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'Marathon Mont Blanc Goes to Sara Alonso and Jonathan Albon'
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Toyo University Wins 69th Ogi Ekiden, Saku Chosei and Sendai Ikuei Take H.S. Titles

After cancelations in 2020 and 2021, the Ogi Ekiden in Akita returned Saturday for its 69th edition. A traditional race with a tough and hilly course, it is a standard midsummer event on the calendar for most of the country's top schools. Toyo University won the 7-stage, 64.7 km university division in 3:16:54. Toyo in 3rd was 14 seconds behind leader Chuo University 's A-team after the 13.4 km First Stage, dropping to 4th and 43 seconds down on new leader Aoyama Gakuin University by the end of the Fourth Stage. But on the 8.2 km Fifth Stage, Toyo's Hiroki Sugano ran the fastest time on his stage, 23:12, to put Toyo into 2nd. Sixth runner Naoya Kanehara moved up to within 5 seconds of AGU on his 9.9 km stage, leaving it to anchor Shu Yoshida to run them down and open a 31-second lead for the win. Yoshida was all smiles as he broke the tape at the end of his 10.1 km stage. AGU ended up 2nd in 3:17:25. Chuo's B-team took 3rd in 3:17:50, beating Juntendo University

Gold Coast Marathon Returns With Solid Fields From Australia, U.S.A. and Japan

Australia's Village Road Show Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon is set to return next weekend for its first full-on in-person edition since 2019. The elite fields for its half marathon and marathon division are smaller than usual but full of top domestic talent with some international support from the U.S.A., Japan, and elsewhere. A familiar face in Japan, Eloise Wellings leads the women's half marathon, her PB of 1:09:29 set at the Marugame Half in 2016. Earlier this year she ran a marathon best of 2:25:10 in Nagoya and 1:10:42 for 4th at the Gifu Seiryu Half, setting up a good head-to-head race with Jessica Stenson , 2:25:15 in Perth last fall and with a 1:10:59 best in Marugame in 2018. Brett Robinson leads the men's half marathon with a 59:57 NR for the win in Marugame in 2020. Tim Vincent is his strongest competition on paper with a 1:01:43 on the aided Rome-Ostia Half course earlier this year, but Joel Tobin-White , 1:02:03 in Marugame 2019, Commonwealth Games-boun

An Update on Japan's Potential Team for Oregon '22

An update to last week's story on where Japan's potential team for next month's Oregon World Championships stands with 3 days left in the qualifying window. Men's 100 m (48) 33. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tumbleweed TC) - 10.04 (+0.8) withdrawn -  43. Yoshihide Kiryu (Nihon Seimei) Men's 200 m  (56) quota -  38. Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) quota  - 50. Koki Ueyama (Sumitomo Denko) Men's 400 m  (48) quota  - 36. Fuga Sato (Nasu Kankyo) quota - 42. Kaito Kawabata (Chukyo Univ. AC) quota - 47. Julian Walsh (Fujitsu) Men's 5000 m   (42) 36. Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:10.69 Men's 10000 m  (27) standard, not top 3 -  22. Ren Tazawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:33.44 Men's 110 mH  (40) 13. Shunsuke Izumiya (Sumitomo Denko) - 13.21 (-1.2) 19. Rachid Muratake (Juntendo Univ.) - 13.27 (-0.5) in range of quota  - 41. Shuhei Ishikawa (Fujitsu) in range of quota  - 42. Shunya Takayama (Zenrin) in range of quota  - 42. Shusei Nomoto (Ehime T&F Assoc.) Men's

Justus Soget and Benard Koech Clear Worlds Standards at Hokuren Distance Challenge

The Hokuren Distance Challenge 20th Anniversary Meet , a last chance set up by the JAAF for Japanese athletes to hit 2022 World Championships standards ahead of Sunday's deadline, produced two new qualifier. Pacing the men's 5000 m, Justus Soget (Honda) kept going when the rest of the field dropped off and crossed the line in a new PB of 13:12.90, the 18th Kenyan to qualify for Worlds in the 5000 m. Men's 10000 m pacer Benard Koech (Kyudenko) did the same, getting under the standard in 27:20.66 and also becoming the 18th Kenyan to qualify. Half marathon great Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) almost joined Koech but came up just short in 27:29.85 for 2nd. Among Japanese men the performance of the day was former 1500 m NR holder Nanami Arai (Honda), who ran an all-time JPN #3 PB of 3:36.63 for the win, short of the Worlds standard but adding further to the incremental step up this season for Japanese middle distance as a whole. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) gave the 8:22.00

Hokuren Last Chance Meet Streaming and Preview

The JAAF has set up one last chance for its middle and long distance athletes to hit the qualifying standards for next month's World Championships, adding an early meet to the Hokuren Distance Challenge series today ahead of Sunday's deadline to qualify. Streaming starts at 16:00 local time. A breakdown of the races: Men's 800 m - 16:15 - No Japanese man has ever broken the 1:45.20 Worlds standard, but national champion Mikuto Kaneko (Chuo Univ.) is close at 1:45.85. Given that he's currently 57th against the 800 m's 48-deep quota it'll take a NR for him to make it to Eugene. Women's 1000 m - 16:25 - Nationals 800 m top 2 Ayano Shiomi (Iwatani Sangyo) and Nozomi Tanaka (Jidoshokki) are both relatively close to making the quota, but instead of going for the standard or maxing points they're opting for a go at Tanaka's 2:37.72 NR for 1000 m. Only 3 athletes are entered. Women's 5000 m - 16:40 - Nobody in this race is in contention for the Or

Kanagawa Wins National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

Home to Japan's best university men's distance running teams, the Tokyo area held its qualifier for November's National University Men's Ekiden Sunday at Sagamihara Gion Stadium in rural Kanagawa. 20 teams of 8 runners each competed for 7 spots available at Nationals, with 2 runners from each team running in 4 heats of 10000 m and teams scored on their 8 runners' total times. For the first time, 3 of the 4 heats had winning times under 29 minutes, making it the highest-level edition in event history. Tokai University , Toyo University and Soka University were the favorites to take the top 3 spots, with at least 9 teams in contention for the remaining 4. Tokai was strong out of the gate, 2nd-year Hibiki Yoshida running a PB 28:59.50 to win Heat 1 by over 45 seconds. Toyo's Ren Umezaki was 3rd in 29:49.77 and Soka's Kaiya Yokoyama 5th in 29:50.51, and interspersed between them in a sign of things to come were Kanagawa University 1st-year Haruto Miyamot

National University Men's Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier Streaming

The Tokyo-area Kanto Region dominates the National University Men's Ekiden Championships every year, almost always filling the top 10 and taking all 8 seeded spots for the next year's race. Kanto Region teams that don't make it run a qualifying race every year, 4 heats of 10000 m on the track with 2 runners per school in each heat. Team scoring is done based on the added time of all 8 runners, with the 7 fastest going on to Nationals in November. This year's qualifier takes place Sunday, with streaming starting at 17:15 local time. Complete entry lists are available here . Start lists and live results are here . Tokai University , Soka University and Toyo University are the clear favorites to make the cut with at least 6 people with sub-29 minute bests on their entry lists. Beyond that things get murky, with 9 schools having 3 or 4 sub-29 guys. Rising programs like Rikkyo University and Surugadai University are among them, so expect to see some of the traditionally