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Race news

12 February 2021, 3pm

Top field for last edition of oldest Japanese marathon

Lake Biwa’s final curtain

by Brett Larner

Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon
Sun 28 February 2021

As the only game in town for its final running before being swallowed up by the Osaka Marathon’s ambitions, the 76th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, to be held on 28 February, has put together the best field in its history.

Times in the last three years don’t mean what they used to, but even so Lake Biwa has two men sub-2:07, 7 sub-2:08, 13 sub-2:09, 25 sub-2:10, 40 sub-2:11 and 53 sub-2:12. All are Japanese except one, Japan-based Kenyan Simon Kariuki.

Among them are 2:06 men Ryu Takaku and Hiroto Inoue, half marathon national record holder Yusuke Ogura, 2019 Fukuoka winner Taku Fujimoto, Tokyo Olympics marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura, 100 km world record holder Nao Kazami and many more. There are at least another seven men with half marathon bests under 62 minutes making debuts or trying to finish a marathon for the first time.

Lake Biwa results often end up not being as fast as looked likely on paper but with a field like this, and pacers including sub-60 Kenyan James Rungaru and former Komazawa University teammates Kenta Murayama and Shinobu Kubota, it should be on for something good if the weather cooperates. NHK will be broadcasting the whole thing live, nationwide and commercial-free starting at 09.00 local time on the day.


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