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The Best of Japan Running News

JRN's most-read articles along with selected reader and editor favorites.  Click on year for an index by month.

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Most-Read This Week

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

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

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