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2020 Olympic Marathon Trials Winner Honami Maeda Out of Hokkaido Marathon With Corona

On Aug. 15 the organizing committee of the Aug. 28 Hokkaido Marathon announced that 2020 Olympic marathon trials winner and 30 km national record holder  Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) has withdrawn from the race after contracting COVID-19. Maeda became the first woman to qualify for the 2020 trials when she won Hokkaido in 2017. This was to be her first marathon since the Tokyo Olympics marathon in Sapporo last summer. A win would have qualified her for next year's Olympic trials.  The remainder of the Hokkaido field is listed here . Translator's note: Another major blow for Japanese marathoning. Maeda has been running well this season, with two half marathon PBs. She was a leading contender for the win in Hokkaido. Her withdrawal with COVID-19 follows the last-second withdrawals of women-only NR holder Mao Ichiyama , women's half-marathon NR holder Hitomi Niiya , and men's NR holder Kengo Suzuki from last month's Oregon World Championships marathons after testing posi
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Sapporo Gakuin Women Make 6th-Straight National University Ekiden, Men Qualify for 5th Time

The Hokkaido Region University Ekiden took place Aug. 13 in Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, women running 35.86 km in 6 stages and men 101.06 km in 8 stages. In the women's race, Sapporo Gakuin University won for the 6th year in a row, running 2:15:08 and qualifying for the Oct. 30 National University Women's Ekiden in Sendai. All 6 SGU runners won their stages, definitively beating 2nd-placer Hokkaido University by over 9 minutes. Anchor Hazuki Kurokawa said, "It was my first time to break a tape at the finish line, and I loved it." SGU's Nei Tsu took the lead 2 km into the first stage, opening a gap of over a minute on 2nd. Rikako Hamada and Yuno Ishikawa handled the next two stages before the tasuki went to captain Akane Yatame on the fourth stage. The only 4th-year on the team, post-race Yatame said, "I had a lot of responsibility out there today. The younger runners really helped out." Third runner Ishikawa had suffered fractures in her left fibu

Takashi Doi Wins Trans Japan Alps Race in Course Record Time

by Koichi Iwasa for photos by Sho Fujimaki and Hao Moda Five days after it began, the Trans Japan Alps Race 2022 (TJAR) welcomed its first finisher to Ohama Beach in Shizuoka on the Thursday, Aug. 11 Mountain Day public holiday. That first finisher this year was Takashi Doi , arriving at the finish line amid heavy rain 4 days, 17 hours and 33 minutes after he started. Doi beat the previous course record of 4 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes set in 2016 by Shogo Mochizuki by 6 hours and 19 minutes. Doi arrived at the Chosugoya checkpoint marking the beginning of the descent out of the Southern Alps 301 km from the starting point at 12:45 a.m. on the 11th. At around 5:20 a.m. he crossed the Hatanagi Otsuri bridge at 307 km, emerging onto a paved forest road with 88 km to go. Even though he'd been skipping long naps up to then, Doi still looked fresh and light when he arrived at the Ikawa Auto Camp checkpoint with 69 km to go at 8:04 a.m. From there on out he continue

Bears Announces New Women's Team Coached by Hakone Winner

Housekeeping services provider Bears Co., Ltd. held a press conference in Tokyo to formally announce the launch of its new women's track and field team Bears Camellia . The new's team starting lineup features five athletes and head coach Yuya Takayanagi , 31, a member of Nittai University 's 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion team. At the press conference Takayanagi discussed athletes' "second career," talking about how after they retire from competition most corporate league athletes leave the company they run for. Based on his own experience, he said that he hoped to help guarantee team members a future through working for the company in tandem with competitive life. Bears VP Yuki Takahashi commented, "I hope that this will be an opportunity for team members to develop as people, as professionals, and as athletes." In the future, athletes on the team will be categorized into three levels according to their achievements, "Top," "Development

Olympic Marathoner Yuma Hattori Marries TV Announcer Miyabi Hirayama

On Aug. 8 Tokyo Olympics marathoner Yuma Hattori (28, Toyota), announced on his Twitter and Instragram feeds that he had gotten married with Chukyo TV announcer Miyabi Hirayama , 31. Along with a picture of the two of them in Nagoya's Hisaya Odori Park dressed in jeans and t-shirts he wrote, "We submitted our registration of marriage today, August 8." Hirayama tweeted, "My married life will be a new source of energy in my devotion to my work!" On Instragam she wrote, "He is always looking forward and gives everything in pursuit of his goals. I respect him completely. He is incredibly kind and gentle toward me and it makes me smile just to be around him. It's a joy to be able to walk the rest of my life's road with him." The Chukyo TV Athlete Friends program on which Hirayama had interviewed Hattori in April tweeted, "Miyabi Hirayama and Yuma Hattori, congratulations on your marriage. May your happiness last forever." Along with a cl

Distance Highlights From 75th National High School Track and Field Championships

The 75th edition of Japan's National High School Track and Field Championships took place last Wednesday through Sunday at Pocari Sweat Field in Naruto, Tokushima. Kenyan Caroline Kariba (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) was the star of the meet on the girls' side, winning all four races she started over the course of the week. On the first day of the meet Kariba ran the fastest time in the four 1500 m qualifying heats, 4:20.08. The next day she was back to win the final in a PB 4:08.72, almost 3 seconds head of runner-up Janet Nyiva  (Kurashiki H.S.) and nearly 9 seconds ahead of 3rd-placer Kana Mizumoto (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.). After a day off racing on Friday, Kariba was back Saturday to lead 3000 m qualification in 9:12.17, the fastest time in the 3 heats. Sunday she took the final, just missing the meet record in 8:52.04. Nyiva was 2nd again in 8:56.20, just holding off Lucy Nduda (Aomori Yamada H.S.) who took 3rd in 8:56.91. Mizumoto was the top Japanese woman again at 4

Takigahara SDF Base Wins Mt. Fuji Ekiden Again

Along with Akita's Towada Hachimantai Ekiden another midsummer classic returned Sunday after cancelations in 2020 and 2021, the 47th edition of the  Mt. Fuji Ekiden . An eleven-stage race featuring 82 teams of six, the Mt. Fuji Ekiden sees the first five runners on each team work their way up the slopes of Mt. Fuji, first on roads and then on trails. The sixth runners climbs the final few kilometers to the summit 3258 m above the race's starting point, has his tasuki sash stamped by a priest at the shrine waiting there, then begins the descent. The first five runners then have to each a second time, downhill this time. Some of the downhill stages are wild, with powdery gravel covering steep slopes, and scenes like this one from 2014 at the exchange from the Seventh to Eighth Stage, are legendary. Spectators make the climb to the exchange zones just to see it happen. Doesn't it look like fun? The video up top is from the last edition in 2019 , when the Takigahara SDF Base

Towada Hachimantai Ekiden Returns After 3 Years

Covering a course from Lake Towada to Hachimantai, the Towada Hachimantai Ekiden returned Sunday for the first time in 3 years. 19 men's team and 3 women's teams took part in the classic elite race, this year celebrating its 75th anniversary. The East Japan Corporate Federation team won the 71.4 km men's race finishing at Hachimantai Onuma, with Nitori winning the 28.3 km women's race ending at Hachimantai Chuzaijo. East Japan runners broke the stage records for the Fourth and Fifth Stages, Nitori's Esther Muthoni also breaking the women's Fourth Stage record. The race will be broadcast Aug. 27 on Akita TV. 75th Towada Hachimantai Ekiden Kazuno, Akita, 7 Aug. 2022 men: 19 teams, 5 stages, 71.4 km complete men's results women: 3 teams, 5 stages, 28.3 km complete women's results Top Men's Team Results 1. East Japan Corporate Federation - 3:46:24 2. Comodi Iida - 3:48:10 3. Tokyo Police Department - 3:51:47 4. Komori Corporation - 3:54:20 5. Fukush