Skip to main content

Ritsumeikan Takes Third Straight National Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

After a slow start which saw two-time defending champion Ritsumeikan University in 7th at the end of the first stage of the 38.6 km, six-stage National University Women's Ekiden Championships, also known as the Morinomiyako Ekiden, the school moved up through the field through the following three stages to take first the lead and then its third consecutive national title and fifth national win in six years. Buoyed by a stellar stage-record performance by third-year star Kazue Kojima on the third leg, Ritsumeikan runners clocked stage records on the fourth and fifth legs as well and won in 2:06:53, just off the course record which Ritsumeikan set last year. Rivals Bukkyo University once again had to settle for 2nd, finishing 1:15 behind the winner in 2:08:08. 2005 winner Meijo University rounded out the podium positions with a 2:08:47 finish in 3rd.

Ritsumeikan's win essentially amounted to a simple display of power. Despite five of the six members of last year's course-record team returning in the current season, the school ran first-year runners on four of the ekiden's six stages. With only anchor Akiko Matsunaga graduating in the spring Ritsumeikan looks to have a dynasty in the making.

detailed report coming soon

2008 All-Japan University Women's Ekiden - results
Top Teams - click here for video of each team's finish
1. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:06:53
2. Bukkyo Univ. - 2:08:08
3. Meijo Univ. - 2:08:47
4. Tokyo Nogyo Univ. - 2:09:21
5. Tamagawa Univ. - 2:10:05
6. Kyoto Sangyo Univ. - 2:10:20
----- (top six schools seeded for 2009) -----
7. Josai Kokusai Univ. - 2:10:41
8. Nittai Univ. - 2:10:50
9. Josai Univ. - 2:11:00
10. Hakuho Univ. - 2:11:23
11. Nihon Univ. - 2:11:53
12. Juntendo Univ. - 2:12:20
13. Osaka Taiku Univ. - 2:12:49
14. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:13:12
15. Kansai Univ. - 2:15:14
16. Kanaya Taiku Univ. - 2:15:56
17. Osaka Nin. Univ. - 2:16:38
18. Matsuyama Univ. - 2:17:13
19. Kyoto Koka Univ. - 2:18:23
20. Chukyo Univ. - 2:19:43
21. Fukushima Univ. - 2:20:35
22. Tohoku Fukushi Univ. - 2:21:36
--- Tohoku Select Team - 2:23:18*
23. Takaoka Univ. - 2:25:20
24. Seishu Univ. - 2:29:04
25. Hokkaido Univ. - 2:29:55

*The Tohoku Select Team is not included in the scored results.

Stage Best Performances
1st stage (6.0 km) - Akiko Matsuyama (1st year, Kansai Univ.): 19:14
2nd stage (6.6 km) - Natsuko Goto (3rd year, Nihon Univ.): 21:16 - stage record
3rd stage (9.1 km) - Kazue Kojima (3rd year, Ritsumeikan Univ.): 29:35 - stage record
4th stage (4.9 km) - Michi Numata (1st year, Ritsumeikan Univ.): 15:19 - stage record
5th stage (4.0 km) - Hanae Tanaka (1st year, Ritsumeikan Univ.): 13:07 - stage record
6th stage (8.0 km) - Eri Sato (4th year, Meijo Univ.): 26:53

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

mika t. said…
Oh no, I happended to see the result before I check the recorded video..... Your update is too quick! (for me)

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…