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How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…
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Boston Marathon Japanese Results

122nd Boston MarathonBoston, U.S.A., 4/16/18
click here for complete results

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:15:58
2. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 2:18:23
3. Shadrack Biwott (U.S.A.) - 2:18:35
4. Tyler Pennel (U.S.A.) - 2:18:57
5. Andrew Bumbalough (U.S.A.) - 2:19:52
6. Scott Smith (U.S.A.) - 2:21:47
7. Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands) - 2:23:16
8. Elkanah Kibet (U.S.A.) - 2:23:37
9. Reid Coolsaet (Canada) - 2:25:02
10. Daniel Vassalo (U.S.A.) - 2:27:50
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42. Kansuke Morihashi (Japan/Raffine) - 2:34:23
8322. Nao Kazami (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 3:47:02


Women
1. Desiree Linden (U.S.A.) - 2:39:54
2. Sarah Sellers (U.S.A.) - 2:44:04
3. Krista Duchene (Canada) - 2:44:20
4. Rachel Hyland (U.S.A.) - 2:44:29
5. Jessica Chichester (U.S.A.) - 2:45:23
6. Nicole Dimercurio (U.S.A.) - 2:45:52
7. Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) - 2:46:31
8. Kimi Reed (U.S.A.) - 2:46:47
9. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:47:14
10. Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/Memolead) - 2:48:29
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DNF - Maki Ashi (Japan/Kyudenko)

© …

Furuse and Godana Win Nagano Marathon

Wind and rain hit the 20th anniversary Nagano Marathon hard enough to slow things down, Japan's Asami Furuse (Kyocera) and Ethiopian Abdela Godana taking the top spots in the women's and men's races.

Coached by former men's half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato, Furuse and teammate Saki Tokoro were part of a lead group of five women that set out on low 2:33 pace. Kenyan Beatrice Jepkemboi dropped off he group near 20 km and Yukiko Okuno (Shiseido) did the same a few minutes later, leaving the Kyocera duo to face remaining Kenyan Pauline Wangui over the second half.

Tokoro cracked just before 30 km and Wangui around 32 km, leaving Furuse to push on alone to an evenly-paced 2:34:09. Wangui faded to 4th, run down first by Tokoro and then by Okuno. Tokoro made it a 1-2 finish for Kyocera, another success for Sato is his short coaching career to date. 4th last year, former Tenmaya runner Aki Otagiri moved up from the second pack to take the 5th spot this time o…

Know Your Japanese Runners in Boston

The withdrawal of Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki), Japan's best championship marathoner of the modern era, from the Boston Marathon field with a stress fracture is a blow to what would have been the best Japanese contingent in Boston in decades.

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) leads the way, arriving in Boston off wins in his last four marathons:
2:10:03, Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, 12/17/172:18:59 CR, Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, 1/1/182:11:46 CR, Kitakyushu Marathon, 2/18/182:14:12, Wan Jin Shi Marathon, 3/18/18 Kawauchi hopes to at least equal Suguru Osako's top 3 placing in last year's Boston, his optimism growing as the weather forecast gets worse.
Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) runs for what was once Japan's most successful corporate team in the marathon, his best of 2:12:31 coming 6 years ago at Lake Biwa and his fastest recent time a 2:13:33 in Tokyo last year. Okamoto earned a place in Boston by winning February tough and hilly Ome 30 km in 1:3…

'Former Presidents of Last Two Olympic Host Nations Begin Jail Terms' (updated)

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1063727/former-presidents-of-last-two-olympic-host-nations-begin-jail-terms

And hey, what do you know. the top story on TV Asahi 10 o'clock news is about corruption scandal involving leader of an Olympic host nation. pic.twitter.com/k3ACLqR5Bh — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) April 10, 2018
Update: Tens of thousands of people demonstrated outside the Japanese parliament building on April 14 demanding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's resignation over two corruption scandals. Video and report here. A rare sight in Japan - protesters breaking through police barricades at the demonstration:

国会議事堂前バリケード突破の様子#国会前大集合#国会前大行動pic.twitter.com/vmm40PgHku — Shino@ 4/14 14:00〜 国会前大行動 #国会前大集合 (@K461582) April 14, 2018

Paris, Rotterdam and Guam - Weekend Overseas Marathon Results

Rio 10000 m Olympian Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) made a good debut Sunday at the Paris Marathon, finishing 8th in 2:26:13. Takashima started fast, on sub-2:21 pace until just before 30 km before fading. Her time was the 4th-fastest this year by a Japanese woman and best so far this season outside Japan, and it put her well within reach of the two-race sub-2:28:00 average route to qualifying for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials marathon. Kasumi Yoshida (Nitori) was 11th in 2:38:15 and Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) 16th in 2:45:34. Yoshiki Koizumi (Raffine) was the top Japanese man at 24th in 2:20:29.

Things went less smoothly at the Rotterdam Marathon. Running her third marathon in less than four months in a desperate attempt to get her MGC Race qualifying time this season, Hofu Yomiuri Marathon course record holder Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) went through halfway on schedule in 1:13:22 before starting to slow, ultimately finishing in 2:47:25 for 15th. On the men's side Yuki Yagi (Yagi Projec…