shitara (Hitachi Butsuryu) and others cutting back to 2:07 pace. European marathon champ Koen Naert (Belgium) and Pan-Am Games gold medalist Christian Pacheco (Peru) were more conservative, going out with the sub-2:10 pace B-group.

The high pace took its toll up front, with most of the invited internationals falling off and then dropping out to leave just Dazza, Fujimoto, Sato, Ichida and former Takushoku University ekiden captain Workneh Derese (Ethiopia/Hiramatsu Byoin).

Ichida, Sato and Derese all fell back on the trip out to the 31.6 km turnaround point, leaving just Dazza and Fujimoto when the pacers stepped off at 30 km. Dazza immediately surged, breaking Fujimoto and running unchallenged for the win in 2:07:10. Fujimoto slowed progressively, almost shuffling down the home straight of the track for 2nd in 2:09:36 after a 1:03:02 first half. Derese dropped Sato, but in the last km he was run down by second group runner Fukuda who took 3rd in 2:10:33 to Derese's 2:10:52 for 4th.

Early caution paid off, as runners from the sub-2:10 third pack took the next four spots led by Natsuki Terada (JR Higashi Nihon), who closed with the fastest split in the field, 6:44, for a 5-minute PB of 2:10:55 and a 5th-place finish. 

Raymond Kipchumba Choge (Kenya) was the only other athlete from the original front pack to make the top 10, taking 9th in 2:11:38. Taiki Suzuki (Raffine) followed up a solid 3rd-place finish two weeks ago at China's Yiwu International Half Marathon with a 2:12:09 debut for 10th.Amateur runner Yusuke Tobimatsu (Hioki City Hall), a regular front runner in Fukuoka, survived going with the sub-2:10 this time to take 11th in a major PB of 2:12:44, while Sato faded to 2:14:56 after going through halfway in 1:03:02.

Still on sub-2:10 pace at 35 km, Ichida paid heavily for his own 1:03:02 first half as he fell to 29th in 2:19:05. Fan favorite Shitara, twin brother of former national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), fell short of his sub-2:10 goal at 14th in 2:14:31 just ahead of Sato.

Apart from Dazza and Choge, the only other invited internationals to finish were Naert and Pacheco, Naert finishing 18th in 2:15:51 and Pacheco 40th in 2:21:15.The Final Challenge series, the three-race chance for men to replace Osako on the 2020 Olympic team, continues in March with the Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon.

The dire crash and burn results today showed just how high a bar it will be to pull off, and that whatever else happens there's really only one person who could do it. But with the Valencia Marathon having quickly surpassed Fukuoka's place on the world calendar and the Osaka Marathon putting on heavy domestic pressure, more than ever before today's race seemed like a relic of times gone by.

Dazza's winning time was only just over 30 second faster than Osaka winner Asefa Tefera's, and Osaka had a quality women's race and field of over 30,000 on top of that. What is Fukuoka's route forward to stay relevant in a rapidly changing landscape?

(12/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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El Mahjoub Dazza, Koen Naert, Ayana Tsedat, and Yuki Kawauchi are set to compete for the title at Fukuoka Marathon

When the Fukuoka International Marathon became a non-domestic race in 1966, the intent of the organizer was to invite the winners from all the international championship marathons which took place over the previous 12 months. In keeping with the spirit of the event, this year’s edition of the World Athletics Gold Label road race, set to take place on Sunday, December 1st, , features European champion Koen Naert and Pan American Games gold medalist Christian Pachoco.

Naert recorded his marathon personal best, 2:07:39, at this year’s Rotterdam Marathon. But Morocco’s El Mahjoub Dazza is the fastest in the field as he recorded 2:05:26 at the 2018 Valencia Marathon and 2:05:58 in Prague earlier this year. Those two performances are faster than the PBs of all the other runners in the field.

“I am ready,” he said. “If the weather is good, I can run fast.”

Other invited runners include Tsedat Abeje Ayana, who set a PB of 2:06:36 in Seville earlier this year, as well as sub-2:09 performers Raymond Choge, Amanuel Mesel, Abdi Ibrahim Abdo, and Shadrack Kiplagat. Mesel has competed in the past four editions of Fukuoka Marathon and has broken 2:10 in 2017 and 2018.

Kenyans running for a corporate sponsored team won the race on three occasions between 2011 and 2013. This year Michael Githae, who runs for Suzuki Hamamatsu Athletics Club, will try to become fourth Kenyan with a Japanese connection to win the Fukuoka Marathon. He was eighth at the 2017 Fukuoka Marathon and recorded a personal best of 2:09:21 at the 2018 Lake Biwa Marathon.

For Japanese runners, the significance of the race is that anybody who improves the national marathon record, 2:05:50, will clinch the third spot on the Japanese Olympic Marathon team – unless someone else improves the record further at the 2020 Tokyo or the Lake Biwa Marathon. Given the Japanese entrants for Sunday’s race, however, a national record appears unlikely in Fukuoka.

Taku Fujimoto, who ran 2:07:57 at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, is the fastest Japanese runner in the field, while Yuki Sato, who has a 10,000m best of 27:38.25, may have the best marathon potential.

Yuki Kawauchi will run the Fukuoka Marathon for the fifth straight year. His personal best is 2:08:14, while his best time in Fukuoka is 2:09:05 from 2013. Now that Kawauchi no longer works for Saitama prefecture government, he may be ready for a quicker time.

 

(11/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Sydney marathon organizers are determined to see the course records go when this year’s race is run on Sunday

The IAAF Gold Label road race, centerpiece of the mass participation Sydney Running Festival that has attracted almost 40,000 entrants, is not as fast as some courses, but any road course in Australia’s biggest city boasting one of the world’s iconic harbors, must be a compromise between aesthetics and degree of difficulty.

Nonetheless, organizers are confident the course records – 2:11:18 by Ethiopia’s Gebo Gameda Burka in 2014 and 2:28:04 by Ethiopian-born Australian resident Makda Harun Haji in 2017 – can be substantially improved. They have assembled a field and will provide the pacing to make that happen in this year’s race.

Australian 10,000m record holder Ben St. Lawrence will spearhead the pacers endeavoring to pilot the leading male runners through the first 25km on pace to break the men’s record. Corresponding assistance should see the leading women – including Harun Haji – through half-way on the required pace.

“We want to see the records broken this year,” race director Wayne Larden said on Friday, “and we think we have the depth in both fields for that to happen.”

Felix Kiprotich looks the pick of the men’s field. The 30-year-old Kenyan runner comes with strong current form. He recorded his personal best – 2:05:33 – in winning Korea’s Daegu marathon this April, so he is fast and in a winning mood. He also brings consistency, having four sub-2:07 times on his c.v.

Kiprotich has bettered 2:07 in four of the past five years and ran sub-2:08 in the only year he did not. He is also familiar with the region, his best performances all coming in Asia.

Elijah Kemboi won last year’s Sydney race by over two minutes in 2:13:33. Before last year he had run sub-2:10 for the previous six years. Besides his win in Sydney, he was second in Linz and won in Macao, so his consistency remains at a high level. Another Kenyan, Kiprotich Kirui, has bettered 2:10 each of the past three years including a 2:09:05 for third place in Madrid earlier this year.

Japanese runners have a good recent record in Sydney, despite usually not arriving with the strongest credentials among the elite runners. Satoru Sasaki was third in the always-strong Fukuoka marathon in 2015 in his PB 2:08:56 and finished eighth there last year in 2:11:40. He and younger compatriot Ryo Kuchimachi – 2:13:30 in Tokyo this year – will bear watching.

Kenyan duo Stellah Barsosio and Josephine Chepkoech head the elite athletes in the women’s field.

Each comes with strong recent form. Barsosio was second in this year’s Rotterdam marathon in her fastest career performance of 2:23:36. The 26-year-old was fifth in Paris the previous year and also boasts a half-marathon best of 1:09:31.

Chepkoech, 30, is a little faster than her compatriot over the half distance, with a best of 1:08:53. That dates back to 2013, however, but her 2:25:20 performance in the Barcelona marathon earlier this year suggests she remains a strong contender.

Harun Haji holds the race record set in 2017, the second time in succession she triumped in Sydney. In both victories, she broke away in Centennial Park significantly before the half-way point where the tree cover and bends in the road make it relatively easy to “disappear” from the chasers. She does not have compelling domestic form coming into the race, but it will be interesting to see whether she, or any of her rivals, adopt similar tactics.

Ethiopian pair Hirut Alemayehu and Gebeyanesh Ayele will also be in the hunt. Ayele has a personal best of 2:26:54 from Hengshui just one year ago, while Alemayehu’s best is 2:30:09. Both have half-marathon bests of just over 70 minutes, so need to be respected.

Tejita Daba, Bahrain, and Bornes Kitur, third in Osaka this year and with a 2:24:19 PB from Prague last year, are also more than capable of winning in a very even women’s field.

(09/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Sydney Marathon

Sydney Marathon

The Sydney Marathon is a marathon held annually in Sydney, Australia each September. The event was first held in 2001 as a legacy of the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney. In addition to the marathon, a half marathon, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) "Bridge Run", and a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) "Family Fun Run" are also held under...

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Callum Hawkins is running the London Marathon and Andy Vernon will be making his marathon debut in London

Callum Hawkins is to run the Virgin Money London Marathon this weekend, returning to marathon action for the first time since his collapse when leading the Commonwealth Games race last year.

In terms of British elite men’s entries, the world fourth-placer will be joined in the UK capital by the already-announced Mo Farah, Dewi Griffiths, Jonny Mellor, Tsegai Tewelde, Andy Davies, Josh Griffiths, Robbie Simpson, Matt Sharp and Andy Vernon, who will be making his marathon debut.

Hawkins clocked 2:10:52 when running the London event for the first time in 2016 and improved to his current PB of 2:10:17 when finishing fourth as the city staged the IAAF World Championships the following year.

Racing on the Gold Coast last April, the Scot had looked set to claim a dominant Commonwealth victory but collapsed with just two kilometres of the race remaining. He was entered to compete in the Fukuoka Marathon in December but withdrew due to a hamstring niggle.

His latest performance saw him impress over 10km as he ran 28:55 in Valencia last weekend – a time which is an official PB, though the 26-year-old has clocked faster 10km splits as part of a half-marathon.

Fans will also be interested to see what Vernon might be able to achieve as he steps up to race over 26.2 miles for the first time.

The 2014 European 10,000m silver and 5000m bronze medallist, who also claimed individual European Cross Country Championships bronze in 2013, missed last year’s edition of the Euro Cross through injury but returned to race at the Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry last weekend.

“It felt like the right time in my career to move up to the marathon,” said the 33-year-old.

“I feel like I am getting a little bit slower on the track. It’s tough to make teams, it’s tough to do well at championships, especially over 10,000m. For that reason, I thought if I don’t do it now, I won’t ever do it.”

The London Marathon doubles up as the GB team selection event for the IAAF World Championships in Doha, with the British women’s field also looking competitive.

After a year hampered by injury and illness, Charlotte Purdue will return to race in London, as will her Aldershot, Farnham and District club-mate Lily Partridge, the current British champion, who was also forced to drop out of last year’s European Championships marathon with stomach cramps.

Just one second separates Purdue’s marathon PB of 2:29:23, set in London in 2017, and Partridge’s best time of 2:29:24, which she ran to finish eighth in her first London Marathon last year.

“I want to make the world championship team for Doha and I want to run a PB at the Virgin Money London Marathon because I think I can go a lot faster than I did in 2017 and I think my world championship performance proved that,” said world 13th-placer Purdue.

“I just haven’t had the right race yet so I’m hoping the London Marathon will be the right race for me.”

(04/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen headlines the Gdynia Half Marathon this weekend

After setting a European record of 2:05:48 in the Fukuoka Marathon in December 2017, Moen missed the majority of the 2018 campaign due to a combination of illness and injury but the 28-year-old is working his way back to form and fitness. 

Moen returned to competition with a second-place finish in the 5km Herculis in 13:37 and next on the agenda is the Gdynia Half Marathon on Sunday, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All.

“I am just happy to have made it back from my injuries - especially the tendon tear in the groin - and be in condition to run a honest half marathon again considering that I have only three months of running since my DNF at the European Championships last year,” said Moen, who stepped off the road just after the halfway point in Berlin last August.

“My training is not yet at the highest level, but my race in Monaco over 5km showed that I am on the right direction. On Sunday I expect strong competition and a fast race from the start,” he said. 

Moen ran his half marathon lifetime best of 59:48 in Valencia in the build-up to the Fukuoka Marathon - a time which makes him the fourth fastest European of all-time. Moen isn’t quite in the shape to break the one hour-mark at this early juncture of his comeback but he is aiming for a time around the 62 minute-mark.

“If the weather conditions cooperate on race day, I would be happy to run my second fastest time ever,” said Moen, whose second fastest time stands at 62:19. 

(03/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. The first race debuted in 2016, becoming one of the biggest half marathons in Poland in the first year. The race offers a unique opportunity to launch the spring season in Gdynia - "the city made of dreams and the sea".The beautiful and touristic...

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Former world marathon silver medallist Vincent Kipruto will lead Kenya’s charge at the Xiamen International Marathon in China

Former world marathon silver medallist Vincent Kipruto will lead Kenya’s charge at the Xiamen International Marathon in China on January 6.

After a frustrating 2018, which saw the Kenyan compete in three marathons and fail to win any, Kipruto will be inspired as he seeks to start the year on a winning note and break the Ethiopian dominance in the race, reports Xinhua news agency.

Kipruto said he was disappointed with not being able to finish the Fukuoka Marathon early in December, but feels he has recovered and will make an attempt to win the Xiamen Marathon, though he is aware of the strong challenge the Ethiopians will present.

“I have recovered and focused on running top race. I believe I am strong enough to challenge for the medals. I have no intentions of competing at the World Championships later in 2019, but I want to give this race, my best effort."

“Ethiopians have dominated the race and it is time, Kenya takes over and brings home the medals,” he said.

(12/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuma Hattori wins the Fukuoka Marathon the first Japanese runner to win in 14 years

25-year-old Yuma Hattori from Japan PR for the marathon before today was 2:09:46.  On the other hand the favorite,Yemane Tsegay from Ethiopia had run much faster.  But it was Yuma’s race today has he won by over a minute clocking 2:07:27 at the 72nd annual Fukuoka Marathon held today Dec 2 in Japan.  Yemane finished second clocking 2:08:54. Yuma is the fifth Japanese runner to break 2:08 this year.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi finished tenth clocking 2:12:03 adding another sub 2:20 performance to his list of many.  Breaking away from Yemane Tsegay and Amanuel Mesel at 36 kilometers, Yuma Hattori cruised to victory. “It is close to the time I had hoped for,” said Hattori, whose performance elevated him to eighth on the Japanese all-time list. Mesel finished third with 2:09:45. The race progressed on an even pace with 15:00 five-kilometer segments through 25 kilometers.  The first casualty of the relatively fast even pace, considering the unseasonably warm weather was Vincent Kipruto, former World Championships silver medallist who fell behind before 5km. Yuki Kawauchi began to drift back after 11km and Kentaro Nakamoto after 15km and Ghebreslassie at 17. Both Kipruto and Ghebrselassie dropped out before reaching the midway point. Bedan Karoki finished his pacing duties at 25km; the two remaining pacesetters forged on but the tempo slowed to 15:36 over the next five kilometers, by far the slowest of the day. The leading pack of nine was reduced to three by 35 kilometers, with Hattori, Mesel and Tsegay reaching the mark in 1:46:12. But at the water station one kilometer later, Hattori broke away. “I did not feel like I made a move,” Hattori said. “It was more like my competitions dropped off, so I decided to go.”                   (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia returns to regain the title he won in 2016 at the 72nd Fukuoka Marathon

Two years ago, Tsegay stopped Patrick Makau from winning a third straight title at this race. Last year he finished a distant 26th in 2:18:05, slowed by a sudden back problem that hit him after five kilometres. In May he won the Ottawa Marathon with 2:08:52, has a personal best of 2:04:48 set in Rotterdam in 2012 and took silver at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. He trains with this year’s Chicago Marathon runner-up Mosinet Geremew and Shanghai winner Seifu Tura, boding well. The man who beat Tsegay in Beijing, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, is also in the race. Ghebreslassie was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games and won the New York City Marathon later that year. He set his personal best of 2:07:46 earlier that year, at the London Marathon. However, he’s failed to finish the last three marathons he started: New York, Dubai and London. He said he was hampered by injury in 2017 and early 2018, but is back on track now. “My training after London is going well,” he said. Vincent Kipruto, the runner-up at the 2011 World Championships, is also in the field. His best of 2:05:13 dates back to the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, but more recently clocked 2:06:14 at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea has run well here in the past, finishing fifth at both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the race. Although not an invited runner, Brett Robinson of Australia, a pace maker last year, is said to be in strong shape and ready for a fast performance in his debut over the distance.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi is also running and posted this on FB.  "I will run Fukuoka international open marathon Sunday. I ran this race 8 times( include 3 times of sub 2:10). I love this race and this city and people of Fukuoka. I believe I can end my bad flow of marathon since this summer," Yuki posted a few hours ago.  (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Callum Hawkins has unfortunately withdrawn from the Fukuoka Marathon due to a hamstring situation

The Scottish 2:10 marathoner was set to race for the first time over 26.2 miles following April’s Commonwealth Games marathon on the Gold Coast, Australia. “I’ve had a strong build up to Fukuoka Marathon and was really looking forward to toeing the line with some of the world’s best marathoners once again,” said Hawkins in a statement. “I witnessed the amazing running scene when I won the Marugame Half Marathon in 2017 so was excited to be returning for the second time to a country I love to compete in. “Unfortunately, a slight niggle in my right hamstring has occurred this past week preventing me from running at race pace. “I’m therefore gutted to have to make the tough call to withdraw from the race. Thanks to the race organisers for the invitation and everything they have done for me up to now and I wish everyone competing an excellent race weekend.” (11/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kanbouchia Breaks the Osaka Marathon women’s Course Record

Moroccan Soud Kanbouchia took the top spot in Japan's second-biggest marathon Sunday Nov 25, breaking the Osaka Marathon women's course record to win in 2:31:19. In the early going Kanbouchia had company from Hiroko Yoshitomi and Kasumi Yoshida on mid-2:27 pace, but with a surge at halfway she was on her own and stayed that way until the finish. Yoshitomi, this year's Boston Marathon 10th-place finisher who set a PB and CR of 2:30:09 two weeks ago at the Fukuoka Marathon and, incredibly, won the Ohtwara Marathon on Friday in 2:37:22, dropped off after 10 km to settle into mid-2:30s pace. Yoshida lasted longer but slowed dramatically after 25 km and was quickly retaken by Yoshitomi. But from the main pack of women behind them club runner Haruka Yamaguchi emerged to run both down, running almost even splits to take 2nd in 2:34:12, a PB by over four minutes. Yoshitomi hung on 3rd in 2:34:39, almost three minutes faster than her time 48 hours earlier. Yoshida settled for 4th in 2:35:31.  The men's race saw a five-man lead group made up of Kenyans Charles Munyeki and Julius Mahome, Moroccan Abdenasir Fathi, and Japanese amateurs Shingo Igarashi and Hideyuki Ikegami. Hideyuki dropped off after 15 km before a surprise DNF. After hitting halfway in 1:05:22 Fathi surged to gap the rest of the lead group, from which Mahome became detached after 25 km.Munyeki and Igarashi worked together the rest of the way, and when Fathi began to fade after 30 km they started to reel him in. By 37 km they overtook him, and it went down to the very last kilometer before Munyeki dropped Igarashi to take the win in 2:14:11. Igarashi was 2nd in 2:14:19, the second-fastest time of his career. Fathi hung on to 3rd in 2:17:37, finishing just 20 seconds ahead of Akihiro Kaneko who took 31 seconds off his best for 4th in 2:17:57.   (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Callum Hawkins will make his return to marathon racing at the Fukuoka Marathon

Hawkins has been named in the elite men’s field that includes Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay, who has a 2:04:48 personal best, Kenya’s Vincent Kipruto (2:05:13 PB), and Eritrean duo Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (2:07:46 PB) and Amanuel Mesel (2:08:17 PB). In April, the Scottish athlete was on course for victory at the Commonwealth Games marathon on the Gold Coast, Australia, when, overcome by the heat, he lost control of his body and fell over in the closing stages. The 26 year-old has bounced back as expected and most recently clocked a 61:00 half marathon in Valencia, where he finished first European. “Things are on the up. 61:00 today in the Valencia half,” said Hawkins post-race on Instagram. “Not exactly what I wanted from the race but the legs are almost back.” At the 2017 edition of the Fukuoka Marathon, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen took victory in a European record time of 2:05:48. (10/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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National record holder Yuta Shitara and Yuki Kawauchi are running the Fukuoka Marathon

The best year in Japanese men’s marathon history is drawing to a close, and with it the chances for them to qualify for the new MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials are running out. The Dec. 2nd Fukuoka International Marathon features one of the best Japanese fields ever assembled, with ten Japanese men under 2:10 since 2016. Half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara, 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi, 2017 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Kentaro Nakamoto, Hayato Sonoda and Yoshiki Takenouchi, make up the list of those already qualified for the MGC Race, Shitara running a marathon for the first time since his now-former national record 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February and Kawauchi hoping to turn things back around after a string of bad races since Boston. Those with a realistic chance of qualifying off the two-race average include 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winner Takuya Noguchi, who missed it by seconds at this year’s Gold Coast, recent sub-2:10 men Kohei Ogino, Yuma Hattori and Jo Fukuda, and a trio who finished together just over the 2:10 mark in Tokyo this year, Asuka Tanaka, Hiroki Yamagishi and Daichi Kamino. There’s a good number of others on the list who ran well in 2015 and 2016 and will be hoping to get back on board in Fukuoka, including sub-2:10 teammates Takuya Fukatsu, Fumihiro Maruyama and Satoru Sasaki , and given the depth of Japanese men’s marathoning and the tendency for dark horses to post seemingly out-of-nowhere breakthroughs like Taku Fujimoto, earlier this month in Chicago there’s almost no limit to who else could have their day. Twins Hiroshi and Takashi Ichida would make a lot of people happy if they finally broke through in Fukuoka. Both 100 km world record holder Nao Kazami, and 100 km silver medalist Takehiko Gyoba, are also in the race. It being a nominally international marathon, Fukuoka also has its usual small contingent of overseas runners perfectly positioned to pace the Japanese men to times in the 2:07 to 2:08 range and to lend a little shine to the race with their medals. 2011 world championships silver medalist Vincent Kipruto tops the list with a 2:06:14 in Berlin last year, with 2015 world champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and past Fukuoka champ Yemane Tsegay. (10/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jerome Drayton's Canadian marathon record of 2:10:09 has stood for nearly 43 years

 Jerome Drayton's mark of 2:10:28 from the 1975 Fukuoka Marathon is the current national Canadian record. Drayton, who lives in Toronto, is 73 years-old now. "Two-ten is obviously a good time," remarked two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet, who came close to Drayton's record at the 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon where he ran 2:10:28. Speaking at a press conference here this morning in advance of Sunday's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon he added, "[But], especially after Eliud Kipchoge's record (2:01:39) we need a faster national record. With guys like Cam stepping up to the marathon, it's just a matter of time before it goes." "Cam," of course, is Cameron Levins, the 29 year-old Canadian Olympian who holds the national record of 27:07.51 for 10,000m. A former Nike Oregon Project athlete who now represents Hoka One One, Levins will be making his long-awaited marathon debut here this Sunday. He'll be running primarily for the Athletics Canada national title, but with a CAD 43,000 bonus (USD 32,800) on the line for taking down Drayton's mark, the record is definitely on Levins's mind. His 10,000m best is equivalent to a 2:06:38 marathon by using one popular conversion formula. "I'm in great shape," Levins told the media here today, looking relaxed in a hooded sweatshirt, his hands folded in his lap. "I'm ready to attack the Canadian record." Levins, who was notorious for running exceptionally high mileage during his NCAA career at Southern Utah University, stuck with a high-mileage diet for this race, too. He estimated that he averaged 168 miles (270 kilometers) per week, splitting his time between his sea level home in Portland, Ore., and the high altitude of Cedar City, Utah, where he lived and trained in college. He said he adapted well to marathon training after an uncertain start. "I was a little nervous about getting into the new kind of training," Levins told Race Results Weekly. "I mean, I'm into it now. I know I'm going to do more beyond this. I can see it becoming, just, what I do." But first, he had to get through Sunday's race. Long-time race director Alan Brookes has assembled one of his best elite fields led by two-time race winner Philemon Rono of Kenya (2:06:52 PB), 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:06:33), 2017 Seoul Marathon runner-up Felix Kandie of Kenya (2:06:03), and New Zealand record holder Jake Robertson (2:08:26). Levins, who said he will run with the second group, made sure he put enough long runs which included very specific goals. As a track runner, his long runs were mostly just for adding miles, he said, at an easy pace. (10/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Japan's Suguru Osako wins nearly one Million Dollars in placing third at the Chicago Marathon

Japan's Suguru Osako placed third at the 2018 Chicago Marathon clocking 2:05:50, a new national Japan record.  

This beats the record of 2:06:11. The Japanese Corporate Track and Field Federation (Project Exceed program) will pay him a 100-million-yen bonus ($879,465 U.S. dollars) for setting a new national record.  

Before the race Suguru Osako said, ““I want to try to break the national record, but the most important thing to me is to be competitive with the other runners.  I’ am really excited and proud to run with Mo and Galen. I’m going to enjoy the challenge.”” 

Osako trains in Oregon and is part of the Nike Oregon Project.  Osako was born May 23, 1991.  He won the 10,000 meters gold medal at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen and holds the Asian junior record for the half marathon. Born in Machida, Tokyo, he attended Saku Chosei High School and began to establish himself nationally in 2010.  

Suguru Osako made his marathon debut at the 2017 Boston Marathon, landing on the podium in third in 2:10:28. At the time, he was the first Japanese man to finish among the top three since Seko won Boston in 1987.

He closed out 2017 with an impressive personal best and third place finish at the Fukuoka Marathon, 2:07:19.  He becomes the first Japanese man and just the second non-African-born runner to break 2:06. 

(10/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Bedan Karoki needs to secure a few wins and he wants to start Oct. 7 at Chicago Marathon

Kenya's Bedan Karoki hopes he will finally break the duck and win his first marathon on Oct. 7 when he lines up at the start of this year's Chicago marathon. Karoki, 28, will be making his fourth attempt at the distance with his best effort having come in 2017 at the London marathon where he clinched the bronze medal on his debut in the race won by compatriot Daniel Wanjiru. He went on to finish fourth at the Fukuoka marathon and settled for fifth spot in a star-studded London marathon this year timing at 2:08:34. But that is about to change should the tail wind continue pushing him as he debuts in America. "It is down to what I have learnt in the three previous races. That experience is critical and I know the field in Chicago is a strong one. It is something I am used to because I have run London twice and my performance was not bad despite missing a medal this year," said Karoki on Monday. The Kenyan, who has pitched camp in high altitude areas of Nyahururu for the last one month since returning from his training base in Japan, feels he will be ready on Sunday to wrest the first marathon title in his career. Karoki who this year won the Ras Al Khaimah International Half Marathon in United Arab Emirates clocking 58:42 in February and later finished second at the Buenos Aires Half Marathon (59:50) in August believes tactics will be critical for the eventual winner as he guns for the trophy to boost his chances of selection to Kenya team to the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. "I need to secure a few wins to my name. I believe Chicago will be good to me and that is why I must give it my best shot," said Karoki, who is trained by coach Francis Kamau. (10/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Canada's second fastest marathoner Reid Coolsaet is eyeing Jerome Drayton's record

Reid Coolsaet is the fastest Canadian in the field at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It’s a race Reid knows well having run it several times before. In 2011 he qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics by running 2:10:55. He has since lowered his PB to 2:10:26 making him Canada’s second fastest ever marathoner. The two-time Olympian, Coolsaet has had his eye on Jerome Drayton’s 2:10:09 Canadian record for some time. And no Canadian has run Scotiabank–or any other marathon on Canadian soil–faster. Coolsaet set that record (2:10:55) here in 2011. An interesting coincidence: Drayton’s record was set in 1975 at Fukuoka, Japan, a race Coolsaet has run twice, achieving an excellent time here in 2016 (2:10:55–the same time he ran at Scotia in 2011). With a PB of 2:10:28, set at the Berlin Marathon in 2015, Coolsaet has been tantalizingly close to this goal for a while. He’s had to be patient through a series of setbacks, most significantly a painful foot condition in early 2017 that took him out of competition for almost a year. He came back in time for the Canadian National Cross-Country Championships in November, placing ninth.   Jerome Drayton has held the Canadain record since 1969.  Jerome won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1969, 1975, and 1976, as well as the Boston Marathon in 1977. He  has held the Canadian record since 1969, after breaking the then record of 2:18:55 set by Robert Moore a month earlier. (09/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Derek Clayton who held the World Marathon Record for 14 years, says shoes and pacemakers is why today's times are so fast

DID YOU KNOW: On June 12, 1965 Japan's Morio Shigematsu broke Abebe Bikila's world marathon record clocking 2:12:00 at the Polytechnic Marathon near London. Then on December 3, 1967 Australian's Derek Clayton shattered that record clocking 2:09:36 at the Fukuoka Marathon.

Derek was training over 250 miles a week and was clearly the world's best marathoner at that time. Then on May 30, 1969 he ran a marathon in Antwerp, Belgium mostly on cobble stones. He clocked 2:08:33 beating his own time by over a minute. 

Skeptics throughout the following decades would speculate that the course must have been short. Yet only 11 days before his historic run in Belgium, Derek ran at high altitude and won a marathon in Turkey May 19th clocking 2:17:26.

“I had to run faster than I'd planned. If I hadn't run in Turkey I would have run 2:07 in Antwerp," Clayton said. "Maybe the course was short but Derek had nothing to do with that," says Bob Anderson, MBR & RW founder and a good friend of Derek.

"Any way, worse case scenario is that Derek held the world record he set in Fukuoka until Ron Hill ran faster (2:09:28) on July 23, 1970. That is two and half years.

Best case scenario, Derek held the world record for 14 years, until Robert De Castella ran 2:08:18 December 6, 1981 at Fukuoka. Derek was one of the world best marathoners of all times, the first under 2:10.

Yet even today when Derek's name comes up there is talk about the possible "short" course. I think it is about time we give him the credit that is due."

Yes, times today have gotten a lot better but there are two things that are clearly different today. "...the shoes they are wearing...and something I am dead set against, pacemakers," says Derek.

(04/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Moen Set to Run the Napoli City Half Marathon

Sondre Nordstad Moen has confirmed the 5th Annual Napoli City Half Marathon on February 4 in Naples, Italy. Normally held in optimal conditions with the average temperature of 50F, the course goes through the most fascinating areas of the city, set in one of the most picturesque views of the Mediterranean. Moen had an amazing 2017. At the Fukuoka Marathon he set a new European Record 2:05:48. Before he improved to number three on the European half marathon list with 59:48, in Valencia. (01/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sondre Moen thinks Mo Farah Will Break His Record

"Norwegian Sondre Moen believes Mo Farah will break his recently set European marathon record in London this April," he told Athletics Weekly. "The 26-year-old clocked 2:05:48 at the Fukuoka Marathon at the start of December, completing an improvement of more than seven minutes on his pre-2017 best. Moen’s sharp improvement as someone who has not broken 28 minutes for 10,000m and set a Norwegian record of 2:10:07 last April has raised suspicions, but he is taking that in his stride." (01/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Japan's Yuki Kawauchi Ran Four Marathons in 40 Days

The major marathon season has been over for more than a month but that doesn’t mean that Japanese marathoning sensation Yuki Kawauchi will stop. He’s run four marathons in the past 40 days (he did 12 in 2017) and clocked his third-fastest of the year this past weekend with a 2:10:03 at a marathon in Hofu. That comes just two weeks after he ran 2:10:53 at the Fukuoka Marathon. From some photos from the race, you can see just how much he wanted to crack 2:10 in the last few kilometers. (12/19/2017) ⚡AMP
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Non-Africans Can Run on the Same Level as They Do

Sondre Nordstad Moen is the man of the moment after his European marathon record of 2:05:48 at Fukuoka Marathon earlier this month. "It took me 10 years of dedicated training to achieve this performance. It's all about hard work for many years," Moen says. "I think Africans will by far continue to dominate the long distances, but it is possible for some non-Africans to run at the same level as they do." He spends between 150 and 200 days each year living and training in Kenya, 550 since 2009. (12/18/2017) ⚡AMP
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Moen's Time is Fastest non-African Marathon time

Moen ran 2:05:48 to win the Fukuoka Marathon on Sunday. The quickest time, previously achieved by a non-African male on a record-eligible course was 2:06:05 by Ronaldo da Costa in 1998 — then a world record. Ryan Hall ran 2:04:58 at the Boston Marathon in 2011, but the course was deemed ineligible for record-keeping. Runners live for the day where everything clicks. PR's are set on those days. Norway's Moen had one of those days on Sunday. He beat his PR by four minutes and 19 seconds. (12/04/2017) ⚡AMP
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Norway's Moen Sets European Marathon Record

After breaking away from pre-race favorite Bedan Karoki at 36 kilometres, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen went on to win the Fukuoka Marathon on Sunday (3), clocking a European record of 2:05:48. “I was confident that I could run 2:07, and on a good day perhaps even 2:06, but I did not expect 2:05,” said Moen. Previous record (2:06:10) was set 3/20/2016 by Ozbilen of Turkey. The 26-year-old entered the race with a personal best of 2:10:07, set earlier this year at the Hannover Marathon. (12/03/2017) ⚡AMP
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Fast Field Set For 71st Fukuoka Marathon

Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion, will take on Bidan Karoki and defending champion Yemane Tsegaye at the 71st annual Fukuoka Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on December 3 in Fukuoka, Japan. (11/28/2017) ⚡AMP
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